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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, July 13, 2018

Dems Have a Meltdown over ICE

by Tony Perkins: Sometimes, the stories out of D.C. just write themselves. After making the entire summer about ending immigration enforcement, Democrats finally have the chance to vote on it. There's just one problem: they don't want to. When Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) agreed to put their bill closing the office of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on the floor, liberals panicked. About that whole "abolishing ICE" thing, their messaging seemed to say, just kidding.

The headlines only made a bad PR situation worse. "Dems Say They'll Vote No on Their 'Abolish ICE' legislation," the Hill reported. For the GOP, it's a perfect opportunity to expose the other side's insincerity on the border crisis. When push comes to shove, even they don't believe in the immigration "solutions" they're offering. "Democrats have been trying to make July... about abolishing ICE, which is a radical, extreme position that would lead to open borders and undermine America's national security," House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said. That may explain why, when the time has come to defend their legislation, they can't.

Speaker Ryan, who still plans on calling the Left's bluff with a vote on ICE, could only shake his head. "It's the craziest position I've ever seen," he said. "They're just tripping over themselves to move too far to the Left. They are out of the mainstream of America..." And, maybe more importantly, out of the mainstream of their own party. According to Politico, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus is "fuming over the liberal move to eliminate the agency," arguing that it distracts from the real solutions Americans are looking for.

Despite all of the backlash, the bill's sponsors -- Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) -- are still trying to convince people that their bill wasn't a political stunt (a tall task since they all "plan to vote no"). In one of the more hilarious soundbites of the day, the trio said, "We look forward to the day that we have meaningful action on the issues covered by our bill." What do they think a vote on their legislation is? It doesn't get more "meaningful" than that.

But for a party desperate to win back congressional control, fanning the flames of its radical wing are one thing – winning elections with fruitcake policies is another. Based on the latest polling, these Democrats are risking plenty with a rallying cry at odds with the majority of voters. It's pretty obvious why the party doesn't want a vote on their bill. While it's been a great stunt that's kept their agitators employed, according to Politico, only 25 percent of Americans side with the call to end ICE. Inside the party, their idea is just as unpopular. "I think you're assuming the Democratic Caucus isn't together on this," Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M.) argued with reporters. They'd be assuming right. Sixty percent of Democrats (and three-in-four swing voters) agree that we should keep ICE. Even Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Democrats' ranking member of the U.S. Senate, isn't on board. "No American likes the separation of children... but ICE does do some things that are very important."

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) spelled out some of them. "Think about what ICE is able to do. Just in the last year, more than 900 children were saved from human trafficking. Think of the thousands of pounds of drugs [that's been stopped]..." And ICE's importance isn't limited to immigration. It's also the main law enforcement agency focusing on terrorism, as Heritage's David Inserra points out. Do we really want America overrun with drugs, rapists, traffickers, and gangs like the MS-13 factions that are ripping apart public high schools?

To understand where a world without ICE would lead, read this column from the Washington Post about an area school where kids are so terrified to go to school that they bring their parents in with them. A world where teenagers come home with warning bullets in their hoodies. Or where a trip to the bathroom could mean a trip to the hospital because you've been beaten almost to death. Or where the path home takes you past trees blackened by fire or gashed from knife practice. Where girls are raped by gangs, but afraid they'll be killed if they report it. In other words, a ticking time-bomb.

The other side is playing politics while a very real crisis explodes. We don't need grandstanding, we need solutions. And how serious is the other side about finding them? Based on this bill, not very.
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Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Council . This article was on Tony Perkin's Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tags: Dems, Meltdown over ICE, Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, 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 Democratic Senate Immigration Disaster

by Newt Gingrich: Republicans have the chance to secure a significant victory in the U.S. Senate this fall – largely because the Democrats’ radical immigration positions could lead to their catastrophic downfall.

As more and more Democrats throw their support behind so-called sanctuary cities, abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and promoting open borders, more and more Americans are expressing their vehement opposition to these positions.

Most recently, in their fervor over the child detention issue, every Senate Democrat scrambled to co-sponsor Senator Dianne Feinstein’s Keep Families Together Act (partly to rebuke the president and partly to appease the growing radical wing of the Democratic party) despite the bill proposing half-baked, open-border policies that very few Americans support.

Gabriel Malor wrote an eye-opening piece for The Federalist describing how devasting the Feinstein bill would truly be for our country it were passed. Malor notes that, “Every Senate Democrat has now signed on to cosponsor a bill written so carelessly that it does not distinguish between migrant children at the border and U.S. citizen children already within the United States. The bill further does not distinguish between federal officers handling the border crisis and federal law enforcement pursuing the ordinary course of their duties.”

The bill would negatively impact virtually the entire United States because it sloppily defines its geographic scope as “at or near the port of entry or within 100 miles of the border.” As Malor pointed out, “That’s roughly two-thirds of the U.S. population. Even more live near ports of entry, including in places far from the border crisis, like Salt Lake City, Utah (nearly 700 miles from the nearest border crossing), Tulsa, Oklahoma (more than 600 miles from the nearest border crossing), and Nashville, Tennessee (nearly 600 miles from the nearest border crossing). All major U.S. metropolitan areas fall within either 100 miles of the border or are near a port of entry or both.”

A recent Harvard-Harris Poll conducted by Mark Penn (who is not Republican) clearly shows that most Americans overwhelmingly disagree with the radical Democratic immigration agenda. To illustrate just how wide this gulf is, I’ve included the below chart that describes the percentage results of Penn’s poll by issue.
The results are clear. Sixty-four percent of registered voters said people who cross the border illegally should be sent back to their home countries. Only 36 percent said they should be allowed to stay. This result doesn’t significantly change when children are involved (61 percent to 39 percent).

Additionally, 61 percent of voters said current border security was inadequate – and 70 percent support more strict enforcement of immigration law. An astounding 84 percent of voters said sanctuary city policies should end, and 69 percent oppose the idea of abolishing ICE.
These numbers show how radical and out of sync the central planks of Democratic immigration platform truly are.

Byron York with the Washington Examiner has done an excellent job of describing the disconnect between the views of radical Democrats (including the media) and those of the American people – particularly with regards to the wide American support of President Trump’s immigration policies.

I have written a strategy paper citing the work of York and Malor[will add link] that describes how Republicans must use the facts about what Americans think about immigration policy and clearly communicate how and why the Republicans are right and the Democrats are wildly wrong.

The elite media is so biased that it is (and will no doubt continue) artificially propping up an increasingly radical Democratic Party while artificially suppressing the issue popularity of the Trump team.

So, the key purpose of the fall 2018 Republican Senate campaign is to communicate how totally unacceptable the radical Democratic views are and how radically they would change America if they succeed.

For example, radical Democrats support for sanctuary cities (and any Democrat who supports sanctuary cities is a radical) is deeply unpopular. Ending sanctuary cities is an 84-16 issue. Furthermore, Americans believe sanctuary cities increase crime by 64 percent to 36 percent. This is something that the House and Senate should vote on as often as possible.

The abolition ICE movement is also a completely looney Democratic idea that is completely rejected by the American public 69 percent to 31 percent. Republicans should point out that ICE has been an important part of combatting the opioid crisis and fighting drug cartels – which is destroying American families and communities across the country. In 2017 alone, the agency seized roughly 2,400 pounds of deadly fentanyl. Democrats should be made to answer why they think dangerous drugs that are tearing American families apart should be allowed to come in the country.

Every Republican challenger should get a copy of Feinstein’s open-borders bill and carry it to every event, press conference, and debate. Democratic incumbents should be forced to explain why they agreed to cosponsor a bill that will gut our ability to enforce immigration laws when 70 percent of Americans support more stringent border enforcement.

Across the board, Republicans range from a high of 84 percent to low of 60 percent for our immigration positions. These are winning positions. The Democrats cannot win on these issues if Republicans have the courage to ignore the elite media and focus on the American people.
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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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Report Is In: Arkansas Economy Is Strong

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson 
by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson: The numbers for the state's fiscal year are in, and, I am happy to report, the numbers are strong.

We finished the year with a surplus of more than $40 million, and we set aside additional savings in a long-term reserve fund.

The annual growth was the result of a 4.6 percent increase in individual income and a 3.4 percent increase in the collection of sales tax. In other words, more people in Arkansas are working, wages are up, and consumers are spending. All of this shows we have confidence in the future.

This is also the result of a conservative approach on the spending side of the ledger. As a state, we are spending our money wisely, and reducing the size of government where we can without cutting out essential services.
The numbers tell us that Arkansans are working, and that business in Arkansas is booming.

The latest figures from the Arkansas Economic Development Commission show that 72,500 more Arkansans are employed than in January 2015.

Arkansas’s unemployment rate has remained at or below the national average for 38 consecutive months and currently stands at 3.8 percent.

For several months last year, the unemployment rate was 3.4 percent, which is the lowest in the history of Arkansas.

Since January 2015, the Economic Development Commission has signed incentive agreements with 380 new and expanding companies in the state.

These 380 projects have produced approximately 14,500 new jobs in Arkansas.

These companies have infused our economy with $8 billion in new capital investment.

The average wage for the new jobs is over $20 per hour, which is an annual salary of approximately $43,000.

This is the second year we have had a budget surplus. Last year, the surplus was $15 million.

I also mentioned we have set up a long term reserve fund. This is money we have set aside for a time when the economy might not be as strong as it is today. This is money that can pave the way for future tax cuts, which will make us more competitive with our surrounding states. This is a great opportunity for us to increase the amount of money in our long-term reserve fund, which now has a balance of more than $120 million.

Arkansas’s economy is at a good place, and our budget for next year will continue our trend of careful spending, wise streamlining, and ever-improving efficiency.

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Why This Supreme Court Nominee Matters

by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: Candidate Donald Trump had many Republican critics. Some voted for him only out of concern for judges. With the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, he repaid their confidence in full.

If you listen to Democrats, you would believe that only one issue comes before the Supreme Court: abortion. And that Roe v. Wade deserves to be enshrined in the legal hall of fame.

In fact, at the time many honest liberals admitted that the majority opinion read like a legislative proposal. And the high court since has substantially modified Roe, limiting its impact.

The opinion’s greatest flaw was to ignore the imperative to protect life just months away from birth. For some, deciding the right balance between life and liberty will never be easy. Which is why the Founders left that question, like so many others, to legislators – the peoples’ representatives.

The basic question for those nominated to the Supreme Court is: Do they believe that the Constitution means what it says? Not every legal question is easy to answer. But judges are supposed to decide what the law is, not what they believe the law should be.

Brett Kavanaugh appears to be that sort of jurist. Republicans are not planning to vote for him because he will write their views into the Constitution. They are supporting him because he will respect the views upon which the Constitution is based.

If you don’t like what the Constitution says, you should amend it. You should not ask judges to do it for you. The Supreme Court is not a continuing constitutional convention, empowered to amend the nation’s fundamental law whenever the national zeitgeist changes.

Much of the Court’s most important work is stepping back. Refusing to interfere with work of other institutions. Sometimes that is the president, when, for instance, he bars entry of visitors from countries hostile to America. Or it is Congress, setting qualifications for welfare programs, such as Food Stamps.

Frequently it is states. In America states are sovereign and have responsibility for most practical problems. Even as the national government has expanded its reach, states—alongside cities, counties, and localities—remain the first responders to social problems.

This does not mean Washington can never intervene. But it needs constitutional warrant, as well as good cause, to do so.

For years the Left used its control of the federal courts to assume powers rightly left to the states. The national government took over issues, such as welfare, once the exclusive province of the states. More disturbingly, the national courts increasingly interfered with state law-making.

Of course, governors and legislatures sometimes do wrong. But, in most cases the federal system leaves them with principal responsibility for their citizens. States are meant to be laboratories of experimentation, responsive to citizens and willing to consider new solutions to common problems.

One of the most important areas where judges have meddled is election law. States are subject to congressional override, but only in terms of the “times, places and manner of holding elections” for federal offices, Senators and Representatives. Otherwise, they determine the election process.

While constitutional guarantees, such as equal protection, apply, they do not provide an excuse for federal judges to rewrite state election laws. Yet jurists routinely block measures to ensure the states’ ability to protect the integrity of their electoral processes, such as requiring identification to vote.

Judges also are trying to control the redistricting process and make legislative boundaries “fairer,” which usually means electing more Democrats. In fact, former president Barack Obama is appearing in ads backing Democratic plans to seize control of the process.

In Gill v. Whitford last term, Democrats challenged the new Wisconsin legislative maps. The American Civil Rights Union urged the high court to reject the challenge, citing the “Court’s recent reaffirmance of the original constitutional arrangement which gave states the general power to manage their elections subject to explicit and well-defined exceptions.” The justices maintained the status quo by ruling that the plaintiffs had no “standing” to bring the case, but similar lawsuits are sure to be filed in the future.

No one knows how Judge Kavanaugh would rule in any of these situations. However, his philosophy suggests that he would respect traditional constitutional boundaries. In particular he would not act as a super-legislator to determine state legislative districts across the country.

Supreme Court justices matter. Which is why the president’s nomination of Judge Kavanaugh deserves public support. We can’t predict how he would vote, but we can predict how he would think. Which is what makes him eminently qualified to sit on the high court.
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Ken Blackwell (@kenblackwell) is a former ambassador to the U.N., a former Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump Presidential Transition Team, and former Ohio State Treasurer and mayor of Cincinnati who currently serves on the board of numerous conservative policy organizations including the Policy Board of the American Civil Rights Union, and an Advisor to the Family Research Council. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service

Tags: Ken Blackwell, ARRA News Service, Why, This Supreme Court Nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Matters, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Persecution of Pakistani Christians Ramps Up in First Six Months of 2018

by ICC’s Pakistan Correspondent: (International Christian Concern) – The first half of 2018 bespeaks a frightening climate for Pakistan’s Christians. The nation has yet to make real progress change with respect to religious freedom for Christians.

Since its formation, Pakistan has regarded its religious minorities as second-class citizens. One has only to look at the country’s constitution for evidence. Religious minorities are legally barred from high government offices and all laws are required to be compatible with Islamic teachings. Judicial interpretation of the constitution has only served to reinforce the marginalization of Christians and other religious minorities.

Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy statutes continue to damage Pakistan’s Christian community with seven Christians booked under these laws between January and June 2018. Six blasphemy accusations were reported from Faisalabad and one from Lahore.

These blasphemy allegations created country-wide tensions and threatened the entire Christian community. On February 24, Sajid Masih, one of the victims of these blasphemy accusations, sustained major injuries when he jumped from the fourth floor of the Federal Investigation Agency building in Lahore where he and his cousin, Patras Masih, also accused of blasphemy, were being tortured. Prior to jumping, Sajid had reportedly been severely tortured and ordered by investigating officers to have sex with his male cousin.

When news of the blasphemy charges against Sajid and Patras was made public, a Muslim group blocked the main roads in Lahore, demanding that the Christian youths be hanged publicly. These protests spurred many members of Lahore’s Christian community to flee their homes under threat of being set on fire by the fundamentalists.

The first six months of 2018 have also seen kidnappings, rape, forced conversions, and discrimination. Among these victims was a 25-year-old Christian girl named Asma Yaqoob. On April 17, Asma was set on fire in the Sialkot District when a Muslim man threw acid on her body. According to reports, Asma refused to marry him and resisted when he attempted to forcibly marry her and convert her to Islam. She sustained burns over 80% of her body and died after fighting for her life for six days in a Lahore hospital.“Murders, kidnappings, forced conversions, forced marriages, attacks, discrimination, and church destruction are all issues that Pakistan’s authorities must address if Christians are to remain a part of the country’s national fabric.”On March 26, a Christian man named Suneel Saleem confronted medical staff after his pregnant sister was denied medical care. The medical staff and security guards at the Services Hospital in Lahore responded by beating him to death. The family remains under threat and is being pressured to withdraw the case against the medical staff.

Over the reporting period, Christians remained the target of Pakistan’s terrorist organizations. On April 2, terrorists connected to ISIS shot and killed a family of four Christians in Quetta. The family was shot as they were getting into an auto-rickshaw to attend an Easter celebration. The names of those who died were Firdous Emmanuel, Imran Masih, Tariq Masih, and Pervaiz Masih.

Two other Christians, Rashid Masih and Azhar Masih, were also killed by terrorists in Quetta on April 15. Two terrorists on a motorbike opened indiscriminate fire on a gathering of Christians on a street of a predominantly Christian neighborhood.

Christian places of worship were also targeted on several occasions over the past six months. A church run by the Gospel of Jesus Mission was set ablaze in Shahdara Town in Lahore on April 15, 2018. The alter, pulpit, dozens of Christian books, carpets, pedestal fans, plastic chairs, tables, wooden crosses, tarpaulin, and worship instruments were desecrated and reduced to ashes.

In January 2018, authorities identified and shut down six active house churches in the Abbottabad District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In June 2018, in Tobe Tek Singh, another church of the Full Gospel Assemblies faced intense opposition from their primarily Muslim village to the point of having to close down.

These examples are just a snapshot of the persecution that Christians in Pakistan have endured in the first six months of 2018 alone. Murders, kidnappings, forced conversions, forced marriages, attacks, discrimination, and church destruction are all issues that Pakistan’s authorities must address if Christians are to remain a part of the country’s national fabric. Until decisive action is taken, Christians in Pakistan will remain one of the most persecuted communities in the world.
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For interviews with William Stark, Regional Manager at International Christian Concern, contact Olivia Miller, Communications Coordinator: press@persecution.org

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Russians Indicted, Smirks, Smugness & Strzok, Faith Under Fire

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: 12 Russians Indicted - Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced this afternoon that 12 Russian intelligence agents have been indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for hacking into the Democrat National Committee, Hillary Clinton's campaign, the Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee, and several state elections offices.

The hacks also targeted companies that produce software "used to administer elections." They stole information on 500,000 voters, and hacked a company that "supplied software used to verify voter registration information."

Rosenstein said today that he had briefed the president about the indictments several days ago.  During his remarks in Europe this week, President Trump said on several occasions that he plans to bring up the issue of election interference with Russian President Vladimir Putin when the two leaders meet next week.

Rosenstein once again stressed that the actions did not change votes or impact the outcome of the election.

He also said that there is no allegation in the indictments that any Americans knew they were corresponding with Russians or that any American committed a crime, meaning there is still no evidence of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

I can't help but wonder whether much of the bitterness of the past 18 months, and perhaps the entire Mueller investigation itself, could have been avoided if the DNC had not refused FBI requests to inspect its server when the hack was discovered.

Nor do I understand why the FBI would launch a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign without first issuing subpoenas to seize and secure the DNC's server.  It certainly looks like the DNC had something to hide and that bias drove the FBI to assume the worst of Donald Trump.

While we're on the subject of election interference, the Washington Times has a disturbing report about just how easy it is for illegal immigrants to register and vote in our elections.

The left says voter fraud isn't a real issue, but this report found 139 cases of immigrants registered and voting illegally . . . in just one Pennsylvania county alone!

Smirks, Smugness & Strzok - Yesterday's congressional hearing featuring FBI agent Peter Strzok was one of the most bizarre episodes I have witnessed in Washington in a long time.  The display of arrogance by Peter Strzok was just breathtaking.

Keep in mind, my friends, that this is a discredited man.  This is not the kind of person we want in the upper echelons of the FBI.  He belittled and mocked half of the American people.  He was kicked off the Mueller investigation for his bias and demoted.  He was escorted out of the FBI's headquarters "amid an ongoing disciplinary process."

In his opening statement, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte said it best when he implored Democrats to consider the implications of Strzok's bias on our system of justice.  He said:

"For those who think we are wasting time in this committee, suppose all of this had been said about candidate Obama before he was elected or even more topical, about Hillary Clinton. . .  Would we be where we are today?  The only honest answer is an absolute affirmative, yes.

"Of course we would be here, because every single Democrat would be protesting bias and discrimination . . . by an out of control FBI and DOJ.

"So please stop saying this doesn't matter. . .  Instead, the American people hope you will understand that this investigation goes to the very heart of our system of justice, one that is supposed to be fair and treat everyone equally under the law."


Sadly, Democrats defended Strzok tooth-and-nail.  They praised him.  One liberal even said Strzok deserved a medal . . . the Purple Heart.

While insulting to our real heroes in uniform, there is some logic to that twisted suggestion.  Clearly many on the left see this biased deep state agent as a foot solider fighting for the progressive cause, doing his best to take down Donald Trump.

And that is exactly what Chairman Goodlatte is worried about.

Faith Under Fire - Yesterday I attended my second meeting of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.  We received several briefings regarding the dire state of religious liberty in numerous nations, and made plans to visit a number of countries.  We also heard from Ambassador Sam Brownback, who is the administration's point man on international religious freedom.

This is a remarkable moment, my friends, especially compared to the past eight years.  The previous administration promoted abortion and same-sex marriage as conditions of foreign aid.  The Trump/Pence Administration is seriously considering making improvements in religious liberty a requirement for nations receiving U.S. aid.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is a strong Christian, and he is raising this issue with foreign leaders.  Sam Brownback, whom I have known for many years, was always a strong voice for religious liberty in Congress, and continues to be in his capacity as ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

My fellow commissioners and I are very passionate about the task before us.  And it is a daunting task as these recent headlines illustrate:

"Nigeria's Fulani Jihadis Grow Deadlier than Boko Haram, Killing Hundreds of Christians in Days"

"PA TV To Pregnant Palestinians:  Your Fetus Will Be A 'Martyr For Palestine'"

"Middle East's Christians Are Dwindling Despite Deep Roots"

"Pope Francis Decries 'Murderous Indifference' Toward Persecuted Christians In Mideast"

I appreciate your prayers over the year ahead as this tremendously important work continues.
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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

Tags: Russians Indicted, Smirks, Smugness & Strzok, Faith Under Fire, Gary Bauer, End of Day To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Lefties Financing Jill Stein's Investigation of Election Rigging, Actually Paying Leninists to Defend Her on Russia

by Daniel Greenfield: O what a wicked web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.

You set out to investigate Russian conspiracies, but then you end up financing Leninists.

Dr. Jill Stein PhD, MS, BS, LSAT, MARX, the crush of Sandernistas who vowed never to vote for Hillary, might have walked away gracefully from the election. After all, unlike Ralph Nader, she didn't seem to have swung the election. At least that is until she started fundraising off the bitter tears of Democrats by promising to investigate the election if they gave her millions. Give her millions they did. Where it's going? That's the fun part.

Money that Jill Stein raised to recount votes in 2016 swing states is being used by her campaign to pay for legal bills stemming from the investigation of Russian interference in the last presidential election.Yes, you read that correctly.

Money raised for one conspiracy theory is being used to pay for a defense against another.

Back when Jill Stein began fundraising, the media hadn't settled yet on a mainstream election rigging conspiracy theory. Or Stein would have been a particularly bad investigator for the Russia conspiracy.

In June, The Daily Beast reported that the the U.S. Green Party candidate’s campaign, which raised $7.3 million for recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, had in 2017 stopped disclosing its monthly spending with the Federal Election Commission. Later that month, the Jill Stein for President committee filed a slew of reports that reveal spending on lawyers who are not trying to get inside any voting machines.

At the end of May 2018, according to the most recent FEC filing, the Stein campaign paid the “Partnership for Civil Justice” $66,441.60; that is on top of a $31,536 payment made in January, and more than the Stein campaign had in cash on hand by November 2016.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund is a nonprofit law firm whose mission is to “defend and advance fundamental civil, constitutional and human rights,” per a 2016 IRS filing. On its website, the group notes that it is representing Stein in her dealings before the the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
Being dragged into this is an inconvenience, but not a serious issue (one would assume) for Stein, who isn't a Republican and thus very unlikely to be a target of the Mueller coup, except in the collateral damage sort of way as Podesta.In an April 26 letter, Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, cofounder of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, told Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner that, “As its records reflect, the Campaign paid for Dr. Stein’s trip to Russia.” The letter also notes Stein’s willingness to comply with its requests for communication with Russian state media organizations and Russian government officials. Objections are raised, however, to what are deemed unconstitutionally vague requests for internal policy discussions and contacts with any “Russian persons,” regardless of affiliation.The Partnership for Civil Justice is a left-wing group (funny how the media rarely identifies them as such) and Mara has an interesting history, courtesy of DiscovertheNetworks.Mara Verheyden-Hillard is a co-founder of The Partnership for Civil Justice Legal Defense & Education Fund (PCJ-LDEF), which is a sub-unit of the International Action Center, which is a front for the Workers World Party, a Marxist-Leninist “vanguard” which aligns with North Korea. The PCJ-LDEF lawyers also work closely with the pro-Communist National Lawyers Guild. Dedicated to hampering the efforts of law-enforcement officials to investigate terrorist suspectsI'm sure that the media and Russia-shouters like Max Boot will get right on this.In May 2018, the Stein campaign also paid $9,325 in attorney fees to Miller & Chevalier. In August 2017, Politico described it as “a boutique firm in Washington” that had taken on the case of Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman. Manafort, accused of by special counsel Robert Mueller of money laundering, is currently in jail.It doesn't get better than that.In December 2017, Senate investigators requested documents from the Stein campaign as part of its own look into Russian government interference in the last presidential election. Stein has largely complied.Largely. So why stonewall to any degree?In a November 28 press release, the Stein campaign assured such donors that “recount funds are being held in a dedicated account, separate from Stein’s Presidential campaign treasury, and will be used to pay for all costs associated with the recounts.”Like the recount of how much trouble the election rigging conspiracy theory has gotten her into. When you unleash the lynch mob, it can lynch you too.
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Daniel Greenfield is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a New York writer focuses on Islamic terrorism and the radical left. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

Tags: Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Mag, Lefties, Financing, Jill Stein's Investigation, Election Rigging, Actually Paying Leninists, Defend Her on Russia To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Kasich Upset That Pro-Gun Lawmakers Are Acting Like Pro-Gun Lawmakers

Ohio Gov. John Kasich
by Tom Knighton: John Kasich wanted to be president. Right now, I’m damn glad he lost.

You see, the good governor is frustrated. Why? Well, it seems he’s frustrated that lawmakers who were elected at least in part on being pro-gun are acting like pro-gun politicians.

No, seriously.

Gov. John Kasich is sounding off on the lack of movement on gun regulations that he’d proposed earlier this year, commenting on it in two separate public events.

Kasich talked mostly foreign policy and the NATO summit at the National Press Club in Washington, but he did note his frustration about a package of gun law changes that he hoped Republican state lawmakers back home would take up. “I have a legislature that refuses to consider common sense gun bills,” Kasich said.
You’re damn right they refuse to consider “common sense gun bills.” Part of that is common sense doesn’t play any part of it.

For example, he’s talking about expanding the list of prohibited persons in Ohio to include people who historically have no history of being a risk to people. Further, there’s no mechanism to restore anyone’s right to keep and bear arms, a fundamental violation of those people’s civil liberties.

The lack of common sense is Kasich believing that Republican lawmakers in his state, as members of a party closely associated with pro-gun positions, would suddenly ignore the fact that they were pro-gun to advance his nonsense agenda.

Further, the extreme risk protection orders he’s trying to push through may sound good, but he needs to understand that there’s concern. Some people think that those who own guns are a risk all on the surface. Giving them a mechanism to strip us of our guns is something that he, as someone who swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States as well as Ohio’s should be concerned about. There’s a reason people have trepidation on this topic.

Especially since the catalyst for these proposals, the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, wasn’t the result of insufficient governmental power, but an insufficient governmental will to act on a known threat. Who the hell knows at this point.

What I do know is that gun owners are sick of being told to give up their rights when the failure isn’t theirs.

The most spectacular thing that happened in Parkland, Florida was how completely the government screwed up. At almost every level, they botched the handling of the Parkland killer, and now 17 people are dead. Why should we expect an extreme risk protection order to actually have made a difference? After all, it sure as hell sounds like the local government had ample reason to act and didn’t. Why should we expect the courts to have made a difference?

Gov. John Kasich wanted to be president, but right now he’s illustrating exactly why America is better off without him in the Oval Office.
---------------
Tom Knighton is a Navy veteran, a former newspaperman, a novelist, and a blogger at Bearing Arms. He lives with his family in Southwest Georgia and also contributes to PJ Media.

Tags: Gov. Kasich, Ohio, upset, Pro-Gun Lawmakers, Are Acting Like, Pro-Gun Lawmakers To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

How The 'Big Four' Accounting Firms Could Threaten Global Economy

. . . A Warning / Observations from "Down-Under."
by Michael Dulaney: When the story of the next global financial crisis is written, few would imagine grey-suited accountants in the role of villain.

But the stereotype of accounting being boring belies how important the profession has become to everyday life.

Much of the modern economy relies on the work of auditors: the accountants who independently verify a company's financial records.

This work is crucial in providing accurate reports to shareholders and, ultimately, for safeguarding the economy at large.

Recent scandals and financial crises have shown that accounting failure can easily lead to thousands of job losses and billions of dollars in bail-outs, says author and award-winning journalist Richard Brooks. "We're all affected by auditing," he said.

The current system now relies nearly entirely on the so-called "big four" accounting firms — KPMG, Ernst and Young, Deloitte and PwC — whose market share means they are often the only institutions big enough to audit multinational corporations.

So it should be of concern to us all, according to Brooks, that in recent years the big four have "lost sight of their core purpose", with only a third of their revenue coming from auditing and the rest earned from "consultancy services".

"It's not really any longer an accountancy profession," Brooks said.

"It's more a consultancy profession, or it would call itself professional services, with auditing just one of its business lines, and a minority one at that."

Brooks argues this has created a conflict of interest, as the firms are now selling billions of dollars worth of business advice to the same companies they are supposed to independently audit.

"We're in a situation where we need really good, strong, effective auditing more than ever," Brooks said.

"But at exactly that time, the auditors have stopped being so interested in it, and have become much more interested in making money for selling consultancy services."

Bean counters 'broke capitalism'
In his book Bean Counters: The Triumph of the Accountants and How They Broke Capitalism, Brooks lays out his argument for what is fundamentally wrong with the system.

For one thing, he says, the big four firms have huge market power — KPMG, the smallest of the group in the UK, earns more than the next five smaller firms put together.

Meanwhile, Brooks — who was a tax inspector for 16 years before becoming a journalist — argues the requirement for all companies to submit to auditing has effectively created a "state-guaranteed cartel" for accounting services.

"If you're a big multinational company you have to go to the big four," he said.

These "guaranteed cash flows", Brooks says, have enabled the big four to venture into new business areas, with recent examples including offering cyber security services and buying up smaller consultancy firms.

He said the ties between the accounting profession and the banking industry in the lead-up to the global financial crisis was a particularly striking example of the conflicts.

The big four "dramatically" increased their income from financial services and helped design some of the financial products that polluted bank balance sheets, Brooks says.

"They [the big four] really didn't have any interest in saying to Lehmann Brothers or RBS ... 'Look, your balance sheets are really looking not that great' because they were full of products that they had helped create."

Advisors to the government
It's not only the corporate sector that relies on the advice and professional clout of the big four.

Brooks says they have become a kind of consigliere for government — selling their services to politicians and bureaucrat who want support rather than an independent appraisal.

It has created a different kind of conflict of interest, where governments have increasingly come to rely on these reports and analysis to back up their policy decisions.

"There's no major policy change without the big four involved," Brooks said.

"Major infrastructure investment, transport policy, nuclear policy — almost everything you can think of is being driven by advice from the big four accountancy firms.

"That advice is always 'oh this'll be a great idea' because it then provides years of consultancy work for them [the big four], so they're heavily conflicted, and they also tend to give governments what they want to hear."

Breaking up the big four
Proposals to limit these conflicts of interest have aimed at separating the auditing and consulting arms of firms, in effect changing the big four into a big eight, or a big 16.

This would, partly, reverse some of the consolidation of accounting firms that lead to the creation of the big four over the past 150 years.

Earlier this year, the chief executive of the UK's Financial Reporting Council, Stephen Haddrill, proposed a similar idea and also called for another inquiry into the sector.

A previous inquiry in 2013 by the UK Competition Commission resulted in tougher rules for the industry, yet the market share of the big four continued to increase.

Mr Brooks said another option would be to have publicly-funded auditing of major institutions, so that the profit motive was removed from accounting services.

But any change would be met with resistance.

"I think the big four are already mounting some kind of defence," Brooks said.

"They are bracing themselves for change — they recognise something has to happen but they want the agenda to suit them."
----------------
Michael Dulaney is a digital journalist with the ABC in Sydney.


Tags: accounting, banking, consumer-finance, regulation, Sydney-2000, United States, Australia, Michael Dulaney To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Speaker Ryan Says No DACA Amnesty in FY19 Spending Bill

Speaker Paul Ryan
by Susan Ferrechio, Washington Examiner: House Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that an amnesty for DACA recipients would not be included in the year-end spending bill for fiscal year 2019. He explained that a federal court's ruling, which halted the Trump Administration's effort to end the DACA amnesty program, removed the deadline that had previously served as a motivation for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to find a legislative solution.

Speaker Ryan said that after the deadline was removed, Democrats abandoned any effort to work with Republicans to resolve the issue.

"When we lost our deadline, Democrats walked away from the table," Speaker Ryan said. "I think this issue is probably going to be dealt with by the courts."

He added that any DACA Amnesty deal must include the pillars of White House immigration framework, which called for ending chain migration, eliminating the Visa Lottery, and providing citizenship to 1.8 million illegal aliens in exchange for $25 billion in wall funding.

"I think the four pillars are the way we land ...

"And I don't want to use an artificial deadline like the end of the fiscal year."

Speaker Ryan's statement comes after House Republicans voted down two immigration bills last month -- H.R. 4760, the Securing America's Future Act, and H.R. 6136, the Goodlatte-Ryan-Denham amnesty plan.

For more on this story, see the ouse Speaker Paul Ryan said Thursday that an amnesty for DACA recipients would not be included in the year-end spending bill for fiscal year 2019. He explained that a federal court's ruling, which halted the Trump Administration's effort to end the DACA amnesty program, removed the deadline that had previously served as a motivation for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to find a legislative solution.

Speaker Ryan said that after the deadline was removed, Democrats abandoned any effort to work with Republicans to resolve the issue.

"When we lost our deadline, Democrats walked away from the table," Speaker Ryan said. "I think this issue is probably going to be dealt with by the courts."

He added that any DACA Amnesty deal must include the pillars of White House immigration framework, which called for ending chain migration, eliminating the Visa Lottery, and providing citizenship to 1.8 million illegal aliens in exchange for $25 billion in wall funding.

"I think the four pillars are the way we land ...

"And I don't want to use an artificial deadline like the end of the fiscal year."

Speaker Ryan's statement comes after House Republicans voted down two immigration bills last month -- H.R. 4760, the Securing America's Future Act, and H.R. 6136, the Goodlatte-Ryan-Denham amnesty plan.

Tags: Speaker Paul Ryan,
No DACA Amnesty, in FY19 Spending Bill, NumbersUSA
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‘Beaten Back’ By Fact Checkers

Democrats’ ‘Hysterical,’ ‘Exaggerated’ Supreme Court Attacks

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[T]he hysterical attacks haven’t gotten any less desperate, or any more sensible. No sooner are these silly attacks launched than they’re beaten back by the facts.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 7/11/2018)

‘Disingenuous,’ ‘Extreme Distortion,’ ‘Exaggerated,’ ‘No Evidence To Justify These Theories’

ONE: WASHINGTON POST’S FACT CHECKER: “[T]here’s no evidence to justify these theories…. Standing alone, the tweets from [Democrat Senate candidate Richard] Painter and [Center for American Progress President Neera] Tanden are incendiary and worthy of Four Pinocchios.” (“The Thinly Sourced Theories About Trump’s Loans And Justice Kennedy’s Son,” The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Blog, 7/12/2018)

TWO: WASHINGTON POST’S FACT CHECKER:> “To say Kavanaugh is Trump’s ‘get-out-of-jail free card’ is an extreme distortion of what he’s written.” (“Does Brett Kavanaugh Think The President Is Immune From Criminal Charges?,” The Washington Post’s Fact Checker Blog, 7/11/2018)

THREE: Even POLITIFACT Says: “Democrats aren’t telling the full story about what Kavanaugh said.” (“Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Said Presidents Shouldn’t Be Investigated, Schumer Said,” Politifact, 7/10/2018)

FOUR: THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Democrats Overstate Kavanaugh’s Writings on the Affordable Care Act” (“Democrats Overstate Kavanaugh’s Writings on the Affordable Care Act,” The New York Times, 7/12/2018)

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Leader of Pakistani Islamist Group Vows to Wipe Holland Off the Map

by Khaleda Rahman: The leader of a Pakistani Islamist group vowed to 'wipe Holland off the face of the earth' with a nuclear attack in response to a Prophet Muhammad cartoon competition being held in the country.

Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the leader of Tehreek Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), issued the warning at an event organised by the Karachi Press Club last week.

'If they give me the atom bomb, I would remove Holland from the face of the earth before they can hold a competition of caricatures,' he said, according to the Times of India.

'I will wipe them off the face of this earth.'

He was referencing a competition of cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad announced by The Freedom Party of Dutch anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders last month.

The party said the plan to hold the competition in the party's secure offices in Dutch Parliament had been approved by the Dutch Counter-terrorism Agency NCTV.

Wilders' Freedom Party is the leading opposition party in parliament after coming in second place in elections last March.

He has called for the Koran to be banned, and says Islam is a totalitarian faith.

'Freedom of speech is threatened, especially for Islam critics,' Wilders said in a statement.

'We should never accept that. Freedom of speech is our most important freedom.'

American cartoonist Bosch Fawstin, winner of a similar contest in Garland, Texas, in May 2015, has been asked to judge the Dutch contest, which will be held later this year.

Earlier in 2015, Islamist gunmen killed 12 people at the Paris offices of the French secularist satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, which had printed cartoons of the Prophet.

In 2005, the publication in a Danish newspaper of a dozen cartoons depicting the Prophet led to violent protests across the Muslim world.

Meanwhile, the TLP is a political party known for its vehement opposition to changes in Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

Last November, more than 2,000 TLP members staged a three-week long sit in at Faizabad – the intersection of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi – protesting a small change to the oath taken by parliamentary candidates.

It would have seen them say 'I believe' instead of 'I solemnly swear' that Prophet Muhammad is the final prophet.

The government ultimately rolled back the change in the Election Act, claiming it had been a clerical error.
---------------
Khaleda Rahman wrote this article for Daily Mail and shared to evidence the threats posed by radical in the world.

Tags: Khaleda Rahman, Daily Mail, Leader Pakistani Islamist Group, Khadim Hussain Rizvi. Vows to, Wipe Holland, Off the Map To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Is a Coming NATO Crisis Inevitable?

by Patrick Buchanan: Of President Donald Trump’s explosion at Angela Merkel’s Germany during the NATO summit, it needs to be said: It is long past time we raised our voices.

America pays more for NATO, an alliance created 69 years ago to defend Europe, than do the Europeans. And as Europe free-rides off our defense effort, the EU runs trade surpluses at our expense that exceed $100 billion a year.

To Trump, and not only to him, we are being used, gouged, by rich nations we defend, while they skimp on their own defense.

At Brussels, Trump had a new beef with the Germans, though similar problems date back to the Reagan era. Now we see the Germans, Trump raged, whom we are protecting from Russia, collaborating with Russia and deepening their dependence on Russian natural gas by jointly building the Nord Stream 2 pipeline under the Baltic Sea.

When completed, this pipeline will leave Germany and Europe even more deeply reliant on Russia for their energy needs.

To Trump, this makes no sense. While we pay the lion’s share of the cost of Germany’s defense, Germany, he said in Brussels, is becoming “a captive of Russia.”

Impolitic? Perhaps. But is Trump wrong? While much of what he says enrages Western elites, does not much of it need saying?

Germany spends 1.2 percent of its gross domestic product on defense, while the U.S. spends 3.5 percent. Why?

Why — nearly three decades after the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, the crackup of the Soviet Union and the overthrow of the Communist dictatorship in Moscow — are we still defending European nations that collectively have 10 times the GDP of Vladimir Putin’s Russia?

Before departing Brussels, Trump upped the ante on the allies, urging that all NATO nations raise the share of their GDPs that they devote to defense to 4 percent.

Brussels may dismiss this as typical Trumpian bluster, but my sense is that Trump is not bluffing. He is visibly losing patience.

Though American leaders since John Foster Dulles in the 1950s have called for a greater defense effort from our allies, if the Europeans do not get serious this time, it could be the beginning of the end for NATO.

And not only NATO. South Korea, with an economy 40 times that of North Korea, spends 2.6 percent of its GDP on defense, while, by one estimate, North Korea spends 22 percent, the highest share on earth.

Japan, with the world’s third-largest economy, spends an even smaller share of its GDP on defense than Germany, 0.9 percent.

Thus, though Seoul and Tokyo are far more menaced by a nuclear-armed North Korea and a rising China, like the Europeans, both continue to rely upon us as they continue to run large trade surpluses with us.

We get hit both ways. We send troops and pay billions for their defense, while they restrict our access to their markets and focus on capturing U.S. markets from American producers.

We are giving the world a lesson in how great powers decline.

America’s situation is unsustainable economically and politically, and it’s transparently intolerable to Trump, who does not appear to be a turn-the-other-cheek sort of fellow.

A frustrated Trump has already hinted he may accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea as he accepted Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem.

And he appears earnest about reducing our massive trade deficits in goods that have been bleeding jobs, plants, equipment, capital and technology abroad.

The latest tariffs Trump has proposed, on $200 billion worth of Chinese-made goods, would raise the price of 40 percent of China’s exports to the U.S. and begin to shrink the $375 billion trade surplus Beijing ran in 2017.

Trump said upon departing Brussels he had won new commitments to raise European contributions to NATO. But Emmanuel Macron of France seemed to contradict him. The commitments made before the summit, for all NATO nations to reach 2 percent of GDP for defense by 2024, said Macron, stand, and no new commitments were made.

As for Trump’s call for a 4 percent defense effort by all, it was ignored. Hence the question: If Trump does not get his way and the allies hold to their previous schedule of defense commitments, what does he do?

One idea Trump floated last week was the threat of a drawdown of the 35,000 U.S. troops in Germany. But would this really rattle the Germans?

A new poll shows that a plurality of Germans favor a drawdown of U.S. troops, and only 15 percent believe that Germany should raise its defense spending to 2 percent of GDP.

While Trump’s pressure on NATO to contribute more is popular here, apparently Merkel’s resistance comports with German opinion.

Since exiting the Iranian nuclear deal, President Trump has demanded that our European allies join the U.S. in reimposing sanctions. Now he is demanding that the Europeans contribute more to defense.

What does he do if they defy us? More than likely, we will find out.
--------------------
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, NATO, crisis 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 Deeply State

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author:  FBI agent Peter Strzok is offended.

Deeply.

He takes pains to clarify: he sent emails during the last presidential campaign expressing a willingness and readiness and commitment to preventing a Trump Presidency because he, Agent Strzok, is patriotic.

Deeply.

During yesterday’s contentious congressional interrogation, fielding questions regarding just how anti-Trump he was during the last presidential campaign, Peter Strzok denied that his obvious and admitted political bias affected his professional conduct.

“Like many people, I had and expressed personal political opinions during an extraordinary presidential election,” said Agent Strzok. “My opinions were expressed out of deep patriotism.”

But it wasn’t just a matter of expression, was it? One text message was an assurance that he would “stop” Trump’s election. When challenged on this, Strzok admitted that his memory was faulty.

Deeply?

“At no time, in any text,” Strzok said, decisively, “did those personal beliefs enter into the realm of any action I took.”

When a citizen expresses a credible threat to a president, federal agents investigate. His exchange with his “girlfriend,” Lisa Page, was not what we now call an “existential threat,” of course. Ms. Page had texted her worry about a Trump win: the man was “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok’s reply was not vague: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” The threat is, at most, covert-political, back-room. FBI-ish. The couple were, after all, a part of an investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged Russian connection.

Though one could easily understand a married man assuring his inamorata simply to puff himself up in her eyes, this assurance sure looks different to our eyes — it cannot help but make us suspicious.

Deeply.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
------------------
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. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

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Strzok Out . . .

. . . Peter Strzok Reeks of arrogance and deceit as demonstrated in the hearings, while the Democrats deflected and played defense.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Peter Strzok, Reeks, arrogance, deceit. demonstrated in the hearings, Democrats deflected, played defense To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Proposed FCC Rule Change to Reshape Children’s Television

by Natalia Castro: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been run by archaic laws for too long. KidVid rules that were implemented in the 1990’s, continue to restrict broadcasters’ ability to cater toward the needs of their clientele. What began as well-intentioned regulations to enhance televised learning opportunities for children, have become burdensome regulations that limit broadcaster’s ability to meet the needs of their clientele. Luckily, the FCC has begun the process of reviewing and revising these regulations in order to match the technology of the modern era.

When the 1990 Children’s Television Act passed it required broadcasters to “serve the educational and informational needs of children in its overall programming and imposed commercial limitations during such programming.”

Over the next nearly 30 years, the FCC has expanded upon the regulation. Since 2006, the FCC has required broadcasters to place a greater emphasis on fulfilling children “cognitive/intellectual” needs as opposed to their “social/emotional” needs and must air at least 30 minutes of regularly scheduled children programs between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. at the risk of losing their broadcast license if these rules are not met.

This has caused a significant strain on broadcasters.

The National Association of Broadcaster (NAB) found in a July 2017 report, one group that owned 15 TV stations was required to file 473 PDF pages of reports for the FCC in the first quarter of 2017 alone. NAB predicted the group would file approximately 1,892 pages by the end of 2017 merely letting the FCC know what children’s programs they aired that year.

Commissioner O’Rielly has taken a lead role in solving this problem. On July 12, 2018, the Commission voted to begin the process of easing rules on broadcasters.

O’Rielly explains, “[The FCC] adopted what is known as a Notice to Oppose Rulemaking which starts the process of asking questions about our existing rules and takes us on a new path for what the rules should look like moving into… future years, what should be our obligations for local broadcasters. The market has changed, and our rules need to reflect that.”

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning commended this effort, “The existing rules no longer make sense in the new world of media options and disproportionately impact over the air, local broadcasters… FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly is doing the public a great service by taking on this task to ensure that the law on children’s programming is followed and the regulations reflect the modern programming realities.”

Television has changed in the last 28 years, and we must have an FCC that realizes that and makes rules reflecting that. FCC Commissioner O’Rielly has taken a significant step toward enacting rules that match our modern needs and end over regulation for broadcasters.
---------------
Natalia Castro is Outreach Coordinator at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Natalia Castro, Americans for Limited Government, proposed FCC rule, Children's Television To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump Moves To Protect Home Care Workers

by SEIU Monitor: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has proposed rolling back an Obama-Era regulation that allowed union dues to be deducted from Medicaid checks. If the proposed regulation takes effect, only deductions specifically allowed by law, such as court-ordered wage garnishments or child support payments, will be permissible. Of course, any caregivers who wish to join or stay in a union could still do so. They would just need to make arrangements to pay their dues, which could easily be done by authorizing the union to draft money from their bank account.

For years, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has skimmed money off of Medicaid checks sent to in-home personal care workers. Many of these people care for relatives or friends and did not want to join a union. In Minnesota, 27,000 caregivers were unionized after an election in which fewer than 6,000 voted and SEIU received less than 3,600 votes. Unsurprisingly, some had no idea when the unionization election was being held and were surprised when they noticed that money had been deducted from their Medicaid checks without their authorization. Of course, SEIU does little for these home health care providers: it does not negotiate their hours, breaks, or tasks, file grievances, etc.

To grow its membership, SEIU has been accused of very aggressive tactics from hassling caregivers and their patients to forging signatures on unionization cards. Home care workers who expressed no interest in supporting the union had organizers call repeatedly and show up at their homes to try to sell them on the union. Unfortunately, once SEIU succeeds in unionizing caregivers, it is very difficult to get rid of the union as some workers discovered. The difficulty of firing the union under the current system is one of the reasons why this proposed rule is so needed.

SEIU’s aggressive tactics and lobbying have paid off — for the union. According to one estimate, SEIU collects $200 million a year from 500,000 caregivers as a result of this scheme. To help put these figures in perspective, SEIU’s national headquarters reports that the union has over 1.9 million members and that the headquarters had revenues last year of nearly $315 million.

SEIU also has a history of fighting tooth-and-nail to keep collecting money from home care workers. In 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in the Harris v. Quinn case that home health care providers could not be forced to pay agency fees to a union. SEIU has fought back aggressively by getting friendly state politicians to pass favorable laws. For example, some caregivers have been required to attend meetings with union representatives. In addition, when the Freedom Foundation launched a campaign to inform home care providers about their right to leave their union, SEIU lobbied for a change in the law to make it more difficult for the foundation to get the caregivers’ contact information. If SEIU were truly helping home care workers, then why has the union been so frantic to try to keep its members in the dark about their rights?

With so much money at stake, SEIU will no doubt do everything within its power to prevent this proposed rule from taking effect. If the rule does move forward, SEIU will work to generate thousands of comments opposing it. SEIU can also be expected to file a lawsuit to halt the rule and to work to elect more bought-and-paid-for politicians to rescind the rule should it take effect.

The Trump Administration’s proposed rule protecting Medicaid payments from unnecessary, and often unwanted, dues deductions is an important first step in the right direction. After all, taxpayers provide funds to pay caregivers to assist the elderly and disabled, not to fill the coffers of power-hungry unions. The sooner the rule is finalized and takes effect, the sooner these abuses of workers and taxpayers will end.
-----------------
SEIU Monitor watches the Service Employees International Union (or SEIU) for dirty tactics, scandals, shady lobbying and union mismanagement.

Tags: SEIU Monitor, Trump Moves, To Protect, Home Care Workers, Medicade payments, SEIU, Union scams, elections 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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  • 4/24/16 - 5/1/16
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  • 10/16/16 - 10/23/16
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  • 11/20/16 - 11/27/16
  • 11/27/16 - 12/4/16
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  • 12/11/16 - 12/18/16
  • 12/18/16 - 12/25/16
  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
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  • 1/8/17 - 1/15/17
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  • 1/22/17 - 1/29/17
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  • 11/26/17 - 12/3/17
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  • 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
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  • 2/18/18 - 2/25/18
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  • 4/22/18 - 4/29/18
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  • 5/20/18 - 5/27/18
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