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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, January 06, 2017

Senator No: Chuck Schumer's Future?

by Newt Gingrich: I’m amazed by the continuing stream of negativity Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has been communicating to the American people.

Schumer asserted on CNN “The only way we’re going to work with him is if he moves completely in our direction and abandons his Republican colleagues.”

He further warned on MSNBC that “It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we [Democrats] could support.”

Schumer knows better than to get defined as “Senator No”. Back in January 2007 he published Positively American: Winning Back the Middle-Class Majority One Family at a Time.

I admired the intelligent, positive analysis in this book so much that I joined Senator Schumer for an event at the National Press Club to help launch his book. I told the reporters that he had captured the subtler party-changing aspects of the Contract with America. I still recommend his chapter on what we accomplished as a very insightful analysis by a professional politician.

Schumer wrote his book before the 2006 elections. President George W. Bush and the Republicans looked very formidable. Their collapse during 2006 and their further disintegration in the financial crisis of 2007-2008 was not yet visible when he was writing.

His book is really in the tradition of President Ronald Reagan, Congressman Jack Kemp, and the Contract with America. It is based on an understanding that an opposition party will get trapped into a minority status but that an alternative party can build a majority.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, the collapse of the Bush Republicans eliminated the need for constructive thought. The pressure of the militant left forced the Obama-led party down a path very different than Senator Schumer had hoped for. Under President Obama, 25 million people dropped out of the middle class. The very people Senator Schumer wanted to focus on were being crushed by high taxes, regulations, and a failing health care program that crippled small business and the economy.

Then Presidential Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel warned in 2009 that the new President ought to focus on jobs rather than healthcare. However, the Obama Presidency was about transforming America into a government-dominated, bureaucratically-controlled state committed to radical values. Obamacare would help achieve that goal. Economic recovery favoring the middle class, small businesses, and small towns would prop up precisely the people Obama had contempt for.

Obama’s left-wing, radical policies and failure to perform on the economy, foreign policy, and healthcare, combined with Hillary Clinton’s weaknesses as a candidate and Donald Trump’s extraordinary leadership capabilities, led to a defeat that no Democrat expected.

At 6:00 p.m. election night the Democrats thought they were going to win by a landslide. By 10:00 p.m. that night they knew they were in a shockingly close race. By 2:00 a.m. they knew they had lost the Presidency, the House, and the Senate. Then they learned that Americans had elected more than 4,100 state legislators, the most in American history.

Liberals in general and Democrats in particular are still in shock.

That shock is tying Senator Schumer’s hands.

Senator Schumer should be “Senator Middle Class”, offering positive solutions to the American people. Unfortunately, he is trapped by the activist wing of his party into becoming “Senator No”. This is a very dangerous path for him to take.

A negative, anti-Trump opposition party will get weaker and weaker.

To most Americans, obstructionist ideological partisans are exactly what is wrong with Washington.

The current Schumer stance creates a great opportunity for Republicans to be a positive, problem solving party – one capable of improving the lives of all Americans.

“Senator No” will lose to “President Yes”.
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, Chuck Schumer, senator no,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Scorched Israel . . .

. . . Obama sets a diplomatic fire to the Jewish State as he departs the Oval Office.
by Deborah Weiss: Literally weeks prior to Obama’s departure from the Oval office, his Administration makes a series of moves that light a diplomatic fire to Israel on his way out the door.

Last week, UN Security Council Resolution 2334 passed, condemning all settlement activity on what the resolution referred to as "occupied territory" in Israel, asserting that such activity is a “flagrant violation of international law.” The Obama Administration abstained from the vote, parting from a long historical precedent of the U.S. opposing anti-Israel resolutions. America’s refusal to protect Israel through its veto power, paved the way for an anti-settlement resolution to pass for the first time in decades.

This resolution has all kinds of ramifications including but not limited to the following: 1) the territory in Judea and Samaria can now be referred to as "occupied territory" rather than its proper legal status which is “territory of undetermined permanent status”; 2) it can potentially lead to Israel being called to the International Criminal Court and prosecuted for settlement building; 3) Israel can potentially now be sanctioned for its settlement activity; 4) it sets the stage for rampant boycotts against Israel by the UN and 5) makes it acceptable for EU countries to mark on their products where the products were made so people can boycott companies in the West bank. 6) Most importantly, this resolution takes off the negotiating table, the possible transfer of land for peace in potential discussions between the so-called "Palestinians" and the Israelis. Instead, it pressures the Israelis to capitulate to Palestinian demands while getting nothing in return. It leaves no incentive for the Palestinians to put a halt to their terrorist activity or for Hamas leadership to recognize Israel as a Jewish State.

In keeping with the spirit of former agreements, the UN should refrain from trying to create a state of Palestine absent face to face negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Though UNSCR 2334 focuses on condemnation of Israel, it is the Palestinians, and not the Israelis who refuse to engage in bilateral discussions and instead are trying to make an end run around face to face negotiations.

In recent days, UK officials claim credit (or blame, depending on one’s viewpoint), for negotiating the language of the resolution and influencing its passage, but Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer assert that they have indisputable evidence that it was the U.S. who worked behind the scenes directly with the Palestinians to orchestrate this diplomatic attack on Israel. Either way, the U.S. cannot claim to be merely a disinterested observer, given its power on the UN Security Council, and in light of Secretary Kerry’s staunch criticism of Israel, delivered in his speech following passage of the resolution.

I hope all the "pro-Israel" Democrats, especially if Jewish, are happy that they voted for Obama based on delusional claims by the New York Times and the MSM that Obama was “pro-Israel”. The rest of us knew that Obama was not a friend of Israel’s from the onset. He is in fact, the most anti-Israel president we've had since Jimmy Carter, with exactly the mindset that should be expected from someone who was schooled in Kenyan Madrassas and whose half-brother is a leadership member of the Islamic Da’wa organization in Sudan, a radical pro-Sharia organization in Africa.

On the same day that UNSC Resolution 2334 passed, the UN got busy to work creating a blacklist of companies that do business with any Jews in Judea, Samaria as well as East Jerusalem. And though the Obama Administration opposed the creation of this list, once the list was a fait de complete, the Obama Administration voted for the resolution that passed the proposed budget in the UN General Assembly which included funding to maintain a data base of the blacklisted companies. There is also a small budget for a staffer to maintain the data base.

Subsequent to passage of UNSCR 2234, State Secretary Kerry made a speech condemning Israel and defending the U.S.’ official position. But the damage isn’t done yet. On January 15, 2017, there will be an international gathering of 70 countries, supposedly to discuss the way forward to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Though the conference is called the “Paris Peace Conference”, ironically, neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians will be present. It’s unclear whether Kerry will be in attendance personally, but the U.S. will undoubtedly have official representation.

Three “working groups” within the conference will be addressing issues that are purportedly designed to enable the international community to take actions that will induce the relevant parties toward a peace plan down the road. Each country can determine which group it wants to join. The three working areas are: 1) civil society and institution building (which focuses on perceptions on the ground of both sides and the facilitation of dialogue) 2) capacity building (which Palestinians have suggested should constitute recommendations for “border crossing and infrastructure” and 3) economic aid which is going to be directed to Palestinians.

Statements by Netanyahu and other pro-Israel proponents express anxiety that the results of the conference will lead to more harm to Israel. Subsequent to the conference, many fear that the Middle East Quartet which includes the U.S., Russia, the UN and the EU will draft another UN resolution for the US Security Council, which will lock in the proposals suggested at the Paris conference. There is great concern that if this happens, the outcome will be detrimental to the State of Israel and difficult for the next Administration to undo. Security Council resolutions, unlike General Assembly resolutions are legally binding and therefore potentially have more dire ramifications.

It can be no coincidence that all of this is occurring just days prior to the commencement of the incoming Trump Administration. Obama himself waited until the last weeks of his presidency to reveal his true anti-Israel colors. He needed to wait until after he was re-elected, his two terms were almost complete and the next presidential election was over so his faux pro-Israel stance was no longer necessary. Expressing his true anti-Israel sentiments earlier simply wouldn’t have been expedient or politically feasible. Though the Obama Administration claims that its position on UNSC Resolution 2334 was consistent with prior Democrat and Republican positions in the past, apparently Congress disagrees, and is working on a bi-partisan congressional resolution condemning the UNSC resolution’s passage.

Obama is wrecking the house on his way out of office. He no longer needs his pro-Israel political chips. During the last days of his presidency, he is proving to do a lot of damage to Israel (and other foreign policy fronts) and there’s still time for him to do more. In my view, he is sticking it to Israel for two reasons: first, the views expressed now are what he always believed and he no longer has to hide it. His true colors are coming out. Second, he is doing everything he can on foreign policy matters to make things as difficult as possible for Trump when he becomes President.

Despite all this, it is worth noting that Trump --- you know, the guy the Left is calling Hitler, is the only one standing up for Israel, and indeed portends to be one of the most pro-Israel presidents that the US has ever seen.
Deborah Weiss, Esq. is a regular contributor to Frontpage Mag. She is also a contributing author to the book, “Saudi Arabia and the Global Islamic Terrorist Network”, the main researcher and writer for “Council on American-Islamic Relations: Its Use of Lawfare and Intimidation” and the author of “The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s Jihad on Free Speech.” Her work can be found at

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House Rebukes Obama, Ryan vs. Planned Parenthood, Intelligence Wars

Shooting Incident At Fort Lauderdale Airport
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author:  BREAKING NEWS: Shots have been fired at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Five people are reportedly dead. Six more are wounded. Officials claim one shooter is in custody. The situation continues to develop.

House Rebukes Obama - Last night, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to condemn the biased, anti-Israel resolution approved by the United Nations Security Council on the eve of Christmas and Chanukah.

The U.N. resolution declared half of Jerusalem, as well as Judea and Samaria to be "occupied territories" where Jews can't live. It passed because the Obama Administration abandoned the long-held U.S. position of vetoing such blatantly biased resolutions.

More than 100 House Democrats joined 233 Republicans for a 342-to-80 vote. While the House resolution doesn't have the force of law, it is, nevertheless, a stinging rebuke of Barack Obama's hostility toward our ally Israel.

On the House floor last night, Speaker Paul Ryan expressed his outrage at Obama's failure to stand with Israel:
"I am still stunned by what happened last month. This government -- our government -- abandoned our ally Israel when she needed us the most. . . This UN Security Council resolution was not about settlements, and it certainly was not about peace. It was about one thing and one thing only: Israel's right to exist as a Jewish, democratic state. These types of one-sided efforts are designed to isolate and delegitimize Israel. They don't advance peace. . .

"It's time to repair the damage done by this misguided hit job at the U.N. It's time to rebuild our partnership with Israel and reaffirm our commitment to her security. And it's time to show all of our allies that, regardless of the shameful events of last month, the United States remains a force for good."
Speaking Of Paul Ryan. . . Speaker Ryan also announced yesterday that a measure to defund Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion business, will be included in the legislative effort to repeal Obamacare.

As you may know, Republicans have already started the process of using what is known as "reconciliation" to repeal Obamacare. Reconciliation bills, which are limited to revenue and spending issues, are not subject to the filibuster in the Senate. That means Republicans can pass them with just 51 votes.

This is the same process Democrats used to pass Obamacare without any Republican votes. And this is the process Republicans are preparing to use to repeal Obamacare.

Speaker Ryan's commitment to defunding Planned Parenthood is good news, especially given the recent report from a special House committee that has been investigating Planned Parenthood's profiteering from the sale of aborted baby parts.

The committee, led by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), issued more than a dozen referrals to state and federal agencies for possible criminal and regulatory violations by Planned Parenthood and the companies it employed.

When the nation is running such massive deficits, federal spending must be brought under control. And when it comes to potential spending cuts, Planned Parenthood should be at the top of the list.

Intelligence Wars - For the past week, President-elect Donald Trump has been repeatedly attacked for allegedly disrespecting and insulting our intelligence community. This controversy stems from ongoing efforts to delegitimize his victory with claims that Russian hacking influenced the election.

Trump understandably rejects those claims and has suggested that the intelligence was politically manipulated. Many in the media are insinuating that Trump is needlessly bashing the professionals in the FBI and CIA.

That's odd. It wasn't that long ago when the left-wing media and Democrats were in a full-throated war against the FBI. Here are a few headlines to refresh your memory:
"FBI Director James Comey May Be a Crook, Says Democratic Leader"

"Democrats And Hillary Supporters Vent Fury At Comey"

"Liberals Bash FBI Director Comey Over Clinton Probe"
Weeks after the election, our top intelligence officials are finally scheduled to sit down with Mr. Trump today to explain to him, face-to-face, all the details and information the rest of us cannot see. Incredibly, however, NBC and the Washington Post got the top secret intelligence briefing before the president-elect did. Someone leaked it to the media.

Trump tweeted in response, "How did NBC get an exclusive look into the top secret report he (Obama) was presented? Who gave them this report and why? Politics!"

This administration has politicized the IRS, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. And this is not the first time it has been accused of manipulating and politicizing intelligence. Several whistleblowers accused the administration of cooking intelligence reports on ISIS.

Meanwhile, there were hearings yesterday on Capitol Hill about the alleged Russian efforts. Two important points came out yet they got virtually no attention. Here's what Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said during an exchange with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain:
"[The Russians] did not change any vote tallies or anything of that sort. . . And we had no way of gauging the impact that -- certainly, the intelligence community can't gauge the impact that it had on the choices that the electorate made."By the way, we are just now learning that for all the hype about Russian hacking, the Democratic National Committee refused to allow the FBI to inspect its computers. In fact, it was reported that "No U.S. government entity has run an independent forensic analysis on the system."

Now that seems really odd. Why wouldn't the DNC want government agents looking through their computers? Perhaps the Democrats were afraid of what the feds might find.
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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President-Elect Trump On His Meeting With Intelligence Community Leaders

ARRA News Service: President–elect Donald J. Trump released the following statement at the conclusion of the meeting with Intelligence Community leaders:

“I had a constructive meeting and conversation with the leaders of the Intelligence Community this afternoon. I have tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women of this community to our great nation.

“While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines. There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful.

“Whether it is our government, organizations, associations or businesses we need to aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks. I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office. The methods, tools and tactics we use to keep America safe should not be a public discussion that will benefit those who seek to do us harm. Two weeks from today, I will take the oath of office and America’s safety and security will be my number one priority.”

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End Senate Filibuster for Supreme Court Nominees

Editorial Cartoon by AF Branco
Americans for Limited Government Editorial: The attacks on Senator Jeff Sessions as he seeks to be confirmed as the nation’s Attorney General represent everything that is bad in politics.

Every Senator knows Senator Sessions. They know that he is one of the finest gentlemen ever to grace the halls of the Senate. They know that Senator Sessions is independent and tough, willing to stand up for what he believes is right. They know that Senator Sessions has the intellect and courage to both understand and uphold the rule of law.

Yet, Democrat Senators who know the quality and the integrity of the man are allowing him to be pilloried by those whose only interest is to maintain the attitude of lawlessness that pervades the Obama Justice Department.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should learn a big lesson on the treatment of Sessions by his Democratic colleagues — that power and control are their only drivers.

The old idea of comity is gone. When Senators who have personal relationships with the nominee don’t publicly disabuse the media and others on the scurrilous attacks on one of their colleagues, then it is time for the GOP to update their playbook.

Already, new Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has declared to Rachel Maddow that he will block any Supreme Court nominee sent forward by soon to be President Trump saying, “It’s hard for me to imagine a nominee that Donald Trump would choose that would get Republican support that we could support.”

While some could chalk up the Schumer talk as nothing more than bluster for his George Soros funded base, he should be taken seriously. Senate Democrats cannot block Jeff Sessions from becoming Attorney General without at least three Republican Senator votes because of a decision by the Democrats when they were in the majority to eliminate the 60-vote confirmation threshold for Cabinet officials and all federal judges below the Supreme Court. This ensures that Trump nominees, like Jeff Sessions, don’t need a single vote from a Democrat to be confirmed and can actually lose the votes of two Republican Senators and still be confirmed with the vote of the Vice President, who has the power to break ties.

However, the situation gets even more dire when considering a Supreme Court appointment, where the Republicans would need to garner eight Democrat votes in the Senate for confirmation. Schumer’s promise to Rachel Maddow makes this a virtual impossibility.

It is important to remember that Chuck Schumer has been one of the most ardent opponents of the Second Amendment for his entire Congressional career, and one of his demands would be that any nominee not support the Heller decision which ended the argument over whether the individual right to keep and bear arms exists. Donald Trump won, at least partially, because he promised a Supreme Court that would reflect the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s view on gun rights as well as other Constitutional issues.

There simply is no middle ground on the gun issue or many others facing the Supreme Court, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should take Schumer at his word and take the necessary steps to end the filibuster for Supreme Court nominees before anyone is chosen by Trump. This way it is not about an individual nominee but about whether any nominee would be confirmed, taking away any moral ground that Schumer might attempt to secure.

In the end, the GOP has been given everything they asked for: the White House, the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Supreme Court make up and the legal direction the country should take is largely the reason for winning the White House and retaining the Senate. Now, it is up to Senator Mitch McConnell to take the needed steps now to be faithful to the generational opportunity to set the direction of the Court for the next twenty years that has been handed to him. It would be political malpractice if he allowed Chuck Schumer to dictate these terms due to filibuster rules that the Democrats cast aside when it suited them.

If McConnell is paying attention, it should be the very anger and outright character assassination against Senator Sessions in his Attorney General nomination confirmation that should affirm the need to end the filibuster for the Supreme Court. If the Democrat Senators who know the character of the man, and would have to sit with him if he were denied the Attorney General position are willing to engage in this type of attack, imagine the onslaught for anyone outside of the Senate club seeking to be on the Supreme Court.

It’s time to take the Democrats at their word and for the Senate Republican majority end the filibuster now. As President Obama once reminded each of us, elections have consequences.
Americans for Limited Government editorial was shared on ALG Blog.

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Make War Not Love . . .

President Obama would rather put the U.S. on the Brink of war with Russia than accept responsibility for their election loss.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Make Love, Not War, President Obama, put U.S. at risk, election loss To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Is Liberal Democracy an Endangered Species?

Patrick Buchanan
by Patrick Buchanan: “As we begin 2017, the most urgent threat to liberal democracy is not autocracy,” writes William Galston of The Wall Street Journal, “it is illiberal democracy.”

Galston’s diagnosis is not wrong, and his alarm is not misplaced.

Yet why does America’s great export, liberal democracy, which appeared to be the future of the West if not of mankind at the Cold War’s end, now appear to be a church with a shrinking congregation?

Why is liberal democracy losing its appeal?

A front-page story about France’s presidential election, in the same day’s Journal, suggests an answer.

In the final round next May, the French election is likely to come down to a choice of Marine Le Pen or Francois Fillon.

Le Pen is the “let France be France” candidate of the National Front. Fillon is a traditionalist Catholic from northwest France, home to the martyred resistance of the Revolution — the legendary Vendee.

Fillon won practicing and nonpracticing Catholics alike by a landslide, and took 3 in 5 votes of those professing other faiths.

Le Pen wants France to secede from the EU and move closer to Vladimir Putin’s Russia. The five million Arabs and Muslims currently in France, the prospective arrival of millions more, and recent Islamic terrorist atrocities have all propelled her candidacy.

Fillon succeeded in his primary by identifying himself as a man of Catholic beliefs and values and an opponent of same-sex marriage and abortion. He does not repudiate secularism, but believes that the France that was “the eldest daughter of the church” should also be heard.

Together, what do the Le Pen and Fillon candidacies tell us?

France and Europe may be moving inexorably away from a liberal democratic, de-Christianized and militantly secularist America. If we are the future, less and less do France and Europe appear to want that future.

While our elites welcome the Third World immigration that is changing the face of America, France and Europe are recoiling from and reacting against it. The French wish to remain who and what they are, a land predominantly of one language, one culture, one people.

America preaches that all religions are equal and should be treated equally. France does not seem to share that liberal belief. And just as the Middle East seems to want no more churches or Christians, France and Europe appear to want no more mosques or Muslims.

Where America’s elites may celebrate same-sex marriage and “reproductive rights,” more and more Europeans are identifying with the social values of Putin’s Russia. Pro-Putin parties are surging in Europe. Pro-America parties have been facing losses and defections.

“Because human beings are equal, any form of ethnocentrism that denies their equality must be rejected,” writes Galston.

That may well be what liberal democracy commands.

But the 24 nations that emerged from the disintegration of the USSR, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia were all built on ethnonational foundations — Croatia and Serbia, Estonia and Latvia, Georgia and Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova.

And was it not their unique ethnic identities that caused South Ossetia and Abkhazia to break free of Georgia?

Indeed, if what America has on offer is a liberal democracy of 325 million, which is multiracial, multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual, which celebrates its “diversity,” then where in Europe can one find a great party preaching this as the future their country and continent should embrace?

European peoples are largely fleeing from the future America preaches and promises.

Europe’s nations are rising up against what liberal democracy has produced in the USA.

Galston contends correctly that, “few leaders and movements in the West dare to challenge the idea of democracy itself.”

True, so far. But worldwide, Caesarism appears on the march.

Russia, China, Turkey, Egypt and the Philippines exemplify the new popularity of the strongman state. Western liberals initially cheered the Arab Spring, but what it produced curbed their enthusiasm. Free elections in Palestine and Lebanon produced victories for Hamas and Hezbollah.

Though Galston chastises the Polish and Hungarian governments as illiberal democracies, they seem to remain popular at home.

What, then, does the future hold?

The present crisis of Europe has been produced by the migration of tens of millions of Third World peoples never before assimilated in any European nation, and by the pollution and poisoning of these nations’ traditional culture.

This has caused millions to recoil and declare: If this is what liberal democracy produces, then to hell with it.

And if Europe is moving away from what America has become and has on offer, what is there to cause Europeans to turn around and re-embrace liberal democracy? Why not try something else?

In Brexit, the English were voting against the diverse liberal democracy that their capital of Londonistan had become.

Donald Trump’s victory represented a rejection of Barack Obama’s America. And whether he succeeds, what is there to cause America to look back with nostalgia on the America Obama came to represent?

Our Founding Fathers believed that democracy represented the degeneration of a republic; they feared and loathed it, and felt that it was the precursor of dictatorship. They may have been right again.
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.

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U.S. Senators Support General James Mattis for Secretary of Defense

General James Mattis
ARRA News Service: Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) “His stellar record as a Marine speaks for itself but I was particularly impressed with his intellect and strong commitment to safeguarding our nation’s vital interests and supporting service-members and their families.” (Sen. Mike Lee, Instagram, 1/3/17)

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) "I was impressed by General Mattis’ comments on a number of specific issues that I raised with him – including cybersecurity, Russian aggression, veterans' healthcare and other benefits, and sexual assault in the military.'' (Daniela Altimari, “Blumenthal Meets with Gen. Mattis, Trump Pick for Defense Secretary,” Hartford Courant, 1/3/17)

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) “There is no question that he [General Mattis] has served as an extraordinary leader in our military in the United States Marine Corps, and as the former Commander of U.S. Central Command and coauthor of the Counterinsurgency Field Manual.” (Press Release, “Ernst Meets with Secretary of Defense Nominee General James Mattis,” Office of Sen. Joni Ernst, 1/3/17)

Senator Mike Rounds (R-SD) “Gen. Mattis understands the need to wisely invest more in our defense and has a keen geostrategic awareness that is crucial to rebuilding our armed forces. I look forward to working with him to provide our armed forces with the tools they need to succeed and keep us safe.” (Press Release, “Rounds Statement on meeting with General James Mattis,” Office of Sen. Mike Rounds, 1/5/17)

Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) “It’s not every day that I get to have another Marine Corps infantry officer in my office discussing national security issues…I look forward to General Mattis’s swift confirmation so that he may begin his work restoring the focus of our nation’s military on their primary mission...” (Press Release, “Sullivan Meets with Secretary of Defense Designee General Mattis,” Office of Dan Sullivan, 1/5/17)

Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) "General James Mattis is a revered Marine, among the most dedicated and patriotic of his generation…Under General Mattis, I'm confident a new era is upon us. His concern is for the lethality and the safety of our military forces, who risk their lives on our behalf. I share these concerns, and believe General Mattis is the right person for the job. I look forward to supporting his nomination." (Press Release, “Cotton Meets with Secretary of Defense Nominee General James Mattis,” Office of Tom Cotton, 1/5/17)

Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) “General Mattis is an extraordinarily accomplished Marine officer of great intellect. His selfless service to the nation has made a lasting contribution.” (Kirstin Downey, "What Would ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis Mean For Military-Heavy Hawaii?" Honolulu Civil Beat, 1/6/17)

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Fake News Friday

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Thirty-three years past 1984, we’re living in an Orwellian world of “fake news.”

In November, the Washington Post informed readers that a “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during [the] election,” proclaiming a conclusion reached by “independent researchers.” The Post story noted, “There is no way to know whether the Russian campaign proved decisive in electing Trump . . .”

In his review for the New Yorker entitled, “The Propaganda About Russian Propaganda,” Adrian Chen skewered the Post. An obvious problem? One group of researchers cited in the Post article,, compiled a list of so-called fake news websites so broad that, “Simply exhibiting a pattern of beliefs outside the political mainstream is enough to risk being labelled a Russian propagandist.”

At The Intercept, Ben Norton and Glenn Greenwald also slammed the Post exposé. Fretting about the enormous and uncritical reach of the article,* they noted that it was “rife with obviously reckless and unproven allegations, and fundamentally shaped by shoddy, slothful journalistic tactics.”

The problem with “respected” mainstream media outlets performing drive-by journalism is the same as with the fake news they decry: real people might believe things that aren’t true.

For instance, a recent poll found most Democrats think “Russia tampered with vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected president.” That’s a position devoid of any evidence. Likewise, 72 percent of Republicans still tell pollsters they remain unconvinced President Obama was born in the U.S.

What to do? Back to the basics: let’s gather and analyze the news with healthy amounts of skepticism and a mega-dose of Common Sense.

I’ll help. I’m Paul Jacob.
* In a follow-up piece taking the Washington Post to task for what proved to be a false report on Russian hacking into the nation’s electric grid, Glenn Greenwald argues that, “[W]hile these debacles are embarrassing for the paper, they are also richly rewarding. That’s because journalists — including those at the Post — aggressively hype and promote the original, sensationalistic false stories, ensuring that they go viral, generating massive traffic for the Post . . .”
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, Fake News, Friday To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!


by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: In my Viewpoint commentary last week, I mentioned an article that profoundly influenced John Stossel. The title of the article was Rinkonomics: A window on Spontaneous Order by Daniel Klein. He used the idea of a skating rink to illustrate some important economic principles.

If we’d never seen a roller rink or skating rink, we would assume that you would need lots of organization. Imagine a 100 people skating around. It would seem that you would need smart leadership to keep skaters from injury. Of course, whenever you see a skating rink you don’t see that at all. There are some reasons for that.

An important quality governing possible collisions is “mutuality.” If I keep from colliding with you, you don’t collide with me. I promote my interest and your interest by avoiding a collision with you.

Another key concept is “coincidence of interest.” I don’t intend to promote your interest, but I end up doing so by promoting my own interest. Spontaneous order surfaces from seeking your self-interest.

It would seem that the only way to avoid collisions is to hire someone with a bullhorn to call out directions. As I mentioned in the commentary last week, John Stossel tried that. It actually made the circumstances worse.

Daniel Klein also points out that central planning gets harder the more complex the interactions. If you have 4 skaters, you could probably control all the actions with a bullhorn. But if you have 100 skaters, there is simply no way you could effectively and efficiently control all the actions.

There is a lesson here for bureaucrats and central planners. The thousands and millions of interactions in a market economy are too difficult to predict. In fact, many of the government restrictions are like a foolish central planner trying to impose restrictions on 100 skaters. It ends up interfering with the spontaneous order that naturally surfaces in skating or the economy.
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, Rinkonomics To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Georgians On Dr. Tom Price For HHS: ‘An Exceptional Choice’

Those Who Know & Have Worked Dr. Price For Years Call Him ‘One Of The Finest People In Washington’ & Laud His ‘Depth Of Experience In Healthcare’

Senior Peach State Politicians: Dr. Price Is ‘A Serious Man’ Who ‘Is A True Leader In Congress And An Exceptional Choice’

ATLANTA MAYOR KASIM REED (D): “He’s a serious man. . . [H]e’s a serious person who will study 20 hours a day, who will know the rules, who will know his membership, who is a strong vote-counter. Those are all things that I would like to know about people that I meet with on matters of consequence.” (“Tom Price, Kasim Reed And The Art Of The Deal: Georgia Edition,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12/04/2016)

SEN. JOHNNY ISAKSON (R-GA): “Tom Price is a true leader in Congress and an exceptional choice to head up the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. With his background as a practicing physician, Tom will bring real world experience and a single-minded focus on the needs of patients to this vital role. I fully support his nomination and am confident that he will put the department back to work for the American people.” (Sen. Isakson, Press Release, 11/29/2016)
SEN. DAVID PERDUE (R-GA): “Tom is a fellow Georgian who understands that we need to stop Washington's takeover of our health care system. As a doctor, he is seen as a leading voice on health care policy and has a common-sense plan to replace Obamacare that will lower costs and put patients in charge of their health care choices. I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with Tom, and there is no doubt in my mind that he will do a fantastic job improving our nation’s health care system and the lives of all Americans.” (Sen. Perdue, Press Release, 11/29/2016)
GOV. NATHAN DEAL (R-GA): “It’s a great accolade for Tom Price individually and for state of Georgia as a whole. . . He’s a very qualified and capable individual. His background and experience in both the state Legislature and the Congress equips him for the job.” (“Confirmation Appears Clear For Georgia’s Price As Health Secretary,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11/29/2016)

Georgia Lawmakers: ‘Absolutely The Best Man For The Job’; ‘His Work Ethic Is Just Something I Don’t Think Anybody Could Compete With’

“‘A lot of nights we’d be going to dinner, the lights would be on in his office and he’d be in there working,’ said U.S. Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, who served with Price on Capitol Hill and in the state Legislature. . . ‘His work ethic is just something I don’t think anybody could compete with.’” (“Tom Price: The Georgia Lawmaker Who Will Lead Trump’s Health Policy,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12/03/2016)

REP. TOM GRAVES (R-GA): “I can’t think of anyone better than Dr. Price to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As a practicing physician for more than 20 years, Tom knows the importance of the doctor-patient relationship and understands better than most why we need to keep the federal government out of that relationship. As a congressman, Tom led the charge to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a free-market system that increases choice, drives down premiums and puts patients first.” (Rep. Graves, Press Release, 11/29/2016)

REP. BARRY LOUDERMILK (R-GA): “There is no one I know better suited to lead the Department of Health and Human Services than Dr. Price. The President-elect needs someone who has a depth of experience in healthcare and a deep appreciation for the Constitution and the proper role of the federal government, and that's exactly what Tom brings to the administration.” (Rep. Loudermilk, Press Release, 11/29/2016)

REP. JODY HICE (R-GA): “Congressman Price is the right choice to reverse Obamacare’s failures. As a fellow Georgian and having served alongside Congressman Price, I am confident that he will lead the way in the Trump Administration to implement real, patient-centered healthcare solutions as Secretary of HHS.” (Rep. Hice, Press Release, 11/29/2016)

REP. BUDDY CARTER (R-GA):< “Tom Price is absolutely the best man for the job and I applaud President-elect Trump's decision. As a fellow health care professional, Tom has experienced firsthand the destruction of our health care system and knows how important it is to end the Obamacare train wreck once and for all. He has already created conservative solutions to accomplish this and repair our broken health care system to empower patients with more choices, lower costs and better services. I am confident Tom will work with Congress to ensure this becomes a reality.” (Rep. Carter, Press Release, 11/29/2016)

Medical Association President: ‘I Can’t Think Of A Better, More Qualified Candidate To Lead HHS’

MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF GEORGIA President Steven M. Walsh, M.D.: “Congressman Price has earned his reputation as a strong and credible advocate for American patients and physicians. …Dr. Price has a proven track record, he has always been open-minded and accessible, and he has a clear vision for the future… I can’t think of a better, more qualified candidate to lead HHS and protect and preserve America’s patient-centered health care system than Dr. Tom Price.” (“MAG Endorsing U.S. Rep. Tom Price, M.D., HHS Nomination,” Medical Association Of Georgia Website, Accessed 1/04/2017)
Georgia Newspapers: ‘An Absolutely Fabulous Pick’; ‘A Workhorse’ Who Is ‘Unquestionably Knowledgeable’

THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION: “[A] no-nonsense work ethic, attention to detail and an unquenchable thirst to be at the center of weighty decisions — particularly involving medical policy — has driven [Tom] Price, 62, throughout his life. . . Current and former colleagues describe Price as more of a workhorse than a back-slapper, someone who’s calculated, unquestionably knowledgeable and unafraid to go into the weeds on policy.” (“Tom Price: The Georgia Lawmaker Who Will Lead Trump’s Health Policy,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12/03/2016)
THE AUGUSTA CHRONICLE Editors: “Georgia Congressman Tom Price, a medical doctor, has been tapped to take over President Trump’s Health and Human Services Department . . . What an absolutely fabulous pick. We know Tom Price, and we can tell you he is one of the finest people in Washington. Stately, learned, experienced and down to earth, Dr. Price is just the man for what ails us.” (Editorial, “The Doctor Is In,” The Augusta Chronicle, 11/30/2016)

THE NEWNAN TIMES-HERALD Editors: “Tom Price is a solid choice to oversee health policy, and the changes he is likely to lead will be positive. President-elect Donald Trump . . . was drafting a health expert who represents Peach State values, which is a plus for us here. . . Over the last dozen years since his election, Price has worked to become an acknowledged leader on health policy.” (Editorial, “Tom Price Is A Good Pick,” The Newnan Times-Herald, 12/05/2016)
  • “During the doctor’s tenure in the state Senate, his Republican colleagues elected him their majority leader, demonstrating their respect for his character, leadership and ideas. That’s telling because it’s harder to bamboozle your colleagues who know you personally and deal with you daily in private settings.” (Editorial, “Tom Price Is A Good Pick,” The Newnan Times-Herald, 12/05/2016)

Tags: Georgians, support, Dr. Tom Price, HHS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

California’s Embarrassing Hire of Failed AG Holder to Take on Trump

by Hans von Spakovsky: The California Legislature is hiring former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to represent the state in expected fights with the new Trump administration over environmental, immigration, and criminal justice issues.

But based on Holder’s track record, don’t expect to see California racking up legal victories.

Although nobody is questioning the skills of the attorneys at Holder’s firm Covington & Burling, hiring Holder as, essentially, California’s outside counsel seems like an odd choice given that the Justice Department under Holder (and continued under Loretta Lynch) has one of the worst records of any modern presidency before the highest court in the land, the U.S. Supreme Court, losing far more cases than either of the Justice Departments of the prior Bush or Clinton presidencies.

Holder is also the only attorney general in history to be held in contempt by Congress for withholding documents related to Operation Fast and Furious, the most reckless law enforcement operation ever conducted by the Justice Department. That operation has resulted in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol agent, Brian Terry, as well as many Mexican citizens.

That also reflects poorly on Holder’s legal judgment.

Some may say that California is just preparing to do what other states like Texas have done in successfully suing the federal government during the Obama administration. But those cases are very different than what California is apparently planning to do.
The states have been suing to stop unconstitutional conduct by the executive branch when President Barack Obama failed in his duty to “faithfully execute” the law or acted unilaterally in ways that improperly changed the law.

The president does not have the authority to change, rewrite, or ignore federal laws he does not like. And federal agencies do not have the power to issue regulations outside the bounds of the statutes authorizing their conduct.

Stopping that type of misbehavior is the opposite of states attempting to obstruct enforcement of federal law or force the federal government to act outside its limited power.

For example, 26 states were successful in obtaining an injunction against Obama’s immigration amnesty plan because no president has the power to alter federal immigration law to provide amnesty and government benefits that have not been authorized by Congress or to decide that he will wholesale not enforce the law.

But California is going to try to prevent the new administration from enforcing federal immigration law despite the fact that the Constitution clearly gives Congress plenary authority over immigration and imposes a duty on the president (and thus the executive branch) to enforce the law.

Similarly, one of the reasons for California’s economic decline and severe budget shortfall problems is that it has been rated as the worst state in the country to do business in for the past 12 years in an annual survey of CEOs by the Chief Executive Network because of its high taxes and burdensome regulations.

As one CEO said in the survey, “California has been running businesses out of the state for years, and in fact, their policies are getting worse.”

Yet the state is hiring Holder to start a crusade against any efforts by the Trump administration to reduce the severe federal regulatory burden that adds to the negative effects on businesses and consumers that California already imposes.

Furthermore, the news that the California Legislature is hiring Holder came only a day after Gov. Jerry Brown nominated Rep. Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, to be California’s new state attorney general.

Neither Brown nor Kevin de Leon, the Democratic leader of the state Senate who was quoted in a New York Times article praising Holder’s retention, seemed to realize the complete lack of confidence retaining Holder shows in Becerra’s legal ability to carry out his role as attorney general—which is defending the state of California and its interests in environmental, immigration, and criminal justice issues.

This is particularly humiliating for Becerra given that he had told the Los Angeles Times that he intends to protect California’s “progressive” policies on immigration, Obamacare, energy, and criminal justice.

Becerra has already challenged the federal government, saying that “If you want to take on a forward-leaning state that is prepared to defend its rights and interests, then come at us.”

Looks like he is not going to get that chance, however, even if he is confirmed as the attorney general. Those cases will instead be handled by Holder and an entire team of lawyers at Holder’s private law firm, Covington & Burling, a premier Washington, D.C., law firm not exactly known for its low billing rates.

There is little doubt that California taxpayers, who are already living in a state with high taxes and huge budget problems, are going to get soaked for a lot of legal costs in addition to the price they already pay for the Office of the State Attorney General, which has 4,500 lawyers, investigators, police officers, and other staff.

Apparently, however, the California Legislature doubts their ability to fulfill their duties of defending the state’s interests.

All of this illustrates that the California Legislature has made a poor—but no doubt a very expensive—choice that will hurt the state.

But it is hardly surprising, I suppose, that the state would hire a former attorney general whose Justice Department did everything it could to defend the mountain of new, out-of-control regulations issued by the Obama administration in order to try to keep those economically costly regulations in place.

Nor is it shocking that an attorney general who did everything he could to avoid enforcing federal immigration law during the Obama administration will now try to help California obstruct the enforcement of federal immigration law during the Trump administration.

Holder’s goals seem to have stayed the same; it’s just the playing field that has changed.
Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. More ARRA News Service articles by or about Hans con Spakovsky

Tags: California, Hire, AG Eric Holder, Take on, President Trump,Hans von Spakovsky, The Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal 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, January 05, 2017

Obama Administration Receives Golden Fleece Award

The Obama Administration
January 2017
Golden Fleece Award
ARRA News Service: Every year, Congress appropriates trillions of dollars to fund the federal government, and every year the federal government wastes portions of these funds in unconscionable ways. Two years ago, congressman French Hill (R-AR) decided to bring back the Golden Fleece Award in an attempt to increase accountability for every single government program.

Originally introduced by U.S. Senator William Proxmire (D-WI) in March 1975, the Golden Fleece Award highlighted the most frivolous and wasteful uses oftaxpayers’ dollars.

Yesterday, Congressman Hill announced awarded the Golden Fleece Award for January, 2017 to the entire Obama Administration. A recent report by the American Action Forum found that the administration’s last minute environmental and other regulations would cost the U.S. economy $6 billion.

“Fortunately, the administration that has actively imposed billions in unnecessary regulatory costs on hardworking Americans is now taking its final breaths,” said Hill. “Today, we voted on an important measure to prevent similar actions in the future, and with an estimated $6 billion cost for the U.S. economy, this last-ditch rulemaking effort must be opposed, reviewed, and rescinded by the new administration to ensure that we put an end to these types of last-ditch efforts by a departing administration.”

Tags: Obama Administration, last minute regulations, cost, $6 Billion, Golden Fleece Award, French Hill  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Sen. Joe Manchin & EPA Administrator-Designate Scott Pruitt Meeting

Scott Pruitt with Sen. Joe Manchin 
ARRA News Service: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator-designate Scott Pruitt today met with U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (WV-D) on Capitol Hill to discuss Mr. Pruitt’s upcoming hearing before the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works committee.

Statement from EPA Administrator-designate Pruitt:
"Senator Joe Manchin and I had a very good and productive meeting today. Senator Manchin has long been a leader in advancing a balanced energy policy that both protects the environment and enables economic growth. We discussed the many ways the EPA can help the people and protect the natural environment of West Virginia and our nation. If confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to working with Senator Manchin and his colleague Senator Capito as we find the right balance that works best for the people and the environment of their very special state.”

Statement from Senator Manchin:
"Attorney General Pruitt and I had a very productive conversation today about his plans for the Environmental Protection Agency and ways we can work together. We both come from energy producing states and have a great deal in common. He committed to visiting West Virginia and working with me on some of the clean water challenges that we have experienced in recent years in cities like Vienna, Parkersburg and Charleston. I believe the Attorney General has the right experience for the position and look forward to his confirmation process.”

Tags: Senator Joe Manchin, EPA Administrator-Designate Scott Pruitt, mMeeting To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama Leaves Office With U.S., Russia on Brink of War

by Robert Romano: After President-elect Donald Trump’s historic victory in the election was announced in the early morning of Nov. 9, 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered Trump his congratulations and his hope that the crisis in U.S.-Russian relations over Syria and Ukraine could begin to come to an end.

“[Trump] spoke about resuming and restoring relations with Russia. We understand the way to that will be difficult, taking into account the current state of degradation of relations between the U.S. and Russia,” Putin said on Russian television, adding, “Russia is ready and wants to restore the fully-fledged relations with the U.S. I repeat we understand this will be difficult, but we are ready to play our part in it.”

Which, perhaps Russia truly is ready to engage in dialogue with the incoming Trump administration — if we all live that long, that is.

In the closing days of President Barack Obama’s administration, the White House has engaged in several provocative moves including expelling 35 Russian diplomats, slapping fresh sanctions on Moscow, doubling down on allegations still without evidence that Russia somehow hacked the election and insinuating that it released Democratic emails to Wikileaks to help Trump and now, U.S. troops are reported to be massing on Russia’s border in NATO ally Lithuania as Russia deploys nuclear-ready missiles in Kalingrad.

The moves come atop already high tensions over the concluding war in Syria, where Syrian and Russian forces have defeated the rebels at Aleppo, and the ongoing, unresolved conflict in Ukraine. The U.S. attempted the overthrow of Russian ally Bashar al Assad in Syria in 2013 and backed the overthrow of Russian-backed Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine in 2014 — where Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland was apparently caught on tape helping to organize the coup — which immediately preceded Russia’s backing the secession of Crimea from Ukraine. These failed U.S. interventions destabilized both regions, risking a wider war between the U.S. and Russia.

Now with just 15 days left in his term of office, Obama seems determined to escalate tensions even further while diplomatic relations with Moscow have deteriorated. In December, Russian spokesperson Dmitri Peskov said, “Almost every level of dialogue with the United States is frozen. We don’t communicate with one another, or (if we do), we do so minimally.”

What a departure from the Obama of 2008, who in the presidential debates with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) declared that “The notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them… is ridiculous.” Now, on his way out the door, Obama has seemingly terminated diplomatic relations with Russia, all but restarting the Cold War.

It has all the appearances of an attempt to box in the incoming Trump administration. Now, when Trump reaches out to deescalate tensions with Moscow — as he campaigned on — it will be portrayed as payback by Trump to Putin for the unproven hacking. Democratic leaders ranging from Hillary Clinton to Harry Reid to Madeleine Albright on the campaign trail all but accused Trump of acting on behalf of a foreign agent as a Manchurian candidate.

There’s a word for all this: Paranoia.

Except, the Obama administration on the eve of Trump’s inauguration is manufacturing intelligence assessments alleging Russia was intervening in the elections to defeat Hillary Clinton — to make it seem real.

Yet one cannot help but wonder what if the hacking charges are actually wrong? Wouldn’t that mean Obama has brought the nation to the brink of war to sustain a political talking point from the failed Hillary Clinton campaign? All of the initial claims of Russian hacking originated, not from intelligence officials, but from the Democratic National Committee in June 2016 and the Hillary Clinton campaign in Sept. 2015 when it had to do with her private email server and by Oct. 2016 when it came to the Podesta emails it was simply assumed to be the case. It was afterward that Obama then stepped in with the intelligence assessments, seemingly designed to bolster those claims and raise the fear factor.

In the meantime, the evidence, which is flimsy, has not been presented to the American people in any meaningful way. What was presented on Dec. 29 by the intelligence community simply mirrored the same allegations that were already in the public sphere by hired firms and private technical experts but has not been conclusive.Those allegations were of the hacker group, Guccifer 2.0 from June 2016, but not Wikileaks, whose disclosures did not come until a month later. Guccifer 2.0 did bizarrely claim it was giving stuff to Wikileaks, but that was denied by Wikileaks. In an interview on Sean Hannity’s radio program on Dec. 15, Hannity specifically asked Julian Assange about Guccifer 2.0 and, and Assange said, “who’s behind these [sites], we don’t know.” Hannity explicitly asked if Assange knew them, and Assange said, “No,” indicating they were in fact not the source for Wikileaks’ DNC and Podesta releases. The link between the two has never been proven but it is the link everyone is relying on.

Critically, nothing new was presented. What purpose did Obama ordering the Dec. 29 disclosure serve, that is, other than to box in Trump with the insinuation that he’s a Russian plant and to damage his stated policy? No real case has been made and it’s been about six months since the initial allegations.

The road to war we appear on, though, is very real. The evidence is all around us. And it’s incredibly dangerous. Together, the U.S. and Russia sit on almost 94 percent of the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons — about 7,000 apiece — enough to kill us all many times over.

In 1994, analysts Len Scott and Steve Smith writing for International Affairs took a fresh look at the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, attacking the conventional view that U.S. brinksmanship had forced the Soviets to remove nuclear missiles from Cuba, instead finding that “recent sources seem to show absolutely clearly that U.S. decision-makers were extremely worried about the prospect of any Soviet nuclear response, so much so that the result was to nullify the enormous nuclear superiority that the United States enjoyed at the time,” citing McGeorge Bundy, Special Assistant for National Security Affairs at the time, who argued that nuclear superiority was not important in resolving the crisis, mutual vulnerability was.

In the decades that followed, relations with Russia eventually warmed, leading to détente and the Strategic Arms Limitations Treaties. Yes, there was an escalation in the early 1980s, but it was followed by the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War.

Those diplomatic achievements were accomplishments that occurred at the height of the Cold War, despite the differences between the two countries and the ever-present threat of mutually assured destruction. They did not come about because of shared values by the U.S. and Russia, but from common interests in reducing the threat of annihilation.

The reason for the U.S. and Russia to talk and keep that dialogue going now is not because of affinity with Russian leaders, but because that threat remains present. Mutual survival is at stake. Both countries are just as vulnerable today to an attack by the other, but now we lack diplomacy and there is more than one potential hotspot to contend with that could escalate. The two nuclear superpowers of the world not communicating in itself is dangerous, not desirable.

Yet who’s worried about war today? Apparently not Obama. He’s too busy fomenting a diplomatic crisis and playing brinksmanship with Moscow when he has a little more than two weeks left in office — all in an apparent attempt to delegitimize the incoming Trump administration.

Where are the cooler heads in Congress and in Washington, D.C.? Policymakers who should know better and ought to be on red alert right now are tepidly silent amid this obvious escalation on Obama’s part.

Even Republican leaders like House Speaker Paul Ryan, who one might think would be cautious in blindly accepting the premise being put forth by the Obama administration that incoming President Trump might be a Russian puppet, appears anxious to seem tough on Russia amid the hacking claims. Appearing on the Hugh Hewitt radio program, Ryan charged — without evidence — that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has denied Russian involvement in the release of the Democratic emails, is a Russian asset, saying, “I think the guy is a sycophant for Russia.” Guess Ryan thinks Russia stole the election for Trump, too. Way to cool tensions, there.

And forget about the Democrats. They’ve lost their minds.

Or worse, they’re treating it like it’s just a game. There is a certain arrogance, self-assuredness to do with this Russian question from U.S. leaders that ought to be alarming. Where is the counterpoint from Congress? The mainstream media? The foreign policy establishment? The stakes could not be higher.

Jan. 20 cannot get here fast enough, when we suppose it will be up to President Trump to resolve this crisis, not as payback, but for all of our safety. In the meantime, hopefully Obama will find the sedatives in the medicine cabinet.
Robert Romano is the Senior Editor of Americans for Limited Government. His article was first shared on the ALG's NetRight Daily blog.

Tags: Robert Romano, Americans For Limited Government, Barrack Obama, Leaves Office, U.S., Russia, Brink of War 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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  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
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