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

Friday, February 09, 2018

Russians Lobbied Hillary Clinton on Uranium One as Spies Infiltrated Her Inner Circle

by Tyler O'Neil: On Wednesday, a former FBI informant testified to three different congressional committees that Russian officials paid a lobbying firm to convince then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to approve the Uranium One deal. The effort came at a time when Russian nuclear executives were still working with Iran, and as Russian spies infiltrated Clinton's inner circle.

The informant, William Campbell, worked with Russian nuclear executives and provided extensive information to the FBI and the CIA for decades. His testimony led to the arrest and conviction of Vadim Mikerin —a top official of the Russian nuclear arms subsidiary Tenex and later president of Tenam, the American subsidiary of the Russian government-owned firm Rosatom.

Campbell claimed that Mikerin and other executives lobbied Clinton, who served on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), to approve Rosatom's partial purchase of Uranium One, a Canadian mining company with rights to 20 percent of U.S. uranium. At the time, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a speech at the Kremlin-connected investment bank Renaissance Capital, which was promoting Uranium One stock.

In a statement obtained by The Hill, Campbell claimed that the Russian government had hired the American lobbying firm APCO Worldwide because it could influence the Obama administration, and Hillary Clinton specifically. Nuclear officials told Campbell "that they expected APCO to apply a portion of the $3 million annual lobbying fee it was receiving from the Russians to provide in-kind support for the Clintons' Global Initiative."

The specific contract "called for four payments of $750,000 over twelve months," Campbell wrote. "APCO was expected to give assistance free of charge to the Clinton Global Initiative as part of their effort to create a favorable environment to ensure the Obama administration made affirmative decisions on everything from Uranium One to the U.S.-Russia Civilian Nuclear Cooperation agreement."

APCO Worldwide emphatically denied Campbell's report, saying its work "on behalf of Tenex and The Clinton Global Initiative were totally separate and unconnected in any way."

Nick Merrill, a spokesman for Clinton, also dismissed the informant's account. “Just yesterday the committee made clear that this secret informant charade was just that, a charade," he insisted. "Along with the widely debunked text- message-gate and Nunes' embarrassing memo episode, we have a trifecta of GOP-manufactured scandals designed to distract from their own President's problems and the threat to democracy he poses."

Campbell's story went beyond APCO Worldwide, however. He wrote that Russian nuclear executives “boasted” about “how weak the U.S. government was in giving away uranium business and were confident that Russia would secure the strategic advantage it was seeking in the U.S. uranium market.”

According to U.S. government figures from 2016, the U.S. imports more than 90 percent of the uranium for nuclear reactors. Campbell testified that he was bothered by the Russian attempts to infiltrate the U.S. uranium market.

“I expressed these concerns repeatedly to my FBI handlers. The response I got was that politics was somehow involved,” he stated.

“In 2010, officials inside Tenex became interested in helping another Rosatom subsidiary, ARMZ, win Obama administration approval to purchase Uranium One, a Canadian company,” Campbell testified. “Although Tenex and ARMZ are separate subsidiaries, Tenex had its own interest in Uranium One. Tenex would become responsible for finding commercial markets and revenue for those uranium assets once they were mined."

“The emails and documents I intercepted during 2010 made clear that Rosatom’s purchase of Uranium One — for both its Kazakh and American assets — was part of Russia’s geopolitical strategy to gain leverage in global energy markets,” he testified. “I obtained documentary proof that Tenex was helping Rosatom win CFIUS approval, including an October 6, 2010 email … asking me specifically to help overcome opposition to the Uranium One deal.”

Campbell described these efforts as part of the "Russian uranium dominance strategy."

Before the Uranium One deal, the FBI had already gathered evidence of Russian corruption in U.S. uranium — through Campbell — but the agency kept that investigation secret.

At the same time, the FBI acted quickly to arrest ten Russian spies as part of "Operation Ghost Stories." According to a top FBI official, the agency acted quickly because the "deep cover" agents had come very close to "a sitting US cabinet member." Who, specifically? Why, Hillary Clinton.

In June 2010, Barbara Morea, president of Morea Financial Services in Manhattan, confirmed that "Cynthia Murphy," Russian External Intelligence Service (SVR) spy Lidiya Guryeva, was a longtime employee and vice president at the company, which managed the finances of Alan Patricof, a top Democratic donor who fundraised for Clinton's Senate and presidential campaigns.

Federal court documents confirmed the connection between Guryeva and Patricof, suggesting Clinton was the official the FBI attempted to protect.

The FBI arrested the Russian spies on June 28, 2010, one day before Bill Clinton's speech at Renaissance Capital.

Despite the FBI investigation into Rosatom, CFIUS fast-tracked the Uranium One approval, finishing it in 52 days, rather than the mandatory 75-day review process. To make matters worse, Uranium One's chairman directed $2.35 million in contributions to the Clinton Foundation.

Clinton's ties to Russia might explain why she would be a tempting target for Russian spies, and for Russian nuclear executives. As secretary of State, she pledged to "reset" relations with Russia. She opposed the Magnitsy Act to sanction Russian oligarchs, and told Russian television that "our goal is to help strengthen Russia."

The Obama administration wasted no time in sending the ten spies back to Russia. The U.S. exchanged them for four Russian nationals on July 10, less than two weeks after their arrest. This was remarkably fast for a Russia-U.S. spy swap.

Finally, Campbell had reported in April 2010 that Russia had been providing uranium to Iran, in support of the Islamic Republic's nuclear program. "Tenex continues to supply Iran fuel through their Russian company," Campbell wrote in that 2010 report. "They continue to assist with construction consult [sic] and fabricated assemblies to supply the reactor. Fabricated assemblies require sophisticated engineering and are arranged inside the reactor with the help and consult" of Russians.

By approving the Uranium One deal through CFIUS, Clinton may have unwittingly aided Iran, despite American sanctions on the Islamic Republic. As with each step of this tragic story, it seems an FBI memorandum with Campbell's information to Congress or to other members of CFIUS could have prevented the Uranium One Deal.

“I was speechless and angry in October 2010 when CFIUS approved the Uranium One sale to Rosatom. I was deeply worried that TLI continued to transport sensitive uranium despite the fact that it had been compromised by the bribery scheme,” stated Campbell in his testimony to lawmakers.

“I expressed these concerns repeatedly to my FBI handlers. The response I got was that 'politics' was somehow involved. I remember one response I got from an agent when I asked how it was possible CFIUS would approve the Uranium One sale when the FBI could prove Rosatom was engaged in criminal conduct. His answer: 'Ask your politics.'"

What could be more political than the influence of Hillary Clinton — a woman of considerable influence who almost became Obama's successor as president? No wonder her spokesman is so quick to deny everything.

Contrary to Democrat claims that Campbell is not reliable, the FBI paid $50,000 for his services, and based their case against Vadim Mikerin on his reports.

Interestingly, one man connects the Uranium One scandal to the current Russia investigation. Jonathan Winer, onetime registered foreign agent and Senate staffer for John Kerry, served as senior vice president at APCO Worldwide during the Uranium One scandal. Winer, as a member of Obama's State Department in 2016, fed information to former British spy Christopher Steele as he compiled the infamous Clinton campaign-funded Trump-Russia dossier.
Tyler O'Neil is Assistant Editor of PJ Media, Tyler O'Neil is a conservative fundraiser and commentator. He has written for numerous publications.

Tags: PJ Media, Tyler O'Neil, Russians Lobbied, Hillary Clinton, Uranium One, Spies Infiltrated, Her Inner Circle To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The SpaceX Effect

by Newt Gingrich: The successful launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket on Tuesday at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida was a tremendous step toward reasserting American leadership in space.

The Falcon Heavy is the most powerful rocket launched in the U.S. since the Apollo missions – and it is the most powerful commercial rocket ever made. It can carry nearly 64 metric tons (141,000 lbs.) into orbit. This is more than double the payload of the next-biggest rocket currently in operation. For perspective, SpaceX says this is, “a mass greater than a 737 jetliner loaded with passengers, crew, luggage, and fuel.”

SpaceX owner Elon Musk also said the rocket system could launch payloads “direct to Pluto and beyond” without the help of gravity assist.

This successful test flight should serve as a serious motivator for the National Space Council to jumpstart the nation’s focus on manned space flight.

When President Trump reinstated the Space Council on June 30, 2017, he challenged its members to “think big” in space again. The day before the new Space Council met for its first meeting on October 5, 2017, Vice President Pence wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the Council “will refocus America’s space program toward human exploration and discovery.”

The Council must redouble its efforts to meet these challenges.

Specifically, the Space Council should heed Vice President Pence’s charge: “To achieve these goals, the National Space Council will look beyond the halls of government for insight and expertise.”

The Vice President is absolutely right, and SpaceX’s success on Tuesday proves it.

The private sector has shown that the conventional wisdom of the slow-moving, risk-averse space bureaucracy is wrong.

As, Dr. Robert Zubrin, president and founder of the Mars Society, wrote after the launch:

“Seven years ago, the Augustine commission said that NASA’s Moon program had to be cancelled because the development of the necessary heavy lift booster would take 12 years and 36 billion dollars.

“SpaceX has now done that, on its own dime, in half the time and a twentieth of the cost. And not only that, but the launch vehicle is three quarters reusable.”
In fact, The Wall Street Journal reported in an article its print edition Wednesday titled “For SpaceX, New Rocket Marks Coup” that, the “Falcon Heavy underscores the demise of what used to be the aerospace industry’s reliance on federal dollars for technological breakthroughs.”

The Space Council must see the new reality. It must recognize that companies like SpaceX are out-competing government rocket programs. This trend is likely to continue. Instead of focusing our tax-dollars on duplicative efforts, the federal government’s interaction with the space industry must change. We should help these companies achieve more.

The Space Council should aggressively develop systems for public-private partnerships with innovative companies such as SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada Corporation, and others, where the government takes on the role of an investor – an investor that would be paid back.

Additionally, The Wall Street Journal article noted that the successful test flight could mean the Falcon Heavy could start making paid missions to space within months. The National Space Council should nurture this possibility and quickly create a system that could help support as many U.S.-led launches into space as possible. Only this will create the environment necessary to establish a thriving U.S.-led business ecosystem.

If the U.S. does not do this, our competitors will. A future where China or Russia dominates in space is not a safe, secure, or prosperous future for America.

The Space Council must also encourage a culture across all federal space programs that allows for failure and quick recovery.

One of the keys to SpaceX’s success has been its ability to fail – and move on.

The company’s Falcon 1 rocket failed three times before it was successful. They have also had two failed Falcon 9 launches. Despite setbacks, the company was able to quickly learn from its mistakes, make adjustments, and try again.

As a result, within 16 years, SpaceX has gone from conceptualizing privately-funded, reusable rockets to launching the most powerful rocket we have seen in nearly half a century. Along the way, the company has achieved 47 successful missions with Falcon 9, five with Falcon 1 – and Tuesday’s success with Falcon Heavy. This work has helped discover and drive American technological innovations at a rate that the bureaucratic, risk averse, old-space system could never have achieved.

Some of those innovations include the ability to bring rockets back to earth after launch for reuse – as SpaceX did with the two booster rockets from the Falcon Heavy launch. This creates a tremendous savings and makes getting to space much less expensive.

A final important piece of this launch was SpaceX’s decision to put “Starman” into space. This is the mannequin that was dressed in a spacesuit and put behind the wheel of a red Tesla Roadster, which was launched into orbit.

While some might be quick to assume this was merely a publicity stunt for Tesla, one of Musk’s other companies, it was much more than that.

Young Americans everywhere can go to YouTube and watch more than four hours of video recorded of “Starman” as he drifted through space looking down at our planet.

The extraordinary video from this car orbiting Earth makes clear to every young person in America that having a career in the space industry – even actually going to space – is as real, tangible, and achievable as becoming a dentist, a lawyer, a civil engineer, or any other job that requires focus and hard work.

In this way, this so-called stunt could help inspire young Americans across the country to pursue math, engineering, aeronautics, and astronomy the same way the Apollo program inspired a generation of Americans in the 1960s.

As the Tesla passes Mars in its elliptical orbit between Earth and the red planet, there may be more images and footage to come.

This is perhaps the most important aspect of SpaceX’s successful launch. After the Apollo missions, as a country, we slowly lost our excitement over the wonder of space travel. A few generations later, landing on the Moon became ancient history. If we fail to continuously inspire, teach, and excite America’s youth, this regressive cycle could repeat itself.

The National Space Council – and all Americans – should consider what President Trump said when he re-instated the National Space Council: “We will inspire millions of children to carry on this proud tradition of American space leadership … and to never stop wondering, hoping, and dreaming about what lies beyond the stars.”

The National Space Council must build on the excitement of the Falcon Heavy launch – and help make sure America wins this new space race.
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.

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Obama Funded Terrorism, More Departures, Bonnie & Clyde Strike Again, A Strange Strategy

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Obama Funded Terrorism - When Barack Obama said he wanted to reward Iran for signing a nuclear deal by lifting sanctions, we warned that doing so would lead to Iran spending more money on terrorism. It wasn't hard to figure out what the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism would do if it suddenly got a large windfall. After all, money is fungible.

Unfortunately, Obama ignored the critics. He got his nuclear deal, and the mullahs got billions of dollars. In addition to lifting sanctions, the Obama Administration sent $1.7 billion in cash, stacked on wooden pallets, to Tehran via secret Swiss flights.

Obama hoped that this deal would "strengthen the hand of moderates" in Iran. But, as it turns out, it did nothing to cause the ayatollah's regime to reconsider its murderous ways.

According to a report this week by the Washington Times, the U.S. government has, as many feared, traced some of this cash directly to Iran's main terrorist proxy, Hezbollah, to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard's Quds Force and to Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Thankfully, the Trump Administration has slammed the brakes on Obama's naive policies. The president announced in January that his administration has "sanctioned nearly 100 individuals and entities involved with the Iranian regime's ballistic missile program and its other illicit activities."

President Trump is also demanding that Congress and our European allies address serious flaws in the 2015 nuclear deal or he will cancel it.

By the way, Iran is not interested in negotiating with the United States. The Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. officials have tried four times to discuss the status of American hostages being held by the Islamic Republic. According to the Journal, "Iran didn't respond and . . . so far has refused to engage with U.S. officials."

More Departures - In a recent report, we noted that several top FBI and Justice Department officials have left their respective agencies as the Russia collusion/Steele dossier scandal has unraveled. And, indeed, the exodus is continuing.

Amid screaming headlines of shutdowns and budget deals, Politico quietly reported this news yesterday: "Two More Officials Cited In FBI Texts Step Down."

The federal bureaucracy is huge and people come and go all the time. The timing of their resignations could be coincidental or there could be more going on behind the scenes, as this American Thinker article suggests.

Speaking of coincidences, check out this The Daily Caller column. I am not one for conspiracy theories, but the connections between Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele, the Trump Tower meeting and a top Justice Department official are almost too remarkable to believe.

In spite of the media's best efforts, the left is beginning to lose control of the Trump/Russia narrative.

Polling finds that a 55% of Americans, including 31% of Democrats, believe that the Obama Administration illegally spied on the Trump campaign. In addition, 54% of Americans, including 44% of Democrats, support the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate the FBI and the Justice Department.

Meanwhile, anyone looking for real evidence of Russian collusion and meddling should take a close look at the Uranium One scandal.

Bonnie & Clyde Strike Again - We're learning more about just how much Lisa Page and Peter Strzok really despised the values of heartland America and why they were so motivated to help Hillary Clinton.

In newly released text messages, Strzok and Page unload on pro-life Americans attending the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. Complaining about being stuck in traffic, Strzok writes: "F---ing marchers making traffic problems."

As bad as that was, Page replies: "I truly hate these people. No support for the woman who actually has to spend the rest of her life rearing this child, but we care about 'life.' A--holes."

Of course, Washington, D.C., is a liberal town. Everyone here has opinions. You can be in the FBI and be pro-abortion.

But I don't think it is too much to expect that our public servants be at least somewhat respectful of the hardworking men and women who pay their salaries. This kind of bigoted elitism directed at fellow Americans should not be tolerated.

We know they also hated "hillbillies" and could "smell" conservatives at Walmart. Clearly, these two are a class act, who embody all the grace and tolerance of the progressive crowd.

I wouldn't be surprised to see them on the cover of Time's Valentine's Day edition as "Couple of the Year."

A Strange Strategy - CNN ran a story this week that struck me as really odd. Evidently, a group of so-called "Dreamers" warned that if Congress doesn't pass a massive amnesty soon, they will leave the country.

I can hear my father, Spike Bauer, saying, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out!"

I don't know who came up with this idea, but if you're trying to convince someone not to throw you out of the country, threatening to leave seems like a strange strategy to me.

Meanwhile, we got a reminder recently of why it is so important to secure the border. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said last week, "We have about 70 terrorists a day that we see trying to get here through some method of transportation."

Do the math -- 70 x 7 is 490 attempts each week by terrorists to enter the country. 490 x 52 weeks is more than 25,000 attempts a year.

Border security is national security. President Trump and congressional Republicans must continue to hammer that theme every single day until the wall is built.
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Obama Funded Terrorism, More Departures, Bonnie & Clyde Strike Again, A Strange Strategy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Tax Reform Delivers Real Results

Tax Reform ‘Has Put Money Back Into My Business, Into My Hometown, Into My Region, Into My Employees’ Pensions And 401k’

‘If You’re A Family Of Four, It’s Not Crumbs. $1000 Is A Lot Of Money’

“‘It's bigger than crumbs like the politicians were saying... It's bigger than crumbs,’ says Mark Guilbeau of Lafayette [Louisiana]. And they're already making plans for what to do with it. ‘I plan to pay down some credit card debt,’ says Guilbeau.” (“New Tax Withholding Guidelines Means Higher Paychecks For Most,” KATC TV, 2/2/2018)

“Ocean Springs [Mississippi] resident Dian Rooks agrees. ‘Everybody can say what they want to about the tax plan. If you're a family of four, it's not crumbs. $1000 is a lot of money,’ she said.” (“South Mississippians React To Trump's Tax Cuts,” WLOX TV, 2/5/2018)

“Wayne Love, who works in managed care in Spring Hill, Florida, got an extra $200 in his paycheck last week, which he said will help offset a $300 increase in the cost of his health insurance. ‘I have heard time and again that the middle class is getting crumbs, but I’ll take it!’ Love said by email.” (“Tax Bill Beginning To Deliver Bigger Paychecks To Workers,” AP, 2/1/2018)

“Todd Anderson of Texas and his fiance, who are both educators, got an extra $200 in their paychecks combined that they plan to use to [help] cover the costs of a second baby on its way.” (“Tax Bill Beginning To Deliver Bigger Paychecks To Workers,” AP, 2/1/2018)

“On Friday, lunch at Woot's Barbecue in White Oak [Ohio] was more fulfilling than usual for Dan Flynn. ‘I love it,’ Flynn said. The Cleves resident loves the fact that his paycheck is getting bigger…. Like workers throughout Greater Cincinnati, Flynn will keep more of his income because lawmakers in Washington reformed the nation's tax code. ‘Any time we get more money in our paychecks as opposed to the government having an opportunity to spend it, I like it,’ Flynn said.” (“Federal Tax Reform Means Bigger Paychecks For Millions Of U.S. Workers,” WLWT-TV Cincinnati, 2/02/2018)

Employee Bonuses: ‘Oh My God, This Is Actually Happening,’ ‘One Thousand Dollars Goes A Long Way With Hard-Working People’

“Gautier [Mississippi] resident Vivian Dailey says she's been waiting to see how Trump's new tax plan would affect her loved ones. Dailey says, ‘I have relatives, young people that live in Hawaii, live in Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi.  Every one of them are starting to get those big bonuses.’” (“South Mississippians React To Trump's Tax Cuts,” WLOX TV, 2/5/2018)

“Fifth Third Bancorp will pay more than 13,500 employees a bonus and raise the minimum wage for its workforce to $15 after the passage of the Republican tax plan that will cut the bank's corporate tax rate.” (“Wells Fargo, Fifth Third Bancorp Unveil Minimum Wage Hikes After Tax Bill Passage,” CNBC, 12/20/2017)
  • “Some 16 employees of the three Lakeland branches of Fifth Third Bank found out soon after the law passed that they and the company’s 13,500 full-time employees nationwide would get a $1,000 bonus stemming from approval of the new law. The bonuses arrived Friday. … Toshiko ‘Tee’ Threatt-Monroe, the lead customer-service representative at Fifth Third’s Lakeland branch at 435 S. Combee Road, said she heard rumors of a bonus but didn’t believe it until the company announced it in an email on Dec. 22, three days after the tax bill passed. The announcement excited the entire office, she said. ‘I was excited as well,’ Threatt-Monroe said. ‘I read the email and said to myself, “Oh my God, this is actually happening.”’ (“New Tax Law A Net Plus For Polk Businesses,” The Ledger, 1/2/2018)
“‘I'm certainly not a very big business and certainly very local, and he (President Donald Trump) has put money back into my business, into my hometown, into my region, into my employees pensions and 401k,’ said Mary Beth Hartman, president of Hunter Chase & Associates in Springfield, Mo. The tax changes for businesses Trump championed have employers large and small adding jobs, buying new equipment, and passing along the benefits to their employees. ‘I've been able to offer my long tenured employees a week of vacation, five days of vacation, they're getting plenty of overtime, they have job security,’ Hartman said.” (“Ozarks Workers To Receive Bonuses, Benefits Thanks To Tax Changes,” KY3-TV Springfield, MO, 1/31/2018)
“At least one Quad-City company is already giving out bonuses due to the recent federal tax-cut savings. Dohrn Transfer, with corporate headquarters for trucking and a company warehouse in Rock Island, has mailed out $1,000 bonuses to all of its approximately 1,200 employees in six Midwest states.> About 350 of those work here.” (“Dohrn Shares Tax-Cut Savings With Workers,” Quad-City Times, 2/01/2018)
Small Business Owners: ‘Even Just A Few Thousand Dollars Can Mean The Difference Between Whether Or Not You … Hire New Staff’

“Dan Pierson, who owns a gym in downtown Cincinnati called Snap Fitness, expressed the same kind of enthusiasm. ‘I'm a big believer in letting people have their money to spend it, and that's kind of what keeps the economy going,’ Pierson said. ‘As a small business owner I see it ... when times are tough, people don't spend money on gym memberships. They stay home. And, you know, when people have that extra money to spend, they spend it. They go out to eat. They buy gym memberships. And they enjoy themselves.’” (“Federal Tax Reform Means Bigger Paychecks For Millions Of U.S. Workers,” WLWT-TV Cincinnati, 2/02/2018)

Federal officials gave Iowa breweries something to toast. The ‘Craft Beverage Modernization and Tax Reform Act,’ part of the president's federal tax reform initiative, allows for a significant decrease in the taxes paid by breweries…. Local brewers, West O Beer of West Okoboji and Okoboji Brewing Company of Spirit Lake are celebrating the tax cuts. Both businesses said the savings will allow them to purchase new equipment and potentially hire new employees.’” (“Tax Cuts Carve Niche For Local Breweries,” The [Spencer, IA] Daily Reporter, 2/04/2018)
“The brewers are feeling good about a new cut in the federal excise tax that was sponsored by Senator Rob Portman of Ohio. For small brewers the tax is cut in half from $7 a barrel to $3.50. [Ohio Craft Brewers] Association spokesman Justin Hemminger said that’s a boon to these small businesses. ‘Even just a few thousand dollars can mean the difference between whether or not you have the flexibility to make a capital improvement you’ve been looking to do for a while, ;hire a new staff,’ Hemminger said.’ It’s absolutely essential to the bottom line of these breweries.’ For Columbus brewer Larry Horwitz, that means hiring more people.” (“Business Hopping For Ohio Craft Brewers,” Ideastream, 1/31/2018)

But To Democrats: This Is Just ‘A Few Crumbs,’ ‘I’m Not Sure That A Thousand Dollars… Goes Very Far For Almost Anyone’

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “No, it is the end of the world…. This is Armageddon…. So let’s be truthful with the American people about that. They throw a few crumbs to the middle class.” (Rep. Pelosi, Press Conference, 12/04/2017)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “… American workers are left with paltry savings.” (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, 2/05/2018)

REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ (D-FL): “Frankly, if you look at the bonuses, I mean… I’m not sure that a thousand dollars, which is taxed—taxable, goes very far for almost anyone.” (Rep. Wasserman Schultz, Town hall meeting, 1/25/2018)

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Dem Senator Leading Trump-Russia Investigation & Steele Used Russian Oligarch's Lobbyist as Middleman

Sen. Mark Warner
by Daniel Greenfield: Each day seems to bring new incredible revelations about the Steele dossier, the piece of Clinton campaign opposition research that was used to justify eavesdropping on a Trump associate.

Like, what if the guy who claimed to be looking into Russian collusion was colluding with Russia.
Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee who has been leading a congressional investigation into President Trump's alleged ties to Russia, had extensive contact last year with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch who was offering Warner access to former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele, according to text messages obtained exclusively by Fox News.

"We have so much to discuss u need to be careful but we can help our country," Warner texted the lobbyist, Adam Waldman, on March 22, 2017.

"I'm in," Waldman, whose firm has ties to Hillary Clinton, texted back to Warner.
Of course it does.Secrecy seemed very important to Warner as the conversation with Waldman heated up March 29, when the lobbyist revealed that Steele wanted a bipartisan letter from Warner and the committee’s chairman, North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr, inviting him to talk to the Senate intelligence panel.So we've got the top Dem investigating Trump and Steele passing messages to each other through a Russian oligarch's lobbyist with ties to the Clintons. Few things could better sum up the insane hypocrisy and corruption on display here.

Was it a coincidence that a Clinton linked firm had access to the author of the Steele dossier, when a top Dem didn't? Or that Steele felt comfortable with them in the gatekeeper role?
Waldman is best known for signing a $40,000 monthly retainer in 2009 and 2010 to lobby the U.S. government on behalf of controversial Russian billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska. Deripraska had his visa revoked by the State Department in 2006 because of charges, which he has denied, that he has organized crime ties.The pattern appears to involve quite a lot of intersections between Clintonworld and Russian soft power.One might almost call it collusion. But it's not the collusion that the colluders are searching for.
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, Dem Senator, Mark Warner, Leading Trump-Russia Investigation, Steele Used, Russian Oligarch's Lobbyist, Middleman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

FISA-Gate is Scarier than Watergate

by Dr. Victor Davis Hanson: The Watergate scandal of 1972–74 was uncovered largely because of outraged Democratic politicians and a bulldog media. They both claimed that they had saved American democracy from the Nixon administration’s attempt to warp the CIA and FBI to cover up an otherwise minor, though illegal, political break-in.

In the Iran-Contra affair of 1985–87, the media and liberal activists uncovered wrongdoing by some rogue members of the Reagan government. They warned of government overreach and of using the “Deep State” to subvert the law for political purposes.

We are now in the middle of a third great modern scandal. Members of the Obama administration’s Department of Justice sought court approval for the surveillance of Carter Page, allegedly for colluding with Russian interests, and extended the surveillance three times.

But none of these government officials told the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the warrant requests were based on an unverified dossier that had originated as a hit piece funded in part by the Hillary Clinton campaign to smear Donald Trump during the current 2016 campaign.

Nor did these officials reveal that the author of the dossier, Christopher Steele, had already been dropped as a reliable source by the FBI for leaking to the press.

Nor did officials add that a Department of Justice official, Bruce Ohr, had met privately with Steele — or that Ohr’s wife, Nellie, had been hired to work on the dossier.

Unfortunately, such disclosures may be only the beginning of the FISA-gate scandal.

Members of the Obama administration’s national-security team also may have requested the names of American citizens connected with the Trump campaign who had been swept up in other FISA surveillance. Those officials may have then improperly unmasked the names and leaked them to a compliant press — again, for apparent political purposes during a campaign.

As a result of various controversies, the deputy director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, has resigned. Two FBI officials who had been working on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in the so-called Russia collusion probe, Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, have been reassigned for having an improper relationship and for displaying overt political biases in text messages to each other.

The new FBI director, Christopher Wray, has also reassigned the FBI’s top lawyer, James Baker, who purportedly leaked the Steele dossier to a sympathetic journalist.

How does FISA-gate compare to Watergate and Iran-Contra?

Once again, an administration is being accused of politicizing government agencies to further agendas, this time apparently to gain an advantage for Hillary Clinton in the run-up to an election.

There is also the same sort of government resistance to releasing documents under the pretext of “national security.”

There is a similar pattern of slandering congressional investigators and whistleblowers as disloyal and even treasonous.

There is the rationale that just as the Watergate break-in was a two-bit affair, Carter Page was a nobody.

But there is one huge (and ironic) difference. In the current FISA-gate scandal, most of the media and liberal civil libertarians are now opposing the disclosure of public documents. They are siding with those in the government who disingenuously sought surveillance to facilitate the efforts of a political campaign.

This time around, the press is not after a hated Nixon administration. Civil libertarians are not demanding accountability from a conservative Reagan team. Instead, the roles are reversed.

Barack Obama was a progressive constitutional lawyer who expressed distrust of the secretive “Deep State.” Yet his administration weaponized the IRS and surveilled Associated Press communications and a Fox News journalist for reporting unfavorable news based on supposed leaks.

Obama did not fit the past stereotypes of right-wing authoritarians subverting the Department of Justice and its agencies. Perhaps that is why there was little pushback against his administration’s efforts to assist the campaign of his likely replacement, fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Progressives are not supposed to destroy requested emails, “acid wash” hard drives, spread unverified and paid-for opposition research among government agencies, or use the DOJ and FBI to obtain warrants to snoop on the communications of American citizens.

FISA-gate may become a more worrisome scandal than either Watergate or Iran-Contra. Why? Because our defense against government wrongdoing — the press — is defending such actions, not uncovering them. Liberal and progressive voices are excusing, not airing, the excesses of the DOJ and FBI.

Apparently, weaponizing government agencies to stop a detested Donald Trump by any means necessary is not really considered a crime.
Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow, classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He can be read at his website.

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Gentry Liberals Own the Democratic Party

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Amid the brouhahas about the Nunes memo and immigration, an item from Greg Hinz of Crain's Chicago Business caught my eye. Demographers crunching census data estimate that Chicago's black population fell to 842,000, while its white non-Hispanic population increased to 867,000. National political significance: In our three largest cities -- New York, Los Angeles and Chicago -- gentry liberals have become the dominant political demographic.

That's consistent with election results. Gentry liberals -- the term is urban analyst Joel Kotkin's -- are the political base of those cities' mayors, Bill de Blasio, Eric Garcetti and Rahm Emanuel. That's something new in American politics. Modest-income Jews used to be the key group in New York. White married homeowners were it in Los Angeles. "Bungalow ward" ethnics dominated in Chicago. In time, they faced challenges from candidates with nonwhite political bases -- blacks, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in New York, Mexicans in Los Angeles, and blacks and Hispanics in Chicago. Now gentry liberals are on top.

This reflects demographic change. Blacks have been moving from central cities to suburbs and the South. Mexican immigrant inflow largely shut down circa 2008. Affluent professionals and single college graduates have colonized -- gentrified -- neighborhoods such as Park Slope, Silver Lake and Wicker Park, with bedraggled but potentially attractive housing stock convenient to downtowns.

The trend is visible elsewhere -- not only in San Francisco, Seattle and Portland but also in Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and even Cleveland and Detroit. It's widespread and strategic enough to be changing the face of the Democratic Party.

There's irony in this. Gentry liberals have produced the metropolitan areas with the highest income inequality in the nation. They decry gentrification -- and the accompanying movement of low-income blacks and Hispanics out of their neighborhoods -- even as they cause it. They sing hymns to diversity even as they revel in the pleasures of communities where almost everybody believes and consumes exactly the same things -- and votes Democratic.

Gentrification thus inevitably reshapes the Democratic Party, which, from its beginnings in 1832, has been a series of coalitions of people regarded as somehow unusual Americans but who, taken together, are a national majority.

Consider two of Democrats' priorities during the presidency of Barack Obama, who has lived all his adult life in gentrified neighborhoods: increased taxes on high earners, which gentry liberals are happy to pay (if they weren't, they would have joined other affluent folk moving to Florida and Texas), and an infrastructure bill that was, as the American Enterprise Institute's Christina Hoff Sommers documented in The Weekly Standard, titled and tailored at the behest of feminists to invoke higher pay for teachers and nurses rather than new jobs for "burly men."

Similarly, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pushed through passage of cap-and-trade legislation, a priority of her fellow Bay Area gentry liberals, which predictably cost Democrats multiple Rust Belt House seats.

This year, New York's Andrew Cuomo and California's Jerry Brown have been bellowing against the Republican tax reform for eliminating most of the deduction for state and local taxes. But that provision has virtually no impact on people who aren't in high-tax states and don't make over $100,000 a year -- i.e., who aren't gentry liberals. First constituencies first.

And whom are Democrats eyeing as possible 2020 presidential nominees? Identity politics, a favorite talking point of gentry liberals, have them focusing mainly on women and minorities -- e.g., Kirsten Gillibrand, who met her husband while working in Manhattan, Elizabeth Warren of Cambridge, Massachusetts, Cory Booker, raised in Harrington Park, New Jersey, and Kamala Harris, who is from San Francisco.

Not often mentioned is Sen. Sherrod Brown, who has won nine elections for national office in the classic swing state of Ohio. Brown has been a consistent critic of trade agreements, an issue that strikes gentry liberals as vulgar. Similar repugnance may explain the disinterest in Sens. Mark Warner, whose early victories were won by appealing to rural Virginians, and Michael Bennet, whose record as Denver school superintendent was not in lockstep with teachers unions. Gentry liberals may seek to appease other party constituencies, including blacks and Hispanics, but they insist on their own priorities.

Dominating the party is one thing; producing candidates and issues with appeal to the broader national electorate is another. Gentry liberals have the microphone and the money to dominate the Democratic Party. Whether they can overcome their snobbish disdain and bitter contempt for those beyond their comfortable enclaves and come up with a winning national strategy is unclear.
Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel and Townhall contributor and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

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Trump — Middle American Radical

by Patrick Buchanan: President Trump is the leader of America’s conservative party.

Yet not even his allies would describe him as a conservative in the tradition of Robert Taft, Russell Kirk or William F. Buckley.

In the primaries of 2016, all his rivals claimed the mantle of Mr. Conservative, Ronald Reagan. Yet Trump captured the party’s heart.

Who, then, and what is Donald Trump?

In a Federalist essay, “Trump Isn’t a Conservative — And That’s a Good Thing,” Frank Cannon comes close to the mark.

Trump, he writes, “would more accurately be described as a ‘radical anti-progressive'” who is “at war with the progressives who have co-opted American civil society.” Moreover, Trump “is willing to go further than any other previous conservative to defeat them.”

Many “elite conservatives,” writes Cannon, believe the “bedrock institutions” they treasure are “not subject to the same infectious politicization to which the rest of society has succumbed.”

This belief is naive, says Cannon, “ridiculous on its face.”

“Radical anti-progressives” recognize that many institutions — the academy, media, entertainment and the courts — have been co-opted and corrupted by the left. And as these institutions are not what they once were, they no longer deserve the respect they once had.

Yet most conservatives will only go so far in criticizing these institutions. We see this in how cradle Catholics find it difficult to criticize the Church in which they were birthed and raised, despite scandals and alterations in the liturgy and doctrine.

Trump sees many institutions as fortresses lately captured by radical progressives that must be attacked and besieged if they are to be recaptured and liberated. Cannon deals with three such politicized institutions: the media, the NFL and the courts.

Trump does not attack freedom of the press but rather the moral authority and legitimacy of co-opted media institutions. It is what CNN has become, not what CNN was, that Trump disrespects.

These people are political enemies posturing as journalists who create “fake news” to destroy me, says Trump. Enraged media, responding, reveal themselves to be not far removed from what Trump says they are.

And, since Trump, media credibility has plummeted.

Before 2016, the NFL was an untouchable. When the league demanded that North Carolina accept the radical transgender agenda or face NFL sanctions, the Tar Heel State capitulated. When Arizona declined to make Martin Luther King’s birthday a holiday in 1990, the NFL took away the Super Bowl. The Sun State caved.

This year, the league demanded respect for the beliefs and behavior of NFL players insulting Old Glory by “taking a knee” during the national anthem.

Many conservative politicians and commentators, fearing the NFL’s almost mythic popularity in Middle America, remained mute.

But believing instinctively America would side with him, Trump delivered a full-throated defense of the flag and called for kicking the kneelers off the field, out of the game, and off the team.

“Fire them!” Trump bellowed.

And Trump triumphed. The NFL lost fans and viewers. The players ended the protests. No one took a knee at the Super Bowl.

Before Trump, the FBI was sacrosanct. But Trump savaged an insiders’ cabal at the top of the FBI he saw as having plotted to defeat him.

Trump has not attacked an independent judiciary, but courts like the Ninth Circuit, controlled by progressives and abusing their offices to advance progressive goals, and federal judges using lifetime tenure and political immunity to usurp powers that belong to the president — on immigration, for example.

Among the reasons Congress is disrespected is that it let the Supreme Court seize its power over social policy and convert itself into a judicial dictatorship — above Congress.

Trump is no Beltway conservative, writes Cannon.

“Trump doesn’t play by these ridiculous rules designed to keep conservatives stuck in a perpetual state of losing — a made-for-CNN version of the undefeated Harlem Globetrotters versus the winless Washington Generals. Trump instead seeks to fight and delegitimize any institution the Left has captured, and rebuild it from the ground up.”

The Trump supporters who most relish the wars he is waging are the “Middle American Radicals,” of whom my columnist-colleague and late friend Sam Francis used to write.

There was a time such as today before in America.

After World War II, as it became clear our long-ruling liberal elites had blundered horribly in trusting Stalin, patriots arose to cleanse our institutions of treason and its fellow travelers.

The Hollywood Ten were exposed and went to jail. Nixon nailed Alger Hiss. Truman used the Smith Act to shut down Stalin’s subsidiary, the Communist Party USA. Spies in the atom bomb program were run down. The Rosenbergs went to the electric chair.

Liberals call it the “Red Scare.” And they are right to do so.

For when the patriots of the Greatest Generation like Jack Kennedy and Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy came home from the war and went after them, the nation’s Reds had never been so scared in their entire lives.
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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by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Over the last few weeks, President Trump has been touting his economic successes. In Davos, Switzerland he proclaimed, “America is open for business, and we are competitive once again.” He went on to remind those who gathered for the conference that “There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest, and to grow in the United States.”

At the State of the Union speech he said, “We have created 2.4 million new jobs, including 200,000 new jobs in manufacturing alone. After years of wage stagnation, we are finally seeing rising wages.” He added that “Small business confidence is at an all-time high. The stock market has smashed one record after another, gaining $8 trillion in value.”

I often say on my radio program that presidents frequently take too much credit for economic successes and are given too much blame for economic problems. But it is also clear that President Trump’s policies over the last year have begun to restructure the American economy. Slashing individual and corporate tax rates have also had a significant impact. More than 250 American companies have provided bonuses to their employees and have announced huge investments in their companies.

All of this seems positive for the American economy and the American people. But you wouldn’t know it from the comments made by Trump’s critics. Leading Democrat leaders refer to the $1,000 bonuses being given out as “crumbs” that are “insignificant.”

That’s not what they said in 2011 when it looked like the payroll tax cut might expire by the end of that year. At the time, they said that $40 per paycheck equals almost $1,000 per year and was very significant to American families.

I predict that President Trump will continue to talk about the benefits of tax reform and a growing economy while his critics will attack Trumponomics. Voters during this election season will get to vote on which view they favor. I think I already know the response.
Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

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Pelosi Talking Point . . .

. . . Pelosi does an 8-hour speech on the house floor in favor of Amnesty but who will feel the pain.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Nancy Pelosi, 8-hour speech, on the house floor, Amnesty, but who will feel the pain To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Winds of Regulation

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Among the many goofy occupational licensing laws in these United States, Arizona's licensing for professional blow-drying services is up there with the silliest.

"Under current law, using a blow-dryer on someone else's hair, for money, requires more than 1,000 hours of training and an expensive state-issued license," we learn at Reason. "Blow-drying hair without a license could -- incredibly -- land you in jail for up to six months."

This came into the news because of a campaign to deregulate the cosmetology industry -- just a bit, anyway. Gov. Doug Ducey, in his recent State of the State address, "mocked the state agency that licenses stylists, barbers, nail technicians and affiliated professionals in Arizona, and endorsed legislation to remove training requirements for those who simply wash, brush and blow-dry customers' hair."

Licensed cosmetologists -- well, at least some organized ones -- have gone into a tizzy.

Hardly surprising, since occupational licensing, though usually argued for on consumer safety grounds, rarely finds consumers clamoring for it.

It's groups of established businesses, professionals.*

Brandy Wells, the sole non-cosmetologist on the state board overseeing the regulation of the industry, supports the liberalizing bill. So of course she has been called every name in the book. But even she was amused by one stylish denigration: "your logic on deregulation of cosmetology is much like your hair, dull and flat."

The issue may seem trivial, with not all that much on the line -- though jobs are... and freedom is.

But it doesn't lack for hot air.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.

* As Adam Smith argued, whenever businessmen ("dealers") in the same industry group together, their proposals should be listened to "with great precaution."
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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President Trump Should Modernize NAFTA Or End It

How Is It That the Weakest Trade
 Member of This Trio 
- Is Us?
- Seton Motley 
by Robert Romano: More than any other issue, President Donald Trump’s vow to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) or else leave it may have been the most important reason he won the Electoral College in 2016 against his opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Trump won Ohio by about 450,000 votes.

In Pennsylvania, Trump only won by 44,000 votes.

In Florida, Trump won by only 113,000 votes.

In Michigan, Trump only won by 11,000 votes.

In North Carolina, Trump won by 173,000.

In the rust belt they included states that traditionally voted Democrat. And they’re what put Trump over the top in 2016.

These were some of the states hit the hardest by NAFTA.

Ohio has lost 290,874 manufacturing jobs since the NAFTA and World Trade Organization (WTO) era began in 1994 and 1995 respectively, according to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Public Citizen.

Pennsylvania has lost 312,338 factory jobs since then.

Florida has lost 82,006 jobs in manufacturing.

Michigan lost 182,288.

North Carolina lost 338,990.

Fortunately, since taking office in 2017, President Trump has been working to keep his promise. On April 27, Trump took to Twitter to announce, “I received calls from the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada asking to renegotiate NAFTA rather than terminate. I agreed… subject to the fact that if we do not reach a fair deal for all, we will then terminate NAFTA. Relationships are good — deal very possible!” Since then the negotiations have been initiated.

Good thing for him, as keeping the NAFTA promise to modernize it, getting a better deal, or end it is critical, not only to his political coalition, but to creating more jobs in the U.S.

In 2016, particularly at the Sept. 26 debate the President blasted Hillary Clinton on NAFTA, stating, “Your husband signed NAFTA, which was one of the worst things that ever happened to the manufacturing industry.”

Clinton’s reply couldn’t have been scripted better by Trump himself. She said, “That’s your opinion.”

At that point in the race, Trump was already leading in polls in Ohio and rallying from behind in Pennsylvania, Michigan and other rust belt states — states whose manufacturing presence has been decimated in the past two decades. This gaffe by Clinton was huge, and the facts on the ground in these states tell the tale.

To be certain, since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) went into effect in 1994, about 5 million manufacturing jobs have been lost nationwide according to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

It is certainly debatable whether NAFTA bears all the blame. The President has also rightly cited China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 and Congress granting permanent normal trade relations with Beijing in 2000. And maybe it wasn’t even all trade.

But try telling that to the folks who live in those communities that have been wrecked when the factories closed down and went overseas, chasing lower costs. They do happen to attribute it to the trade deals. Sometimes perception matters more. It’s an opinion shared by millions of Americans.

Either way, the job losses were real. They actually happened. Not opinion.

Clinton could have argued until she was blue in the face that it wasn’t the trade deals, but those jobs still were not coming back in time for the election. That is why Clinton’s dismissive remark was perhaps her biggest gaffe of the presidential election campaign, particularly when one takes a close look at the electoral map. She could have at least acknowledged the losses and the possibility that the trade deals played a role. Instead, in a very risky move, she dismissed the concern with hand waving akin to Marie Antoinette’s supposed saying, “Let them eat cake.”

As it turns out, the one thing she couldn’t afford to lose are any more of were union households that traditionally vote Democrat in states like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, who remain greatly concerned by the economic decline the U.S. has experienced.

There still remain nearly 9 million of this age group out who either left the labor force or never entered on a net basis had participation remained at the same rate as it was in 2000, which has been hampering growth.
At the same time, U.S. market share of manufactures exports worldwide — that is, U.S. exported manufactures as a percent of worldwide exported manufactures — peaked in 2000 at 13.98 percent, and has been declining ever since, according to data compiled by the World Bank. In 2016, it was down to 7.91 percent. Trade data from the World Bank is not yet available for 2017.
President Trump beat Clinton by punishing her on NAFTA and other bad trade deals. It is the issue he alone had the vision to bring to the fore in 2016. That is why he must succeed in renegotiating NAFTA or withdrawing from it in order to help the economy to recover and create new factory jobs in the U.S., keeping his rust belt coalition that won the day in 2016 together.

Not only does the 2020 election hang in the balance, so does U.S. economic strength and boosting labor participation. Fix it or end it.
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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Rep. Hill’s Statement on Bipartisan Budget Act

Rep French Hill
ARRA News Service: Congressman French Hill (R-AR-02) issued the following statement after voting for the Bipartisan Budget Act:
“I supported this measure because I’m strongly committed to keeping our government open and funding our common defense in order to ensure that our men and women in uniform have the resources and tools they need to protect our homeland and carry out their missions abroad. After years of severe cuts to our military, we are properly funding our defense by giving our troops their first pay raise in eight years and providing them with weapon upgrades, enhanced missile defense systems, and better training and supplies.

“However, our budget process is broken. We need to end the cycle of running our nation on short-term spending bills. I believe that extending our debt limit without any substantial reforms will only provide greater uncertainty in our financial markets, and, in turn, negatively affect Arkansan and American families. I commend bipartisan leadership for their efforts to reform the appropriations process, but this is not sufficient in and of itself. Which is why I requested that the House hold a vote on a balanced budget amendment in order to compel the government to better prioritize the spending of hard-earned tax dollars, and I’ve gotten a pledge from House Leadership that we will vote on a balanced budget amendment before the next spending deadline. I’m also calling on our President to propose mandatory reforms to put us on a sustainable pathway to fiscal stability and ensure that future generations are not shouldered with insurmountable debt.

“We’ve been successful in delivering comprehensive tax reform to families, so it’s time to apply that same level of dedication to getting our nation’s checkbook under control. Our children and their children’s children deserve to have the opportunity to live out their dreams and hope in a better future - and that starts with getting our fiscal house in order.”

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Conservatives Sound the Alarm on Budget Deal

Speaker Ryan, Sen. Majority Leader McConnell,
 and Sen. Minority Leader Schumer.
by Rachel del Guidice: Conservative lawmakers warned that Congress was on track to pass a last-minute budget deal, pushed by Republican and Democrat leaders, that will raise caps on spending by $300 billion over two years.

Update: The Senate approved the deal by a vote of 71-28 about 1:30 a.m. Friday, followed by the House, which passed it 240-186 around 5:30 a.m. President Donald Trump signed the budget bill within three hours, ending a brief government shutdown overnight.

The deal is the “second-largest spending increase in a decade, second only to the Obama stimulus, which we all know was the biggest boondoggle that you can imagine,” Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told The Daily Signal in an interview before the votes in the Senate and House.

In the end, 67 House Republicans voted no, as did 119 Democrats. Many of the Democrats had demanded amnesty for illegal immigrants.

After signing the budget bill, Trump took to Twitter to explain why Republicans were “forced” by Democrats to get behind more nondefense spending:
House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who supported the two-year budget deal, had criticized a massive—but smaller—spending deal crafted in 2015 by President Barack Obama, then-Speaker John Boehner, and Senate leaders. That deal increased spending by $80 billion over two years.

The new deal is “approaching a quarter of a trillion dollars in discretionary spending increase in one year,” Jordan said, “and we are going to run almost a trillion-dollar deficit, so this is just not what the American people elected us to do.”

Government funding was set to run out at midnight Thursday if Congress did not act.

The two-year deal would provide roughly $160 billion to the Pentagon, allocate $128 billion to nondefense programs, and devote $80 billion to disaster relief.

The deal, according to a recent commentary by Justin Bogie, a senior policy analyst in fiscal affairs at The Heritage Foundation, would raise spending caps set in the Budget Control Act by $296 billion, “with only a third of that being paid for.”

The Budget Control Act, passed in 2011, sought to curb government spending and control the growth of federal programs.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., both had pushed the budget deal on Twitter, as had President Donald Trump.
But Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., tweeted that he is “disgusted” by the deal. Biggs told The Daily Signal in a phone interview that he couldn’t support the plan.
“I am going to be voting no,” Biggs said. “The deficit is going to increase significantly within the next few years because we haven’t done a balanced budget, we’ve just done CRs [continuing resolutions]. So this contributes to all of that.”

The conservative House Freedom Caucus, a group of 30-some Republicans, including Biggs and Jordan, said it does not support the deal.
Rep. Dave Brat, R-Va., also a member of the Freedom Caucus, said he too would vote no.

“I am going to vote no because once again, the House did its work on time with 12 appropriations bills, sent them over to the Senate, the Senate failed, and now we’re going to do Democrat policy instead of Republican policy by increasing the budget $300 billion, right?” Brat told The Daily Signal, adding:We failed on health care, on immigration, the Senate keeps waving shiny objects over there, and now we are having a budget fail, a 13 percent increase in the budget. When we are supposed to be reducing the deficits, we are going to have trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see.Rep. Andy Harris, R-Md., another Freedom Caucus member, said the deal does not do enough to advance conservative priorities.

“The bottom line is that this adds hundreds of billions of dollars to our federal [budget] deficit and ultimately our federal debt,” Harris told The Daily Signal in an interview. “It’s going to create new spending programs that are going to have to be funded every year, and it does it without paying for it or setting priorities.”

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., tried to block the vote in the Senate.

“All Senator Rand Paul is asking for is a 15-minute vote on his amendment to restore the budget caps,” Paul spokesman Sergio Gor said in a tweet. “He is ready to proceed at any time.”

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., an open critic of Trump, said he couldn’t support the deal.
Rachel del Guidice (@LRacheldG)is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program. Ken McIntyre contributed to this report, which was updated to include the Senate and House votes and Trump’s signing of the budget bill.

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  • 11/22/15 - 11/29/15
  • 11/29/15 - 12/6/15
  • 12/6/15 - 12/13/15
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  • 12/20/15 - 12/27/15
  • 12/27/15 - 1/3/16
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  • 1/31/16 - 2/7/16
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  • 2/21/16 - 2/28/16
  • 2/28/16 - 3/6/16
  • 3/6/16 - 3/13/16
  • 3/13/16 - 3/20/16
  • 3/20/16 - 3/27/16
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  • 4/24/16 - 5/1/16
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  • 10/16/16 - 10/23/16
  • 10/23/16 - 10/30/16
  • 10/30/16 - 11/6/16
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  • 11/20/16 - 11/27/16
  • 11/27/16 - 12/4/16
  • 12/4/16 - 12/11/16
  • 12/11/16 - 12/18/16
  • 12/18/16 - 12/25/16
  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
  • 1/1/17 - 1/8/17
  • 1/8/17 - 1/15/17
  • 1/15/17 - 1/22/17
  • 1/22/17 - 1/29/17
  • 1/29/17 - 2/5/17
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  • 4/30/17 - 5/7/17
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  • 5/21/17 - 5/28/17
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  • 6/11/17 - 6/18/17
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  • 9/24/17 - 10/1/17
  • 10/1/17 - 10/8/17
  • 10/8/17 - 10/15/17
  • 10/15/17 - 10/22/17
  • 10/22/17 - 10/29/17
  • 10/29/17 - 11/5/17
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  • 11/12/17 - 11/19/17
  • 11/19/17 - 11/26/17
  • 11/26/17 - 12/3/17
  • 12/3/17 - 12/10/17
  • 12/10/17 - 12/17/17
  • 12/17/17 - 12/24/17
  • 12/24/17 - 12/31/17
  • 12/31/17 - 1/7/18
  • 1/7/18 - 1/14/18
  • 1/14/18 - 1/21/18
  • 1/21/18 - 1/28/18
  • 1/28/18 - 2/4/18
  • 2/4/18 - 2/11/18
  • 2/11/18 - 2/18/18
  • 2/18/18 - 2/25/18
  • 2/25/18 - 3/4/18
  • 3/4/18 - 3/11/18
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  • 3/18/18 - 3/25/18
  • 3/25/18 - 4/1/18
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  • 4/22/18 - 4/29/18
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  • 5/20/18 - 5/27/18
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