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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 19, 2018

Government Shutdown Begins

Far-Left Demands ‘Governmental Chaos’

And Sen. Schumer & Senate Democrats Deliver With A Government Shut Down!!

Much of the federal government officially will be shut down early Saturday morning. Senate Democrats, in the face of a clear political danger, blocked consideration of a stopgap spending measure to keep the government operating.

SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): “This vote should be a ‘no-brainer.’ And it would be – except that the Democratic Leader has convinced his members to filibuster any funding bill that doesn’t include legislation they are demanding for people who came to the United States illegally. What has been shoehorned into this discussion is an insistence that we deal with an illegal immigration issue. He’s insisted that he won’t support any legislation at all for the American people – no matter how noncontroversial or how bipartisan – unless we pass a bill on illegal immigration first. If that means shutting down funding for veterans, military families, opioid treatment centers, and even federal grants to his home state of New York — so be it. If it means throwing a wrench into the gears of the U.S. economy, just as Americans are starting to feel the benefits of historic tax reform – so be it. If it means failing to renew the children’s health program which the House-passed bill funded for a full six years — apparently that’s just fine with those on the other side.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 1/19/2018)

Liberal: Democrats ‘Have To Be Willing To Go All The Way To Government Shutdown’

“The Battle Over DACA Reaches a Fever Pitch: Democrats punted the immigration fight in December, but with another shutdown deadline looming, Dreamer activists are warning them not to do so again.” (“The Battle Over DACA Reaches A Fever Pitch,” The Atlantic, 1/9/2018)
“The January battle to keep the government open is the fight Democrats have been itching for. On three occasions in recent months, Democrats punted on some of their top priorities as the GOP passed short-term funding bills — a strategy that outraged liberals eager for confrontation on issues like immigration…” (“Itching For A Fight, Dems Vow To Hold The Line,” The Hill, 1/3/2018)
FLASHBACK

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “…basically, it's sort of like this. Someone goes into your house, takes your wife and children hostage and then, says, let's negotiate over the price of your house. You know, we could do the same thing on immigration. We believe strongly in immigration reform. We could say, ‘we’re shutting down the government, we’re not gonna raise the debt ceiling, until you pass immigration reform.’ It would be governmental chaos.” (ABC’s “This Week,” 10/6/13)

Tags: Chuck Schumer, democrats, deliver, government shutdown, Government Closed for Business To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Rep. Gaetz on FISAGate Memo: I Believe People 'Will Go to Jail'

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-FL-1
by Debra Heine: Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) says that when the details of an explosive four-page memo become known, not only are some Obama holdovers currently serving in the Trump administration going to get fired, they are going to jail.

The House Intelligence Committee passed a motion along party lines Thursday to allow all House members to have access to the report alleging extensive "FISA abuse" related to the unverified Dirty Dossier.

Republican lawmakers who viewed the classified document are now calling for its immediate release.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and investigative journalist Sara Carter were on Fox News's Hannity Thursday night to talk about the bombshell memo.

"What I read today in that classified briefing room was as bad as I thought it was," said Jordan. "And every single American citizen should have the ability to see that information to know exactly what our FBI was up to."

Rep. Gaetz described the memo as having "elements of a palace coup."

"It is abundantly clear that the entire Mueller investigation is a lie built on a foundation of corruption -- and what is so important is that we get this information into the public square," he said. "The best disinfectant for this corruption is going to be sunshine."

Hannity asked his guests if he has been "over the target" in his many months of reporting on the Obama regime's surveillance and unmasking schemes.

"We can't get into the specific information," Gaetz said. "But I can tell you I am as certain as ever that the claims we have been making are accurate claims, that there's intelligence information that backs it up, and that there has been a real attempt to undermine this president -- and it has come from the scariest of places. Some of the very people we have been talking about will be exposed. And the key reason that all Americans need to see this memo is it names names. It says who was involved with who."

Sara Carter said the information she's been hearing about is "far worse" than anything she thought could have happened.

"And from what I've been told, senior government officials may be removed from office -- may be fired," she said. "I don't know how far this will go."

Hannity agreed that the scandal would result in officials getting fired, but Rep. Gaetz went a step further.

"I think that this will end not just with firings," he said. "I believe there are people who will go to jail."

"I was very persuaded by the evidence and it also became clear to me why Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham felt it so important to refer this matter for criminal prosecution," he said. "You don't get to try to undermine our country -- undermine our elections -- and then simply get fired. So I think there will be criminal implications here."

Gaetz continued: "Every single Democrat on the Intelligence Committee voted against even letting other members of Congress see this information. So you know they're going to fight against release to the American people. What are the Democrats so afraid of?!"

He proceeded to answer his own question: "It just seems interesting to me that Democrats don't want us to know what the entire basis was in the first place for the Mueller probe," he said.

Hannity asked Gaetz if he thinks Mueller needs to disband.

"Absolutely," Gaetz answered. "This was a lie built on corruption built on a sham. The entire investigation is a fiction -- it's a fallacy. And when the American people see how this began -- when the American people see how different people interacted with one another, how organizations were infected and infiltrated and subjected to tremendous bias of individuals and how that all played out -- I think every American will understand how absolutely ludicrous it is that we continue to allow the Mueller probe to go forward. It needs to end because the entire basis is a lie," he declared.

Carter said that when the document goes public, "I do believe it will be the unraveling of the Mueller probe." She added, "And I've been hearing that from other sources."

Carter went on to say that congressional members who have read the memo have told her that "the collusion appears to be between certain members of the FBI and the DOJ and the Hillary Clinton campaign, and that the foundation of this was all based on lies."

Carter noted that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein "was withholding this information for a very long time."

She added, "I would like to know how Sidney Blumenthal plays into all of this because I think that is going to be a very telling revelation when all of this comes out.

------------------
Debra Heine is a Catholic, mom of six and long time political pundit. She has written for PJ Media and several blogs including her own, Nice Deb!

Tags: Debra Heine, PJ Media, Rep. Gaetz, FISAGate Memo, 'People 'Will Go to Jail' To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

President Trump’s First Year

by Newt Gingrich: January 20 is the first anniversary of President Trump’s inauguration.

I have known nine presidents, beginning with President Richard Nixon. Of those nine presidents, the only one who was as effective as President Trump in his first year was President Ronald Reagan.

That judgment may surprise a lot of people because the opposition in the news media and among the left-wing “resistance” has been so strong and one-sided that they have consistently misrepresented and maligned President Trump and his administration.

This effort has produced a distorted, minimized view of what has been accomplished by this remarkably energetic and controversial Commander in Chief in the White House.

To understand the current distortions, remember what a year ago was like.

In January 2017, it seemed amazing that this businessman-publicist-marketer defeated 16 other Republicans for the GOP nomination and then defeated former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

It seemed equally extraordinary that he won the general elections in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. These were states which had consistently voted for Democratic presidential candidates in recent years. One could have made a lot of money betting on the entire trifecta going to Trump.

These achievements sent the Left into a state of shock. The day after President Trump’s inauguration, they organized mass rallies in Washington and other cities across the country. Left-wing protestors promised “resistance” to the so-called “imposter,” who they simply could not accept as President of the United States. At the rally on the National Mall, Madonna proclaimed, “I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.” The crowd loved it.

Professor Allen Guelzo, the Henry R. Luce Professor of the Civil War Era and Director of Civil War Era Studies at Gettysburg College, commented that the last time we saw this depth of hostility and contempt for a president was after the election of Abraham Lincoln. The slave owners in South Carolina and other parts of the South absolutely loathed him.

One year after President Trump’s inauguration, the Left’s hostility toward him is even worse.

The White House Press Corps’ reaction to White House physician Dr. Ronny Jackson’s briefing on President Trump’s annual physical was a perfect example of this hostility. The media’s antagonistic (and just plain stupid) questions proved the propaganda war against Trump was not going away.

After a highly-respected Navy Rear Admiral, who served as White House physician in both the Bush and Obama White Houses, clearly and explicitly reported to the media that President Trump was in excellent physical health for his age – and that he had completed a flawless cognitive exam – the White House Press Corps doggedly repeated ludicrous questions, clearly seeking to undermine the doctor’s assessment and skew his report to fit the phony narrative that the President is “unfit for office.”

This TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome), unfortunately, has become a major barrier to accurate coverage of the Trump Presidency.

So, in a highly polarized world of intense media hostility with overwhelmingly negative coverage of President Trump, how can we assess his first year?

The best way is to look at results and measure them against what candidate Trump said he would try to accomplish.

Trump promised to appoint conservative judges to the federal courts. With advice from Leonard Leo, Executive Vice President of the Federalist Society and remarkable leadership in the Senate by Mitch McConnell, President Trump has delivered Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, a justice dramatically more conservative than anyone Hillary Clinton would have appointed. Additionally, in Trump’s first 12 months, 12 Appellate Court Judges have been approved by the Senate. As Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) pointed out, no other first-year president has seated this many Appellate Court Judges in the 228-year history of the court.

Trump is also now, without question, the all-time champion of rolling back red tape as he has taken on the Washington bureaucracy and deregulating. Under President Trump, the Congress has eliminated 14 Obama-era regulations through the Congressional Review Act. The current estimate is that the Trump Administration is repealing 22 regulations for every new one it has created. This is a major contribution to economic growth and a big plus in implementing campaign promises.

Trump promised a new, smarter, lower-risk strategy to enable the military to do its job and defeat ISIS. ISIS has lost virtually all its territory at minimum risk. This is yet another promise kept.

Iran and North Korea must be considered works in progress. Neither problem has been solved but neither has imposed its will, as of this writing.

Announcing that the Israeli Embassy would be moved to Jerusalem is another campaign promise in which Trump followed through, and it doesn’t seem to have caused any major disruption in the Arab world.

Trump’s instincts for rebuilding the American military are right, but he has not yet solved the problem of getting the Congress to pass the stable funding stream the military must have.

On the other hand, Trump methodically waged a disciplined 11-month campaign to get the large tax cut he believes the American economy needs if it is to grow faster.

The response of the American business community to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has been more positive and more visible than anyone could have hoped.

He is also making good on his pledge to make better trade deals for America. Saudi Arabia alone signed as much as $400 billion in contracts with American companies during Trump’s visit to Riyadh.

As a result of President Trump’s economic leadership, the “new normal” of less than 2 percent annual economic growth is rapidly being replaced by estimates in the range of 3.5 to 4 percent.

At the same time, the black unemployment rate is down dramatically, and CEO and small business confidence are up dramatically.

The first year has seen some disappointments. Failing to repeal Obamacare was painful. Not even getting started on infrastructure has been disappointing. Failing to develop conservative solutions for poverty in America has been unfortunate. Allowing the symbolic language and arguments about race to drive people apart has been counter to the promise inherent in Trump’s Inaugural Address.

However, on balance, it is fair to say President Trump has already achieved so much that he rivals Reagan as an effective, focused leader, and we are incredibly fortunate to have him in the White House as our nation’s 45th President.
----------------------
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,  President Trump, First Year, analysis To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Democrats Shutdown Would Have ‘A Terrible Impact’ On Our Military

Defense Secretary Mattis Warns:
 A Government Shutdown Will ‘Shut Down’ Maintenance, ‘Stop’ Intelligence Operations, ‘Stop’ Reserves Training

Defense Secretary James Mattis
Q: “Secretary Mattis, one last question. Will a government shutdown have serious ramifications on military operations …?” … SECRETARY OF DEFENSE JAMES MATTIS: “Yes … it’s got a terrible impact.” (Secretary Mattis, Press Conference, 1/19/2018)

SECDEF MATTIS: In A Shut Down ‘Over 50% Altogether Of My Civilian Workforce Will Be Furloughed’ – That’s 300,000+ Americans

Total number of Department of Defense civilians: 693,684 (“Military And Civilian Personnel By Service/Agency By State/Country,” Defense Manpower Data Center, September 2017)

SECRETARY MATTIS: “There’s any number of projects we have underway that keep me at the top of my game and our military at the top of our game that are handled by civilians. All these things are going to be disrupted…. Over 50% altogether of my civilian workforce will be furloughed. And that’s going to impact our contracting. It’ll impact, obviously, our medical facilities.” (Secretary Mattis, Press Conference, 1/19/2018)
SECRETARY MATTIS: “And I would just tell you that training for almost our entire reserve force will stop. And you must understand the critical importance of our reserves: they’re the only shock absorber we have. It’s not like the old days where you could draft somebody in and 18 weeks later have them in combat with the skills they need [as] today’s infantrymen…. They still take a year to train in order to have them ready to use the gear they have on them and make certain they have the ethical and tactical abilities to deal with the battlefield today.” (Secretary Mattis, Press Conference, 1/19/2018)
  • SEC. MATTIS: “Those troops [going to do their weekend duty] will arrive there at their armories, by the way, and [will be] told, ‘Go home’ if there’s a government shutdown …” (Secretary Mattis, Press Conference, 1/19/2018)
SECRETARY MATTIS: “…for those out there right now in the field, at sea, in the air, the ones sitting in the ready room over here at Andrews Air Force Base, I just tell you that they deserve full support and we have got to come to grips with this as a nation.” (Secretary Mattis, Press Conference, 1/19/2018)
  • SEC. MATTIS: “It’s got a huge morale impact, I’ll just tell you. How long can you keep good people around when something like this happens? It is always a question that’s got to hover in the back of my mind.” (Secretary Mattis, Press Conference, 1/19/2018)
  • SEC. MATTIS: “…the value of the American military is grossly enhanced by the sense that the American model of government—of the people, by the people, for the people—can function and carry out its governmental responsibilities….” (Secretary Mattis, Press Conference, 1/19/2018)

Tags: Defense Secretary Mattis, Warns, A Government Shutdown, Will ‘Shut Down’ Maintenance, ‘Stop’ Intelligence Operations, ‘Stop’ Reserves Training To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

NPR Accuses LA Times Boss Of Sexual Misconduct

by Daniel Greenfield: NPR is the media outlet that you would least associate with sexual harassment. And yet it's taken the most causalities in the #MeToo wars. NPR has seen more top staff embroiled in sexual misconduct allegations than any other media outlet.

So now it's fighting back. By going after the LA Times.

The Los Angeles Times has given prominent coverage to recent revelations of sexual harassment of women by prominent men, particularly in entertainment and media. Yet a review by NPR finds that the newspaper's own CEO and publisher, Ross Levinsohn, has been a defendant in two sexual harassment lawsuits and that his conduct in work settings over the past two decades has been called into question repeatedly by female colleagues.The Los Angeles Times has given prominent coverage... it's not hard to pick up the subtext. It's throwing stones while living in a glass office.

Among the accusations:
Levinsohn was sued in separate sexual harassment lawsuits as an executive at two different corporations. By his own sworn testimony, Levinsohn admitted to rating the relative "hotness" of his female colleagues in office banter as a vice president at a digital media company. He also testified that he speculated about whether a woman who worked for him there was a stripper on the side.

Two witnesses say they were shocked to see Levinsohn aggressively kissing and pressing himself against a woman at a glitzy music industry dinner in plain view of his subordinates and his clients. Levinsohn was married at the time.

Levinsohn once told an executive for the Hollywood Reporter he would not stay at the publication's lunch honoring the entertainment business's most influential fashion stylists because he would have to be surrounded by gays — using a vulgar epithet for them, according to the executive.
Only the first of the accusations is even related to sexual harassment. But much of the #MeToo movement has consisted of a jumble of innuendo and accusations. When the media left rose up as one to defend Aziz Ansari, on account of his perceived religion, they forgot that they had been running the same kind of material before. But we've always been at war with the hashtag is the left's usual pattern.

Now we've got NPR, which was mired in sexual misconduct accusations, accusing the LA Times.
In a telephone call he initiated Wednesday with NPR's CEO, Jarl Mohn, Levinsohn called those allegations "lies" and said he would retain legal counsel if he felt NPR had disparaged him. NPR sent detailed questions to Tronc's chief executive and public affairs staffers early Wednesday morning. The crisis management strategist Charles Sipkins issued a statement on Tronc's behalf Thursday afternoon saying Levinsohn had been placed under investigation by the corporation after the story was posted.It's highly unlikely that the LA Times' parent corp hadn't known about his past record. It's very telling that he called the CEO of NPR. This is a very blatant cross-media feud. And everyone involved in it is a hypocrite.
------------------
Daniel Greenfield is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

Tags: Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Mag, NPR, Accuses, Los Angeles Times, boss, Ross Levinsohn, a defendant. two sexual harassment lawsuits, sexual misconduct To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

57.9% of Illegals Caught at U.S.-Mexico Border in FY17 Not Mexican; From 111 Other Countries

A bollard style border fence in
the Border Patrol's El Paso Sector
 
by Terence Jeffrey: Only 42.1 percent of the “deportable aliens” that the U.S. Border Patrol apprehended along the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal 2017 were citizens of Mexico, according to data collected by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

A significant majority—57.9 percent—came from 111 other countries.

In fact, during fiscal year 2017, the Border Patrol apprehended deportable aliens along the U.S.-Mexico border who came from 84 countries that are not in the Americas.

In fiscal 2017, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol apprehended a total of 310,531 “deportable aliens” in all 20 Border Patrol sectors. (These include nine sectors along the Southwest Border with Mexico, eight along the Northern Border with Canada, and three along the nation’s Coastal Border.)

Of the total 310,531 “deportable aliens” the Border Patrol apprehended, 303,916 (or about 97.9 percent) were apprehended in the nine sectors along the Southwest Border with Mexico.

Of these 303,916 deportable aliens apprehended along the Southwest Border, 175,978 (or 57.9 percent) were citizens of countries other than Mexico and 127,938 (or 42.1 percent) were citizens of Mexico.

The top three countries that ranked after Mexico for having their citizens apprehended as deportable aliens along the U.S.-Mexico border were Central American countries. These were Guatemala (65,871), El Salvador (49,760) and Honduras (47,260), which ranked second, third and fourth.

But India ranked fifth.

In fiscal 2017, the Border Patrol apprehended along the Southwest Border 2,963 deportable aliens who were citizens of India.

In fact, the Border Patrol apprehended more citizens of India in its nine sectors along the U.S.-Mexico border than citizens of Brazil (2,621) or Ecuador (1,429), which ranked sixth and seventh for having deportable aliens apprehended on the Southwest Border.

The Peoples Republic of China ranked eighth, with the Border Patrol apprehending 1,364 Chinese citizens along the Southwest Border in fiscal 2017.

That put China ahead of Nicaragua, which ranked ninth. The Border Patrol apprehended 1,057 Nicaraguans along the Southwest Border in fiscal 2017.

Among the Top 41 countries whose citizens were apprehended by the Border Patrol along the Southwest Border, 21 were not in the Americas.

In addition to India (2,943) and China (1,364), these included Nepal (647), Bangladesh (564), Romania (433), Pakistan (224), Albania (49), Vietnam (49), Somalia (48), Sri Lanka (48), Kosovo (45), Turkey (35), Nigeria (28), Ghana (14), Afghanistan (14), Saudi Arabia (14), Israel (11), Jordan (10), South Korea (10), France (9), and Hungary (9).

Notably, the deportable aliens from Nepal (647), Bangladesh (564), Romania (433) and Pakistan (224) that the Border Patrol apprehended along the Southwest border in fiscal 2017 exceeded those apprehended from Columbia (196), Dominican Republic (181), Cuba (147), Venezuela (73) and Haiti (57).

Additionally, the Border Patrol apprehended deportable aliens who are citizens of nations outside the Americas more often at the U.S.-Mexico border than at the Northern Border or the Coastal Border.

For example, while the Border Patrol apprehended 2,943 Indian citizens at the Southwest Border, it apprehended only 168 at the Northern Border, and 24 at the Coastal Border. Similarly, the Border Patrol apprehended 1,364 Chinese citizens at the Southwest Border, but only 32 at the Northern Border and 17 at the Coastal Border.

The Border Patrol apprehended 647 Nepalese at the Southwest Border, but only 1 at the Northern Border and none at the Coastal Border. It apprehended 564 Bangladeshis at the Southwest Border, but only 9 at the Northern Border, and 1 at the Coastal Border.

The Border Patrol apprehended 433 Romanians at the Southwest Border, but only 13 at the Northern Border and only 4 at the Coastal Border. It apprehended 224 Pakistanis at the Southwest Border, but only 9 at the Northern Border and none at the Coastal Border.

According to the Department of Homeland Security an apprehension is: “The arrest of a removable alien by the Department of Homeland Security. Each apprehension of the same alien in a fiscal year is counted separately."

According to DHS, the term “deportable aliens” includes “any alien illegally in the United States, regardless of whether the alien entered the country by fraud or misrepresentation or entered legally but subsequently lost legal status.”
----------------------
Terence P. Jeffrey is editor-in-chief of the conservative CNSNews.com. Previously, he served for more than a decade as editor of Human Events where he is now an editor at large.

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Jan. 19, 2018 -- March For Life, Pro-Life America, #ReleaseTheMemo

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: March For Life - In spite of headlines about shutdowns and power plays, the most unselfish movement in America, the pro-life movement, came to Washington, D.C., today. This movement seeks nothing for itself. It serves only to give voice to the most defenseless human beings in our society, innocent unborn children.

Today, pro-life Americans will take a stand for the sanctity of life by marching through the streets of Washington . . . in the middle of winter, just as they have done year after year for the past 45 years since Roe v. Wade was decided. That speaks volumes about the dedication and determination of the pro-life movement.

Here's a fake news prediction: They will come in the hundreds of thousands. At various places in the march, usually at the Supreme Court, there will be 50 or perhaps even 100 pro-abortion demonstrators. And the headlines in tomorrow's papers, if they cover the march at all, will be something like: "Anti-Choice & Pro-Choice Demonstrators Converge On Washington."

Sadly, hundreds of thousands of pro-life marchers and a few dozen pro-abortion supporters will be presented as if they were two equal crowds.

Whatever happens today, the marchers should take great joy in the tremendous changes that have taken place here in recent years. Not long ago, they marched through Washington when this city was dominated by the most pro-abortion president in history.

Barack Obama once infamously said that trying to determine when a baby deserved human rights was "above my paygrade." Talk about denying science! The science on when life begins IS settled.

Nevertheless, for eight long years Obama used the full power of every agency of the federal government to promote, subsidize and legitimize the taking of innocent human life. He used the full power of the federal government to force people of conscience to be complicit in abortion.

The same Justice Department that spied on the Trump campaign (see below) also brought all its power down on Catholic nuns, demanding that the Little Sisters of the Poor pay for abortion-inducing drugs.

Today, these marchers will arrive in a very different Washington, D.C. They will be addressed live via telecast for the first time ever by a president who is putting pro-life judges on our courts and who are committed to repealing Barack Obama's pro-abortion legacy.

Wherever you are today, I hope you will do something in your community to support the sanctity of life. Drop by your local pregnancy resource center and offer to volunteer or make a donation.

Call your pastor and encourage him to teach about the many passages of Scripture that uphold the sanctity of life. ("Now choose life, so that you and your children may live." Deuteronomy 30:19)

Look for pro-life candidates to support. If a candidate is not pro-life, he is not likely to be reliable on other issues you care about.

And, most importantly, pray that sometime soon every child will be protected by the law and welcomed into the world as part of the American family.

Pro-Life America - A new survey conducted by the Marist Institute for the Knights of Columbus finds that in spite of the popular culture, pro-life values are widely shared by many Americans. Here are some findings from the poll:
  • 56% of those surveyed said abortion was "morally wrong."
  • 60% oppose the use of tax dollars to pay for abortions.
  • Just 12% supported the idea of abortion-on-demand at any time during pregnancy, the official position of the Democrat Party.
  • In stark contrast, 76% of those surveyed supported significant restrictions on abortion, such as a ban on late-term abortions or limiting abortion to very rare circumstances.
#ReleaseTheMemo - Washington is buzzing today about a "devastating report" compiled by the House Intelligence Committee detailing widespread abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by top officials of the Obama FBI and Justice Department. The abuse reportedly relates to how secret warrants were obtained to spy on the Trump campaign.

Sources tell investigative reporter Sara Carter that the report is "explosive" and could very well result in numerous officials being forced out of government. Several members of Congress who have read the report are demanding that it be released to the public.

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) described the report as "troubling" and "shocking." "Part of me wishes that I didn't read it because I don't want to believe that those kinds of things could be happening in this country," Meadows said.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said, "The classified report . . . is deeply troubling and raises serious questions about the upper echelon of the Obama DOJ and Comey FBI."

"You think about, 'Is this happening in America or is this the KGB?' That's how alarming it is," Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) said.

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told Sean Hannity, "I believe there are people who will go to jail."

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) called the report "sickening" and "worse than Watergate."

This is not a hard call for congressional leaders. Release the report and demand accountability!

We have been focused on collusion with Russia, for which there is no evidence. This appears to be evidence of people who wanted us to become Russia -- using the power of government to crush political opponents.
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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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Forty-Five Years Of An American Holocaust

Order our Pro-Life Package:
Includes “A Case For The Life Of The Unborn” 
& President Ronald Reagan’s classic treatise
 “Abortion & The Conscience Of The Nation."
by Dr. Chuck Baldwin: Next Monday, January 22, will be the forty-fifth anniversary of the Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton Supreme Court decisions legalizing abortion-on-demand. Forty-five years! Since those dreadful decisions, over 60 million helpless innocent unborn babies have been mercilessly (but legally) slaughtered in the wombs of their mothers.

Think about it: An American fifty years of age or younger has no conscious recollection of a country where abortion-on-demand was NOT legal. And the truth is, both major parties and the vast majority of America’s pastors and churches are equally culpable for this slaughter of innocents.

The Republican Party touts itself as being "pro-life." The claim is so much hot air. The Supreme Court that voted to legalize abortion-on-demand in the Roe decision was dominated by Republican appointments by a margin of 6 - 3. And 5 of those Republican appointments (Harry Blackman, Warren Burger, William Brennan, Potter Stewart, and Lewis Powell, Jr.) voted in favor of Roe, which means the votes of the Democrat-appointed justices were not even needed to pass Roe. For the record, two Democrats voted in support of Roe (William Douglas and Thurgood Marshall), and one Democrat voted against Roe (Byron White). And the only Republican to vote against Roe was William Rehnquist.

Beyond that, the GOP controlled the entire federal government for six of G.W. Bush's eight years in office—and they controlled the entire federal government for the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency. They did nothing about Roe v Wade under Bush, and they have done NOTHING about Roe v Wade under Trump.

While Ron Paul was a congressman, he would routinely introduce the "Sanctity of Life Act”; and every year the GOP leadership in Congress let the bill collect dust in the document room and die. And President Bush never once voiced his support for the bill. NOT ONCE. This past year, Senator Rand Paul introduced the “Life at Conception Act,” and just as did Bush, Donald Trump has done NOTHING to promote the bill, and Republican leaders again made sure the bill went nowhere.

Had Ron Paul's bill become law, it would have 1) defined life as beginning at conception, and 2) under Article. III. Section. 2. of the U.S. Constitution, completely removed abortion from the jurisdiction of the Court, thereby overturning Roe v Wade. All of this talk about nothing can be done about abortion-on-demand until some magical configuration of the Supreme Court decides to overturn it is just smoke and mirrors. Congress and the President could end abortion-on-demand anytime they wanted to. Plus, never forget that the Supreme Court has been dominated by Republican appointments ever since the Roe decision in 1973—and nothing has been done to overturn Roe. NOTHING!

To add insult to injury, these national "pro-life" organizations like the “National Right To Life Committee,” “Focus On The Family,” and the “U.S. Conference Of Catholic Bishops”—and their affiliates at the State level—have consistently OPPOSED Dr. Paul’s “Sanctity of Life Act” and State personhood bills. Their reasoning goes something like this: “Since it was a Supreme Court ruling that instituted abortion-on-demand, we must wait for the U.S. Supreme Court to issue a ruling reversing the decision.” Such reasoning is Balderdash!

In 1857, the Supreme Court issued its dreadful Dred Scott decision, saying that African slaves were “so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic whenever a profit could be made by it.”

Now please tell me, when was the Dred Scott decision ever reversed by the Supreme Court? It wasn’t! The Supreme Court never reversed the Dred Scott decision. It was reversed by the passage of the 14th Amendment in 1868. And as you know, a constitutional amendment is an act of the U.S. Congress proposing—and the individual states approving—an amendment. In other words, the Supreme Court wasn’t involved in the remedy AT ALL.

It is the responsibility of each branch of Congress to serve as a check and balance to the other two branches. In other words, when the Supreme Court issues an unconstitutional ruling (which the Roe and Doe decisions certainly are), it is the duty of the other two branches, especially Congress, to correct the abridgments of the judicial branch. Why else would Article. III. Section. 2. (along with other provisions) even be in the U.S. Constitution? To suggest that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter of the Constitution is antithetical to everything America is founded on.

I submit that if the Supreme Court is the lone arbiter of the Constitution, the oaths that a President and members of Congress take to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” are absolutely moot and meaningless. Why take an oath to something you have no obligation to or responsibility for? If the Supreme Court alone is the arbiter of the Constitution, the other two branches of government are totally unnecessary.

Here is what Thomas Jefferson wrote regarding this fallacious doctrine of judicial supremacy:
"The question whether the judges are invested with exclusive authority to decide on the constitutionality of a law has been heretofore a subject of consideration with me in the exercise of official duties. Certainly there is not a word in the Constitution which has given that power to them more than to the Executive or Legislative branches." (Thomas Jefferson to W. H. Torrance, 1815)

"[The Constitution] meant that its coordinate branches should be checks on each other. But the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and Executive also in their spheres, would make the Judiciary a despotic branch." (Thomas Jefferson to Abigail Adams, 1804)

"To consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions [is] a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps. . . . And their power the more dangerous as they are in office for life, and not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the elective controul. The Constitution has erected no such single tribunal knowing that, to whatever hands confided, with the corruptions of time & party its members would become despots. It has more wisely made all the departments co-equal and co-sovereign within themselves." (Thomas Jefferson to William C. Jarvis, 1820)

"In denying the right [the Supreme Court usurps] of exclusively explaining the Constitution . . . then indeed is our Constitution a complete [act of suicide]. For intending to establish three departments, coordinate and independant, that they might check and balance one another, it has given according to this opinion, to one of them alone the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others; and to that one too which is unelected by, and independent of, the nation. . . . The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape in to any form they please." (Thomas Jefferson to Spencer Roane, 1819)
These so-called pro-life organizations have been waiting around for forty-five years for the magical configuration of the Supreme Court to reverse Roe. And in the meantime, over 60 million unborn babies have died. And again I remind you that the Republican Party has dominated the appointments to the Supreme Court during the years following the Roe and Doe decisions in 1973—and continues to dominate the makeup of the Court today.

Also digest this: These national “pro-life” organizations commonly have retirement benefits built into the contracts of their staff. What does that tell you? It tells me that these organizations have no intention or expectation of Roe v Wade being reversed. I personally believe these "pro-life" groups care NOTHING about ending abortion, because if that actually happened, they wouldn't be able to continue to suck millions of dollars annually from pro-life Christians and conservatives and, thus, keep their plush jobs intact.

At the national and State levels, these so-called pro-life organizations lobby AGAINST personhood bills and bills such as Ron Paul’s “Sanctity of Life Act.” They—as much as liberal Democrats—are responsible for our federal and State legislatures doing nothing to reverse Roe. Legislators like it because it allows them to tout themselves as being “pro-life” to their constituents back home without sticking their necks out, and “pro-life” organizations like it because it allows them to keep up their fundraising efforts—which allows them to stay employed in a cushy lobbying job without having to produce anything.

Let me ask you: How many pastors across the country will even bother to address the Roe v Wade decision this Sunday (or ANY Sunday, for that matter) from the pulpit? How many bother to bring a detailed exegesis on what the Bible teaches regarding the right to life, when life begins, and God’s laws and principles regarding the killing of unborn children? Come on, be honest. How many of you who attend church each Sunday hear more than a two-minute sound bite about abortion—if even a mention at all?

This helps explain why, according to recent surveys, of the women obtaining abortions in America, 70% claim to be Christians, and 40% claim to be regular church attenders. Think of the millions of babies that are being murdered in the womb because America’s pastors don’t have the guts to teach their congregations the truth about abortion.

It seems almost certain that the vast majority of Christians in our country have never once heard an in-depth Biblical exegesis—with supporting medical evidence—about the Natural Law principles of the right to life of the unborn child in their entire lives. I urge you to order as many of these pro-life packages as you can and give them to as many people as you can—including to your State senators and representatives. Most of the people you give them to will have never heard anything like it before. Who knows? Giving this package to someone might even save the life of an unborn child.

You and I both know that the only reason the slaughter of innocents has gone on this long in our country is because the vast majority of pastors and churches are completely silent and apathetic on the subject. Pastors and churches are the nation’s moral compass and conscience, and when they are indifferent to a national moral crisis, the nation itself (especially our politicians) remains indifferent.

Culpability for the slaughter of millions of unborn babies lies on the doorstep of the American church and clergy, on the doorstep of the so-called pro-life organizations, and on the doorstep of the Republican Party as much as on the doorstep of Supreme Court justices and liberal Democrats who openly supported (and continue to support) legalized abortion. . . .

Yes, I know that President Donald Trump issued an Executive Order last year reinstating the “Mexico City Policy” that denies U.S. taxpayer funds for overseas abortions. I applaud that decision. . . . In the meantime, I remind you that the reinstatement of the “Mexico City Policy” does NOTHING to stop a single abortion here in the United States.

The Republican Party will control the entire federal government for at least another year. How many of you want to wager that a year from now the Roe decision will be overturned and abortion-on-demand made illegal in this country? Of course, no one will take that bet, because they know they would lose. So, then, how can these same people turn around and talk about how important it is to elect “pro-life” Republicans to the White House and federal Congress?

I don’t care how many walls Donald Trump builds; I don’t care how many jobs Donald Trump brings back to America; . . . As long as America continues to legally sanction the wanton killing of unborn babies, America will never be great again.

. . . If the blood of innocent Abel cried out to God from the ground, how deafening must be the cry of the blood of over 60 million innocent unborn babies that cry out to God from these Nazi-esque abortion clinics in America?
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Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the Pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana. Dr. Baldwin is Talk Radio Show Host for Chuck Baldwin Live.” He addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view.and is a writer/columnist whose articles and political commentaries are carried by many Internet sites, newspapers, news magazines and the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Chuck Baldwin, forty-five years, American holocaust, abortion To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Charitable Deductions

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: During the debate on tax reform, some listeners expressed their concern that the charitable deduction would be eliminated. Even after the bill was passed, one listener lamented that charitable deductions were dropped. None of that is true, but I kept wondering why people would believe this.

Apparently some of the spokespeople for philanthropy expressed their concern that the tax bill would reduce the incentive for giving because it nearly doubled the standard deduction. That would mean few filers (at least in the middle class) would be itemizing their deductions. So they argued that these taxpayers would be less inclined to donate to various charities.

While that may be true, it isn’t true that the charitable deduction was dropped from the tax code. And you have to wonder whether increasing the standard deduction will hurt charities that much. The assumption is that one of the reasons people give is for the tax deduction.

First, I would hope that most Christians give to churches and Christian organizations because they believe in the ministry that is taking place. A tax deduction is nice, but probably not the major reason for a gift.

Some counter that an increased number of donations are given in December so that means Christians are giving for tax reasons. That may be true, but it may also be true that deadlines encourage giving. Many ministries receive significant donations in June before a ministry finishes its fiscal year (often ending on June 30). There is no tax advantage then, but the deadline still stimulates significant donations.

Second, if the tax reform bill increases individual family income, Americans will have more money they can donate to charities. Think of the number of American companies that have already given $1000 bonuses to their employees or plan to do so soon.

I believe charities will do well in 2018 even if they have to work a little harder to encourage already generous Americans to continue giving.
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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, Charitable Deductions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

MAGA Boom . . .

. . . Barrack Obama said manufacturing jobs aren’t coming back and a bad economy is the new normal, but then came Donald Trump.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, MAGA Boom, Barrack Obama, Donald Trump To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Pravda in the Izvestia

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Back in the USSR’s heyday, the joke about the two major newspapers, Pravda (meaning “truth” — and published by the Communist Party) and Izvestia (meaning “news” — and published by the Soviet State), was that “there’s no Truth in the News and no News in the Truth.”

Nowadays, in Trump’s America, we have fake news. And one reason Donald Trump won the presidency was his defiant stance against the “lying press.”

Which is why, when Trump announced, last week, his intent to give out awards to the news media for their top “fake news” stories of 2017, he was playing to his base. This week he announced his picks. It did not exactly bowl everyone over.

Indeed, I am going to skip most of it, noticing only that the press whined a bit and picked at the list on technical grounds, and that Sen. Flake gave Trump some flak.

But Trump’s pick for First Place is worth thinking about.

And the Duranty* goes toNew York Times economist Paul Krugman!

What for? The Nobel Laureate’s insane and unhinged prediction immediately after Trump’s win: “We are very probably looking at a global recession, with no end in sight.”

An embarrassing play for Doomsayer Attention, which has been “trumped” (so to speak) by new record stock market highs.

Of course, a global depression may be in the offing — but it probably won’t be Trump’s fault, and Krugman is totally resistant to acknowledging that dire event’s likely structural causes (debt, Fed policy).

But note: prophecy isn’t “news,” and in announcing the award Trump characterized his win in 2016 as a “landslide.”

So save a Duranty for Trump.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* My term, not a “Newsy” or “Fakesy,” and named, of course, after Walter Duranty, the Times’ Pulitzer Winning Fake News apologist for the Soviet Union and Stalin, back in the 1930s.
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Paul Jacob 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.

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Justice-Homeland Security Report Proves 73% of Convicted Terrorists Foreign Born

by Natalia Castro: Mufid Elfgeeh entered the United States as a family member of naturalized citizens from Yemen and became a citizen himself through naturalization. He lived what many would consider a normal life in the U.S. for nearly 20 years, except for one discovery by the FBI; in 2016, after living in the U.S. since 1997, Elfgeeh was convicted to more than 22 years of prison for recruiting fighters to Islamic State.

Elfgeeh even attempted to send Americans to Syria to join the fight alongside Islamic State while also inspiring and encouraging others to pledge allegiance to the terrorist organization and commit violent acts of jihad. According to a recent Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report, this is a part of the environment our immigration system is fostering.

In the comprehensive report the DOJ released in January 2018 pursuant to President Trump’s Executive Order 13780: Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, the DOJ and DHS confirmed that a majority of dangerous terrorist activity comes from outside entry into the country.

Between September 11, 2001 and December 31, 2016, the DOJ convicted 549 individuals of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts. Of these, 73 percent were foreign born. These 402 individuals entered the U.S. with the hopes of committing a crime against our country and killing Americans, and nearly 40 percent of these people became U.S. citizens in the process before they were caught.

As the murder of Kate Steinle showed, illegal immigration too has had a disproportionate impact on women living in the United States. A California jury ruled Steilne’s death, the result of a ricochet bullet shot by an illegal immigrant was an accident.

Overall, violence against women is a major crime being perpetrated by foreign nationals.The DOJ report concludes, 91 percent of victims of honor killings, killings against women who are perceived as having brought dishonor to their family, in North American were murdered for being “too westernized”. More data is needed to confirm how many of these crimes were committed by foreign nationals, which both departments promised to follow up with.

Since 1990, the risk of undergoing Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) has become three times as great. The DOJ cited a 2016 Center for Disease Control study which concluded the estimated increase “was wholly a result of rapid growth in the number of immigrants from FGM/C-practicing countries living in the United States.”

The DOJ report also tells the story of Abdurasaul Hasanovich Juraboev, who entered the United States through the visa lottery program and plead guilty to conspiring to support Islamic State. Juraboev encouraged the killing of President Obama on Uzbek-language websites as an act of martyrdom on behalf of Islamic State. Yet the policies of President Obama allowed him to enter the country and remain undetected for 4 years before his imprisonment.

President Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen warned that based on current reports, it is clear our open-ended immigration system poses a significant risk to our national security.

Luckily, this report was released for exactly this reason; because the goal of the Trump Administration is to make America safe again, and that cannot be done without finding each hole the previous administrations left uncovered.
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Natalia Castro is a contributing editor for Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Justice Department, Homeland Security Department, report, proves 73% of Convicted TerroristsForeign Born To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

A US-Turkish Clash in Syria

by Patrick Buchanan: The war for dominance in the Middle East, following the crushing of ISIS, appears about to commence in Syria — with NATO allies America and Turkey on opposing sides.

Turkey is moving armor and troops south to Syria’s border enclave of Afrin, occupied by Kurds, to drive them out, and then drive the Syrian Kurds out of Manbij further south as well.

Says President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, “We will destroy all terror nests, one by one, in Syria, starting from Afrin and Manbij.”

For Erdogan, the Kurdish YPG, the major U.S. ally in Syria, is an arm of the Kurdish PKK in Turkey, which we and the Turks have designated as a terrorist organization.

While the Kurds were our most effective allies against ISIS in Syria, Turkey views them as a mortal peril and intends to deal with that threat.

If Erdogan is serious, a clash with the U.S. is coming, as our Kurdish allies occupy most of Syria’s border with Turkey.

Moreover, the U.S. has announced plans to create a 30,000-man Border Security Force of Kurds and Arabs to keep ISIS out of Syria.

Erdogan has branded this BSF a “terror army,” and President Bashar Assad of Syria has called BSF members “traitors.”

This U.S. plan to create a BSF inside Syria, Damascus declared, “represents a blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity and unity of Syria, and a flagrant violation of international law.”

Does not the Syrian government have a point?

Now that ISIS has been driven out of Raqqa and Syria, by what authority do U.S. forces remain to arm troops to keep the Damascus government from reimposing its authority on its own territory?

Secretary of State Tillerson gave Syria the news Wednesday.

The U.S. troop commitment to Syria, he said, is now open-ended.

Our goals: Guarantee al-Qaida and ISIS do not return and set up sanctuary; cope with rising Iranian influence in Damascus; and pursue the removal of Bashar Assad’s ruthless regime.

But who authorized this strategic commitment, of indefinite duration, in Syria, when near two decades in Afghanistan have failed to secure that nation against the return of al-Qaida and ISIS?

Again and again, the American people have said they do not want to be dragged into Syria’s civil war. Donald Trump won the presidency on a promise of no more unnecessary wars.

Have the American people been had again?

Will they support a clash with NATO ally Turkey, to keep armed Kurds on Turkey’s border, when the Turks regard them as terrorists?

Are we prepared for a shooting war with a Syrian army, backed by Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and Shiite militias from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, to hold onto a fourth of Syria’s territory in alliance with Kurds?

The U.S. coalition in Syria said this week the BSF will be built up “over the next several years” and “be stationed along the borders … to include portions of the Euphrates river valley and international borders to the east and north.”

Remarkable: A U.S.-created border army is going to occupy and control long stretches of Syria’s borders with Turkey and Iraq, over Syria’s objections. And the U.S. military will stand behind the BSF.

Are the 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria really up to that task, should the Turks decide to cleanse the Syrian border of Kurds, or should the Syrian regime decide to take back territory occupied by the Kurds?

Who sanctioned this commitment to a new army, which, if Syria and its Russian and Iranian allies, and the Turks, do not all back down, risks a major U.S. war with no allies but the Kurds?

As for Syria’s Kurds casting their lot with the Americans, one wonders: Did they not observe what happened when their Iraqi cousins, after helping us drive ISIS out of Mosul, were themselves driven out of Kirkuk by the Iraqi army, as their U.S. allies watched?

In the six-year Syrian civil war, which may be about to enter a new phase, America faces a familiar situation.

While our “allies” and adversaries have vital interests there, we do not. The Assads have been in power for the lifetime of most Americans. And we Americans have never shown a desire to fight there.

Assad has a vital interest: preservation of his family regime and the reunification of his country. The Turks have a vital interest in keeping armed Kurds out of their border regions adjacent to their own Kurdish minority, which seeks greater independence.

The Israelis and Saudi royals want the U.S. to keep Iran from securing a land bridge from Tehran to Damascus to Lebanon.

The U.S. War Party wants us to smash Iran and remain in the Middle East forever to assure the hegemony of its favorites.

Have the generals taking us into Syria told the president how and when, if ever, they plan to get us out?
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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, US-Turkish Clash, Syria To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

7 Areas of Successes and ‘Incompletes’ for Trump’s First Full Year

by Fred Lucas: Coming up on one full year in office, President Donald Trump is faced with the prospect of a government shutdown forced by Congress—even as the first year of his presidency is marked by both demonstrable accomplishments and incompletes on the economy, national security, and health care.

“If for any reason [the government] shuts down, the worst thing is what happens to our military,” Trump said Thursday during a visit to the Pentagon.

Trump also noted his economic accomplishments, citing news that Apple will expand and give most employees bonuses because of the new Republican-crafted tax law, which he said Democrats hope to derail with the shutdown threats.

Trump hailed Apple’s plan to invest $350 billion in the United States because of tax reform and create 20,000 new U.S. jobs.

“So our tax cuts and our tax reform have turned out to be far greater than anyone ever anticipated,” Trump said. “I’m sure the Democrats would like to blunt that by shutting down government.”

On the “incomplete” side: Trump didn’t start construction on a border wall along the border with Mexico—a multibillion-dollar project he is demanding in spending negotiations with Congress.

He also didn’t get a bill repealing and replacing Obamacare out of Congress. The tax bill, however, chopped out Obamacare’s mandate that all individuals buy health insurance.

But besides the initial economic payoff of tax reform law, the Trump administration is showing progress on enforcing immigration law and battling terrorists.

At the one-year mark Saturday, here’s a look at how Trump has performed in seven key areas.

1. Producing the ‘Trump Bonus’
In the week Trump logs his first full year in office, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high of 26,000 after a year of strong job growth and, more recently, wage increases.

Trump’s signature legislative accomplishment of his first year—the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—showed almost immediate results. Apple’s announcement came after more than 150 other examples of companies’ making new investments and rewarding employees.

At least 164 companies so far have announced bonuses or raises for a combined total of more than 2 million employees, according to data from the group Americans for Tax Reform.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called the pay hikes, including higher minimum wages, the “Trump bonus.”

The tax reform legislation, which cut rates and closed loopholes, represents the first overhaul of the tax code since the 1986 changes signed into law by President Ronald Reagan.

The new tax law also partially compensated for Trump’s biggest legislative failure—not winning congressional passage of a bill repealing and replacing Obamacare. That’s because the tax bill eliminated the penalty imposed by government on those who don’t buy health insurance, a key funding mechanism for maintaining Obamacare.

The U.S. economy, as measured by gross domestic product, also grew by more than 3 percent for the second and third quarters of 2017. Through most of the Obama administration, the economy grew at 2 percent.

Trump has pledged to reach 4 percent growth.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent, a 17-year low, while 13 states hit record low unemployment, according to the White House.

The White House asserts that its deregulation drive—which amounts to ditching 22 regulations for every one added—has saved the economy $8.1 billion in compliance costs.

Although Trump didn’t sign other big pieces of legislation during his first year, he signed 15 bills under the Congressional Review Act that rolled back Obama administration regulations that conservatives consider stifling to economic growth.

Trump also withdrew the United States from the Obama administration’s Paris climate accord, which NERA Economic Consulting projected could have cost the U.S. economy nearly $3 trillion and 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040.

2. Enforcing Immigration Laws
Making good on hallmark promises of Trump’s campaign, the administration took numerous actions to curb illegal immigration and enforce existing laws.

In other areas, Trump’s still trying.

Trump didn’t begin substantial construction of a wall at the southern border. Nor did his administration deport all 11 million-plus illegal immigrants, as he had suggested during the campaign.
In legal flux is the administration’s “extreme vetting” policy temporarily blocking travel from terrorism-prone countries that have unstable governments and don’t have sufficient security to share information with U.S. officials.

Some critics of the policy called it a Muslim ban right off the bat. The administration altered the list of affected countries to include nations such as North Korea and Venezuela along with Iran, Syria, Libya, Chad, Somalia, and Yemen.

In early December, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the full travel ban could take effect, and that lower court rulings blocking it should be put on hold while the policy works its way through the appeals process.

However, in late December, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals partially blocked the travel restrictions, asserting that Trump exceeded his authority. Because of the earlier high court ruling, the 9th Circuit ruling won’t have an immediate impact.

Also yet to be determined is what happens with the Obama administration program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

In September, Trump reversed Obama’s 2012 executive action shielding from deportation, and allowing work permits for, about 800,000 illegal immigrants brought to the United States as minors.

However, Trump gave Congress until March to figure out a legislative solution. Now, though, Democrats in Congress seek to require amnesty for these so-called “Dreamers” in exchange for their votes for a continuing resolution to keep the government open.

The Trump administration can point to several areas of demonstrated progress on the immigration front.

The administration rescinded another Obama executive action, the 2015 Deferred Action for Parents of Americans, which had shielded almost 5 million illegal immigrants, the parents of “Dreamers,” from deportation. Lower courts had held the Obama administration action was unconstitutional.

The Trump administration’s Justice Department announced it would withhold federal grants from sanctuary jurisdictions, those that refuse to cooperate with federal enforcement of immigration laws.

From Trump’s first day in office through the end of fiscal year 2017 on Sept. 30, Immigration and Customs Enforcement made 110,568 arrests of illegal immigrants, a 40 percent increase over the same period the year before.

More than 92 percent of illegal immigrants arrested by ICE had criminal convictions, were fugitives, or had illegally re-entered the country. The agency also arrested 36 percent more criminal gang members in fiscal year 2017 compared to the year before.

3. Reshaping the Federal Judiciary
Trump’s first big success came in April with Senate confirmation of his Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, to replace Antonin Scalia, the reliably conservative justice who died in February 2016.

Trump also made significant progress in lower federal courts, with a record of 12 circuit court judges confirmed by the Senate in the first year.

Still, only 22 of Trump’s 73 nominations to lower courts were confirmed by the end of 2017.

Although Senate Republicans often draw criticism for lack of action, some conservative court watchers such as Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network, applauded Trump and Senate leadership for the confirmations.

“One of the greatest and most lasting successes of President Trump’s first year was appointing a record number of highly qualified judicial nominees,” Severino said in a public statement last week. “President Trump is keeping his campaign promise to fill the federal bench with brilliant judges who follow the Constitution, and thanks to the strong leadership of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, they are being confirmed by the Senate.”

4. Serving Military Veterans
Aside from tax reform, one of the most sweeping bills Trump signed in his first year was the Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which allows senior officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire failing employees and establish safeguards to protect whistleblowers.

The action followed the VA’s waiting list scandal of 2014, in which veterans died while waiting for medical care. An inspector general’s report found that agency employees altered documents and officials held few accountable, largely because of civil service protections.

After Trump signed the accountability bill into law, the department fired 1,298 employees, suspended 425, and demoted 73, the White House said.

Trump also created a new White House hotline for veterans staffed by veterans and family members. A new program called Anywhere to Anywhere VA Health Care allows providers to use “telehealth” technology to serve veterans no matter the location of the provider or veteran.

5. Improving National Security
In Trump’s first year, administration officials note, the Islamic State, the brutal terrorist army operating in Iraq and Syria, lost nearly all of its territory.
Trump campaigned on avoiding foreign entanglements. But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that U.S. forces would remain in Syria even after the final defeat of the Islamic State, or ISIS, to ensure neither Syrian dictator Bashar Assad nor the Iranian government seize control of the territory the group once controlled.

During a May meeting with leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, Trump helped develop an agreement for allies to increase spending on national defense spending to combat ISIS more effectively and be more in line with NATO commitments.

North Korea continues to be a nuclear threat, but the Trump administration won adoption of a tough new United Nations Security Council resolution.

The administration increased sanctions on North Korean entities as well as Chinese financial institutions that aid dictator Kim Jong Un’s regime. Trump, who worried some observers by ridiculing Kim as “Rocket Man” on Twitter, also redesignated the communist regime as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Trump did not withdraw from the deal that Obama struck with Iran to delay its development of nuclear weapons, but signaled that he wanted both allies and Congress to assist in putting more teeth and accountability in the deal. Earlier this month, he chose not to reimpose sanctions in place before the deal.

6. Protecting Life
Early in his campaign, Trump lacked the complete trust of pro-life activists because of previous stated positions accepting the easy availability of abortion.

But the president planned to cap his first year in office Friday by becoming the first president to deliver a livestream address, from the White House, to the annual March for Life event in Washington.

During his first week, Trump reinstated the so-called Mexico City policy, preventing $9 billion in foreign aid from being used to fund abortions abroad. The existence of the policy historically has ping-ponged back and forth between Republican and Democratic presidents.

Trump also pulled U.S. tax dollars from the United Nations Population Fund, which advocates abortion throughout the world.

Among the deregulation actions signed by Trump under the Congressional Review Act was one overturning an Obama administration rule put in place after Trump’s election but before his inauguration. The rule prohibited states from defunding abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood.

7. Energizing American Resources
Trump pledged during the campaign to unleash U.S. energy resources.

The Trump administration approved the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which the Obama administration had halted, and the Dakota Access oil pipeline, which had been an uncertainty the previous year. The two pipelines will create about 42,000 jobs and $2 billion in economic benefits, according to the White House.

Trump recently signed an executive order to expand offshore drilling for oil and gas and reissued a leasing program to develop offshore resources. The administration also streamlined the permit process for liquefied natural gas terminals and increased natural gas exports to allied countries.

The Trump administration also directed the Environmental Protection Agency to rescind the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. That policy would have increased electricity rates by as much as 14 percent and cost American households up to $79 billion, NERA Economic Consulting estimated.
----------------
Fred Lucas (@FredLucasWH) is the White House correspondent for The Daily Signal.

Tags: 7 Areas, , Successes and Incompletes, President Trump, First Full Year, Fred Lucas, 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!

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