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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 20, 2018

The Moon Landing and Our Lost Half-Century

by Newt Gingrich: Forty-nine years ago, today, we had every reason to believe that Neil Armstrong’s “small step for [a] man,” was in fact the first part of a “giant leap for mankind.”

At the time, it was reasonable to expect that our space program would continue to move at the pace of the Apollo program. It was therefore reasonable to think that by 2018 we would have four to five colonies on the Moon, space-based outposts in various lunar and cislunar orbits, mining operations on several asteroids, and a preliminary habitat on Mars.

In fact, when Arthur C. Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey in 1968, it made sense to mark 2001 as the timeframe in which humans would develop the technology and shape the reality that he described.

However, we have clearly fallen short of Armstrong’s and Clarke’s visions.

Instead of building a robust space program, we built a robust space bureaucracy. After nearly 50 years wandering in a mostly Earth-bound wilderness of red tape – and spending roughly $555 billion on risk averse, underwhelming, mostly unmanned space observation projects – we have not truly taken Armstrong’s giant leap.

I did an episode of my Facebook series “What If? History that Could’ve Been” about how different America – and humanity – would be had the U.S. continued to build on the John F. Kennedy-era space program. President Nixon’s decision to slow down and moderate the Kennedy space program amounted to one of the biggest hits to scientific advancement in our country’s history. It set us down the path of high costs and large bureaucracy that now dominates NASA.
However, we are currently at a turning point that could course-correct this misstep.

President Trump represents a fundamental change in thinking about space, just as he is a fundamental change agent in so many other areas.

In signing the re-establishment of the National Space Council after 25 years he said, “America will think big once again. Important words: Think big. We haven’t been thinking so big for a long time, but we’re thinking big again as a country. We will inspire millions of children to carry on this proud tradition of American space leadership — and they’re excited — and to never stop wondering, hoping, and dreaming about what lies beyond the stars.”

Vice President Mike Pence may be the perfect implementer of the “think big” space approach. Pence has always been fascinated by space. Before he won a congressional seat, he drove to Florida with his family to watch rockets being launched. Chairing the Space Council may be the assignment that makes him happiest.

Furthermore, in some ways, the Trump-Pence approach is even broader than the JFK approach. Kennedy was using space to influence a cold war on Earth. Trump and Pence want Americans to go into space permanently.

The interim post-Apollo, pre-Trump NASA system has focused on sending very-well trained astronauts on expensive, narrowly focused missions (look at their planning for a Mars trip nearly two decades from now).

Trump and Pence want ordinary Americans with modest training going into space as pioneers and colonizers. Their vision inherently requires dramatic drops in cost and increases in capability. It is the same model we followed while exploring the North American continent. First came the “professionals” and then came the settlers as soon as economic viability was established. Fifty years after the first human extraterrestrial landings, we are about to enter the second phase of American space exploration.

The amazing thing about this moment in space policy is that an entrepreneurial president can now turn to entrepreneurial leaders for less expensive, more accessible space assets.

Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Paul Allen, Richard Branson, and Eren and Fatih Ozmen (the owners of Sierra Nevada Corporation) are leaders working to make access to space cheaper and more reliable for normal people.

The new approaches of Bezos’s Blue Origin and Musk’s SpaceX will lower costs by at least 40 percent (and the next generation of reusables with new materials technology may take that reduction even further). Equally important, these entrepreneurs are the forerunners of new systems that will have daily launches – instead of monthly launches.

When combined with 3D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, and microminiaturization, the breakthroughs in launch cost and frequency will lead Americans to the Moon, Mars, and mining asteroids.

Under the Trump-Pence spacefaring vision, we could quickly expand the experience of few astronauts, to extraterrestrial habitats for dozens, hundreds, and eventually thousands of Americans.

After the extraordinary success of the Kennedy challenge, we unfortunately turned our attention back to Earth.

If the Trump-Pence challenge prevails, Americans will be living beyond Earth and looking toward the stars for the rest of our existence.

It is this tremendous effort to democratize space and turn access to space into an opportunity for everyone that will help us to finally achieve the “giant leap” that Armstrong knew would take us into a much brighter, more exciting future.
Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, moon landing, lost half-century,  return to space, Mike Pence, "think big" space appoach  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Maxine Waters Suddenly Isn't Fond of Protesting Elected Officials

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, California's 43rd congressional district
by Tom Knighton: Congresswoman Maxine Waters recently advocated that people harass every member of the Trump administration, making it virtually impossible for them to live normal lives simply because she disagrees with their politics. The dangers to everyone involved in this kind of thing and the threat to our civil society are obvious.

Well, she apparently couldn't see one step ahead, because she is now being protested at her office -- and she's warning her supporters to stay away. Apparently she's concerned they might do the things she advocated, but to her.

She's also smearing gun owners as violent.

The Oath Keepers is a group that advocates for former military and law enforcement to remember their oaths should the government come to confiscate their guns. I'm not a fan; the Oath Keepers have a track record of making a lot of noise and then accomplishing nothing. Their part in the Cliven Bundy situation eventually ended with them running away, citing a supposed drone strike that never came, for example. They are reportedly planning a protest of Waters at her Los Angeles office.

Waters has zero reason to believe anyone is in danger. Waters is warning supporters that it will potentially be an "armed protest" because of the Oath Keepers' pro-gun stance and the fact that they have carried firearms at other demonstrations. Of course, protesters who are legally carrying firearms are far less of a safety threat than protesters who show up with clubs and a mask.

Why didn't Waters consider that her supporters whom she told to hound elected officials in public were confronting armed people, too? Where was this concern about violence when she supported screaming at families while they eat dinner?

Why didn't Waters consider that her supporters whom she told to hound elected officials in public were confronting armed people, too? Where was this concern about violence when she supported screaming at families while they eat dinner?

Waters loves the idea of people being faced with vehement -- and even intimidating -- protests over their positions, except when she's the target. Progressives tend to be that way. Violence is fine when Antifa is burning Berkley, but if guys who own guns say they're going to protest (note the word "protest," not "attack") at a progressive lawmaker's office -- as legitimate a place to demonstrate against that lawmaker as you'll find -- then suddenly society is breaking down.

To claim it's unsafe for her supporters is a smear. Any violence that would erupt would likely come from her pro-violence supporters who counter-protest and couldn't deal with people not backing meekly away. Recent history demonstrates that result.
Tom Knighton is a Navy veteran, a former newspaperman, a novelist, and a blogger. He lives with his family in Southwest Georgia and contributes to PJ Media.

Tags: Maxine Waters, Suddenly Isn't Fond, Protesting Elected Officials, Tom Knighton, PJ Media To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Belgian Political Leader Predicts European Civil War . . .

. . . Is Near As Governments Are Losing Control
by Voice of Europe: A leading member of the Belgian right-wing party, Vlaams Belang, said we could be close to a civil war in Europe. “Lynching, violence and vandalism, the urban guerrilla is portentous,” Filip Dewinter writes on Twitter.

The leading member of Vlaams Belang, reacted on twitter to the French World Cup riots, during which shops were looted, police were attacked and hundreds were injured.

In his tweet he added footage of a white man being ambushed by several migrants.

“I think the tensions will only increase,” Dewinter tells Belgian news outlet Sceptr. “What we see is a sort of ethnic underside of society, people who aren’t raised well and who know nothing else other than rioting, violence and vandalism.”

“We have reached a pre-revolutionary condition in which people separate themselves from society into gangs motivated by radical Islam,” Dewinter says.

According to Dewinter the intent behind the attacks is as follows. Attacks on the police are attacks on the state’s authority and attacks on shops are attacks on white culture.

“This form of violence can lead to a civil war if governments lose control and white people revolt.” He adds: “This situation is closer than we think, it could erupt really quickly and large cities will be the battlefields.”

Dewinter says “Complete neighbourhoods are already beyond control of the government and the police because Islamic cultural structures have overtaken them”.

There will be a point in time where this ethnic violence will be large-scale then there won’t be much needed for the situation to explode.
H/T Voice of Europe.

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Air Force Base Defends Replacing Bible with Generic “Book of Faith”

by Todd Starnes: The commander at F.E. Warren Air Force Base is defending her decision to remove a Bible from a POW-MIA table and replace it with a generic “book of faith.”

Col. Stacy Jo Huser, the 90th Missile Wing commander, tells the Todd Starnes Radio Show that the Bible was removed to insure “the religious and non-religious feel included and cared for.”

The Bible was removed following complaints from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.

The head of the foundation, Mikey Weinstein, wrote in the HuffPost that he is dedicated to fighting “virulent religious oppression” carried out by “incredibly well-funded gangs of fundamentalist Christian monsters who terrorize their fellow Americans by forcing their weaponized and twisted version of Christianity upon their helpless subordinates in our nation’s armed forces.”

The MRFF alleges that as many as 36 unnamed clients at the Air Force base in Wyoming have complained about the inclusion of the Bible on the table honoring prisoners of war and missing comrades.

Taking care of our Airmen is a top priority for the 90th Missile Wing and its leaders,” Col. Huser told me in a statement. “To drive that point home, one of our focus areas on F.E. Warren Air Force Base is increasing the sense of belonging for all our Airmen; a large part of that effort is ensuring the religious and non-religious feel included and cared for.”

It did not seem to matter that the table traditionally includes a Holy Bible to represent “faith in a higher power and the pledge to our country, founded as one nation under God.”

Col. Huser tells me the Bible will be replaced with “a ‘book of faith’ containing spiritual writings and prayers from the five DoD Chaplain appointed faith groups and a sixth set of blank pages to represent those who find solace by other means.”

So she’s going to include a bunch of blank pages for those who find solace in — nothing

“No matter an Airman’s religious or non-religious beliefs, it is crucial for all to know we are an equally valued part of the same team vital to our mission’s success,” the commander said.

Let’s cut to the chase – President Trump needs to immediately intervene and put a stop to these ugly attacks from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation.
Todd Starnes (@toddstarnes) is A Christian Conservative, the host of Fox News & Commentary and heard daily on 250+ radio stations and on his iTune podcasts.

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Economic Illiteracy, Summit Smackdown, Fighting For Faith

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Economic Illiteracy - We told you recently about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's difficulty comprehending the unemployment rate. She claimed it was low because so many people were working two jobs. The left-leaning site PolitiFact rated her claim not just false, but "Pants On Fire!"

Unfortunately, others on the left are just as confused. Sen. Elizabeth Warren doubled down, telling MSNBC that Americans are working "two, three, or four jobs to try to pay the rent and keep food on the table."

The left is going to find it hard to make the class warfare argument when virtually every economic class and statistic is showing improvement. But they are trying.

And if you want even more examples of left-wing economic illiteracy, check out this video of Rep. Keith Ellison, deputy chairman of the Democrat National Committee, explaining why national borders create "injustice" because illegal immigrants can't unionize.
Seriously, my friends, you can't make this stuff up!

Summit Smackdown - White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced yesterday that administration officials are communicating with Russian leaders about a follow-up summit this fall in Washington, D.C. Needless to say, the left-wing media went nuts.

What other president would have the courage to do that after the fallout from the Helsinki Summit? Donald Trump is fearless and a natural fighter.

Throughout the campaign and much of his presidency, we were told that Trump was stupid and erratic, and would get us into a nuclear war. (We heard the same things about Ronald Reagan too.) Now they are attacking Trump because he is trying "too hard" to make peace.

Rush Limbaugh asked a key question yesterday. He noted that Trump's critics keep saying it was outrageous that he did not confront Vladimir Putin during the Helsinki press conference. They have no idea what he said behind closed doors.

But can any of the critics name the date and place of any summit when a U.S. president attacked a foreign leader with whom he was trying to negotiate? They can't because summits aren't meant for smackdowns, but diplomacy.

The left-wing media keeps saying that Trump won't follow the rules. But it is the left that is constantly changing the rules, moving the goal posts and demanding something that has never happened.

Fighting For Faith - Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed an appropriations bill on a narrow vote of 217 to 199. Tucked inside that bill is legislation that effectively guts the Johnson Amendment, thereby allowing pastors to speak freely from the pulpit about public policy without fear of the IRS.

To give you some idea of why this legislation is necessary, just consider what happened recently to Catholic bishops in Texas.

They were sued by abortionists challenging a state law requiring that abortionists respectfully dispose of the bodies of aborted babies. The Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops had offered to provide "free or low-cost burials."

In their legal challenge to the law, the abortionists demanded all the bishops' documents and communications regarding abortion, miscarriages, the law and any communications with Texas officials and legislators in the past two years. Incredibly, a left-wing judge ordered the bishops to comply.

Thankfully, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-to-1 that the lower court judge had violated the First Amendment rights of the Texas bishops. Judge Jim Ho wrote, "It is hard to imagine a better example of how far we have strayed from the text and original understanding of the Constitution than this case."

This isn't the first time religious leaders in Texas have been threatened by leftist politicians and activists for speaking out on matters of faith and public policy.

My friends, there is no question that religious freedom is under fire from the left.

Thankfully, President Trump and his Senate allies are making tremendous progress appointing conservative judges to the courts. In fact, they have set a record. But there are still many more vacancies to fill.

We must expand our majority in the Senate this year in order to confirm Trump's judges and defend religious liberty!
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, Economic Illiteracy, Summit Smackdown, Fighting For Faith To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Time to Junk Racial Quotas in Higher Education

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: "It's time for enlightened America to hit reset on affirmative action once and for all," writes Columbia University linguistics professor John McWhorter in The American Interest. By affirmative action, of course, he means the racial quotas and preferences that most selective college and university admissions departments employ.

"The reason America can never truly come together in understanding racial preferences is not benighted racism rearing its head as always," he goes on. "It's because the rationales simply no longer make any damned sense." Forty years ago, they were arguably needed to reverse anti-black discrimination. Today, beneficiaries tend to come from upscale households or immigrant families never subject to discrimination here.

The weakness of the case in favor of racial quotas and preferences -- which are literally racial discrimination, otherwise banned by the 14th Amendment and the 1964 Civil Rights Act -- is illustrated in a Washington Post column by the thoughtful liberal Charles Lane subtitled "why restart the war?"

Lane doesn't bother to defend this form of racial discrimination as a good thing. He just says that Donald Trump doesn't oppose it and most of his voters don't particularly care about it. On this issue, unlike many others, he's ready to accept Trump's and his followers' priorities.

His equally thoughtful colleague Megan McArdle, assuming that ending quotas would reduce black and Hispanic numbers at selective schools, adds a curious defense of the status quo: "Elite institutions that systematically and markedly differ from the general population create a gaping social wound that never heals." Really?

Our four most recent presidents, like eight of their predecessors, earned degrees at Harvard University or Yale University (both for George W. Bush). Our history has been far less blighted than Asia's or Europe's by resentment at or persecution of what Yale Law professor Amy Chua calls "market-dominant minorities." Americans don't much mind people of unusual ethnicity earning success by merit, whether in the National Basketball Association or in Nobel Prizes.

But pushing the case against racial quotas and preferences is the increasingly glaring contest between elite institutional practice and constitutional principle. "Governmental use of race must have a logical end point," then-Justice Sandra O'Connor wrote Grutter v. Bollinger, allowing racial preferences at the University of Michigan Law School. "We expect that 25?years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today," That was in 2003. Ten years left to go.

It may come sooner. Earlier this month, the Trump administration Education and Justice Departments withdrew six possibly illegal guidance letters issued to colleges and universities by their Obama administration predecessors, encouraging racial discrimination in admissions.

Harvard faces a lawsuit from Asian-American plaintiffs charging it with racial discrimination against Asian-Americans similar to its 1920s to 1950s discrimination against Jews. Discovery has revealed that Asian-American applicants with high test scores, grades and extracurriculars are regularly rated low on "positive personality." Not the kind we want in our country club.

For me, the clinching argument against racial discrimination in admissions is not how it hurts Asians or, to a much lesser extent, whites, but how it hurts the intended beneficiaries. As Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor showed in their 2012 book "Mismatch," and as subsequent research has confirmed, black and Hispanic students who are less well-prepared than their schoolmates tend to struggle with instruction pitched to others more advanced, and are more likely to shun science and tech courses and drop out without degrees.

The case for racial quotas and preferences rests heavily on the notion of "disparate impact" enunciated by the Supreme Court in the 1971 case Griggs v. Duke Power Co. The justices, familiar then with how Southern segregationists dissembled and disguised racial discrimination, ruled that differences between whites' and blacks' performance on seemingly race-neutral tests is evidence of illicit discrimination.

Similarly, as McArdle notes, segregation imposed by state law and sanctioned violence was still familiar when the Supreme Court allowed racially discriminatory admissions for "diversity" in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke in 1978. That was 40 years go.

The fact is that a society as diverse and dynamic as America always has been and will have disparate impact of all kinds, sometimes the result of racial, ethnic or religious discrimination, more often the result of diverse interests, traditions, goals and skills. Trying to get the racial and ethnic balance in every occupational and educational group reflective of the total population is a fool's errand.

Racial quotas and preferences have fostered a culture of dishonesty in higher education. Time to junk them and just be fair.
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 Washington Examiner contributor and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics.

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The Real Colluder-In-Chief

. . . The facts about Former President Obama the establishment media conveniently forgets.
Obama: "After the elections, I have more flexibility."
Medvedev: “I will transmit this information to Vladimir."
by Ari Lieberman: President Donald Trump’s recent performance at Helsinki was not optimal. Questions tossed at Trump regarding Russian meddling in the 2016 elections were not unexpected and could have been handled in a more nuanced fashion. Nevertheless, the Left’s response to the summit can best be described as unhinged.
Democrats and their mainstream media allies, who've accused Trump of treason, collusion and “high crimes and misdemeanors,” have demonstrated an unmatched level of disingenuousness and hypocrisy. In just under two years, Trump has done more to thwart Russian aggression than his predecessor did in eight. He increased the defense budget and improved the military’s state of readiness, provided lethal military aid to the Ukrainian army, blunted Russian influence in Syria, imposed tough sanctions against Russia and transformed hundreds of Russian mercenaries who threatened U.S. interests in Syria into burnt toast. Trump also substantially loosened crushing regulations imposed by Obama against the U.S. energy sector and has adopted an aggressive stance in
advancing U.S. energy interests to the detriment of Russia and other oil-producing nations.

If anyone can be accused of betraying America’s interests, it is Barack Obama, who consistently adopted toxic policies and positions which distanced allies and kowtowed to enemies.

Let us not forget that it was Obama who was picked up on
a hot mic telling Putin’s stooge, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, that “after the elections, I have more flexibility,” to which an approving Medvedev responded, “I will transmit this information to Vladimir.”

Let us not forget that it was Obama who was dismissive of Gov. Mitt Romney’s assertion that Russia posed the greatest geopolitical challenge to U.S. interests. In a condescending tone he told Romney, “…the 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back. Because the Cold War has been over for 20 years…”

Let us not forget that it was Obama who slighted our Polish and Czech NATO partners when he decided to
scrap a missile defense agreement negotiated by the Bush administration. The unilateral and inexplicable decision to nix the deal appeared to be an attempt to appease Putin while leaving the Poles and the Czechs out in the cold.

Let us not forget that
under Obama, Russia gained access to 20 percent of America’s uranium mining capacity under the now infamous Uranium One deal. In addition, Obama initiated a so-called Russia re-set which was aimed at improving relations but which resulted in the one-way transfer of sensitive U.S. technology to the Russians. Needless to say, that technology almost certainly made its way into the Russian military.

Let us not forget that it was Obama who failed to enforce his own red lines when Bashar Assad used sarin gas against his own people. Obama was then thoroughly outmaneuvered by Putin who patched together a deal which allowed Assad to emerge relatively unscathed. Despite the deal, which called for the removal of WMDs from Syria, Assad continued to use chemical weapons while Obama remained impotent.

Let us not forget that it was
Obama who released five Taliban captains for deserter Bowe Bergdahl without giving Congress the requisite legal notice and then tried to peddle the notion through his oleaginous media echo chamber that Bergdahl “served with honor and distinction.” Bergdahl was later charged with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy and was dishonorably discharged.

Let us not forget that
it was Obama who gave the Iranians $1.7b in cash, stacked on pallets, in exchange for four hostages the Iranians were holding. The money was almost certainly diverted by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps to fund overseas terrorist operations. Obama also freed several Iranian operatives and dropped arrests warrants on others even though they were deeply involved in procuring weapons systems and critical infrastructure for the Iranian military and its rogue nuclear program. The Obama administration deliberately obfuscated this from Congress and the American people.

And let us not forget that
it was the Obama administration that quashed Project Cassandra, a promising Drug Enforcement Agency operation aimed at infiltrating and thwarting Hezbollah drug smuggling, money laundering and arms trafficking schemes. Analysts believe that Obama was fearful of disrupting the Iran deal and therefore derailed Project Cassandra due to its devastating impact on Iran’s proxy terrorist group.

Many of Trump’s shrillest critics were responsible for implementing some of these deleterious policies including Obama’s former counterterrorism adviser and CIA director, John
al QudsBrennan. In 1976, during the height of the Cold War, Brennan voted for Communist Party head Gus Hall. That speaks volumes about what kind of person Brennan is. A bombshell Politico report suggested that Brennan was also partly responsible for shelving Project Cassandra. Under Brennan’s skewed outlook, Hezbollah was an evolving organization that contained “moderate elements.” That’s akin to saying that there were “moderate Nazis” in the Reich.

Those calling for Trump’s head over his performance at Helsinki overlook the fact that actions speak louder than words and judging by these, a demonstrably clearer picture of the true Putin lackey and colluder-in-chief emerges. Democrats and their “resistance” allies in the mainstream media would be better served by reviewing the record before frothing at the mouth and making groundless accusations rooted in fantasy and petty partisanship.
Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.  He is an author at FrontPage Mag an outreach of the the David Horowitz Freedom Center.  David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

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Gallup: Record Percentage Say Immigration Top Problem for USA

by Terence P. Jeffrey : A record 22 percent of Americans said this month that they believe “immigration/illegal aliens” is the most important problem facing the United States, according to Gallup polling numbers released on Wednesday.

“The 22 percent of Americans in July who say immigration is the top problem is up from 14 percent in June and is the highest percentage naming that issue in Gallup's history of asking the ‘most important problem’ question,” Gallup Editor in Chief Frank Newport said in an analysis of the survey.

“The previous high had been 19%,” Newport said.

From July 1 to July 11, Gallup asked a random sample of 1,033 adults living in the United States this open-ended question: “What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?”
Fifteen categories of responses were offered by at least 2 percent of respondents. These were: “Immigration/illegal aliens” (22 percent); “Dissatisfaction with government/Poor leadership” (19 percent); “Race relations/Racism” (7 percent); “Unifying the country” (6 percent); “Lack of respect for each other (6 percent); “Economy in general (4 percent); “Ethics/moral/religious/family decline (3 percent); “Healthcare” (3 percent); “Poverty/Hunger/Homelessness (2 percent); “Guns/Gun control” (2 percent); “Education” (2 percent); “Judicial system/Courts/Laws” (2 percent); “Environment/Pollution” (2 percent); Unemployment/Jobs (2 percent); “Federal Budget deficit/Federal debt” (2 percent).

Newport noted in his analysis that the previous high of 19 percent citing immigration as the most important problem occurred in 2006 when Congress was debating a major immigration bill.

“Immigration reached 19 percent of mentions as the top problem facing the nation in April 2006, as Congress was wrestling with the effort to pass a comprehensive immigration bill and as immigration protests in cities across the country dominated news coverage,” Newport said.

In April 2004, according to Gallup, only 2 percent had considered “immigration/illegal aliens” the nation’s most important problem. That month, the top response for most important problem was the “situation in Iraq/Fear of war,” which was named by 26 percent of respondents.
Terence P. Jeffrey is editor-in-chief of the conservative Previously, he served for more than a decade as editor of Human Events where he is now an editor at large.

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Hot Air Balloons . . .

. . . Seeing the protest balloons in Britain I think Trump would have them beat with all the hot air going after him here in America.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Trump Stands His Ground on Putin

Patrick Buchanan
by Patrick Buchanan: “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Under the Constitution, these are the offenses for which presidents can be impeached.

And to hear our elites, Donald Trump is guilty of them all.

Trump’s refusal to challenge Vladimir Putin’s claim at Helsinki — that his GRU boys did not hack Hillary Clinton’s campaign — has been called treason, a refusal to do his sworn duty to protect and defend the United States, by a former director of the CIA.

Famed journalists and former high officials of the U.S. government have called Russia’s hacking of the DNC “an act of war” comparable to Pearl Harbor.

The New York Times ran a story on how many are now charging Trump with treason. Others suggest Putin is blackmailing Trump, or has him on his payroll, or compromised Trump a long time ago.

Wailed Congressman Steve Cohen: “Where is our military folks? The Commander in Chief is in the hands of our enemy!”

Apparently, some on the left believe we need a military coup to save our democracy.

Not since Robert Welch of the John Birch Society called Dwight Eisenhower a “conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy,” have such charges been hurled at a president. But while the Birchers were a bit outside the mainstream, today it is the establishment itself bawling “Treason!”

What explains the hysteria?

The worst-case scenario would be that the establishment actually believes the nonsense it is spouting. But that is hard to credit. Like the boy who cried “Wolf!” the establishment has cried “Fascist!” too many times to be taken seriously.

A month ago, the never-Trumpers were comparing the separation of immigrant kids from detained adults, who brought them to the U.S. illegally, to FDR’s concentration camps for Japanese-Americans.

Some commentators equated the separations to what the Nazis did at Auschwitz.

If the establishment truly believed this nonsense, it would be an unacceptable security risk to let them near the levers of power ever again.

Using Occam’s razor, the real explanation for this behavior is the simplest one: America’s elites have been driven over the edge by Trump’s successes and their failure to block him.

Trump is deregulating the economy, cutting taxes, appointing record numbers of federal judges, reshaping the Supreme Court, and using tariffs to cut trade deficits and the bully pulpit to castigate freeloading allies.

Worst of all, Trump clearly intends to carry out his campaign pledge to improve relations with Russia and get along with Vladimir Putin.

“Over our dead bodies!” the Beltway elite seems to be shouting.

Hence the rhetorical WMDs hurled at Trump: Liar, dictator, authoritarian, Putin’s poodle, fascist, demagogue, traitor, Nazi.

Such language approaches incitement to violence. One wonders if the haters are considering the impact of the words they are so casually using. Some of us yet recall how Dallas was charged with complicity in the death of JFK for slurs far less toxic than this.

The post-Helsinki hysteria reveals not merely the mindset of the president’s enemies, but the depth of their determination to destroy him.

They intend to break Trump and bring him down, to see him impeached, removed, indicted and prosecuted, and the agenda on which he ran and was nominated and elected dumped onto the ash heap of history.

Thursday, Trump indicated that he knows exactly what is afoot, and threw down the gauntlet of defiance:

“The Fake News Media wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia, even a confrontation that could lead to war. They are pushing so recklessly hard and hate the fact that I’ll probably have a good relationship with Putin.”

Spot on. Trump is saying: I am going to call off this Cold War II before it breaks out into the hot war that nine U.S. presidents avoided, despite Soviet provocations far graver than Putin’s pilfering of DNC emails showing how Debbie Wasserman Schultz stuck it to Bernie Sanders.

Then the White House suggested Vlad may be coming to dinner this fall.

Trump is edging toward the defining battle of his presidency: a reshaping of U.S. foreign policy to avoid clashes and conflicts with Russia, and the shedding of Cold War commitments no longer rooted in the national interests of this country.

Yet, should he attempt to carry out his agenda — to get out of Syria, pull troops out of Germany, take a second look at NATO’s Article 5 commitment to go to war for 29 nations, some of which, like Montenegro, most Americans have never heard of — he is headed for the most brutal battle of his presidency.

This Helsinki hysteria is but a taste.

By cheering Brexit, dissing the EU, suggesting NATO is obsolete, departing Syria, trying to get on with Putin, Trump is threatening the entire U.S. foreign policy establishment with what it fears most — irrelevance.

For if there is no war on, no war imminent, and no war wanted, what does a War Party do?
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, President Trump, Stands His Ground, Putin To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Blame the App?

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Who spreads “fake news”?

Gossips, politicians, publicity agents, Twitter eggs, partisan bloggers, lying news journalists?

Or . . . the medium of communication they use?

Do envelopes, stationery, telephones, email, and messaging apps have moral agency?

And who commits the crimes that news (true or false) is used to rationalize?

A New York Times story discusses “How WhatsApp Leads Mobs to Murder in India,” which is like saying that civilization, flying lessons and boarding passes “led” terrorists to 9/11.

The Times reports that fake news about children being kidnapped — dramatized by doctored video clips and forwarded via WhatsApp, a messaging app — provoked anger and fear in many Indians. Some were then willing to attack anyone who “seemed” about to kidnap children.

In recent months, dozens of people have been murdered for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Without social media and the mega-popular WhatsApp, the murders probably would not have happened, at least not the way they happened. That seems certain. But this doesn’t mean that without WhatsApp, nobody in India would spread false stories or assault innocent people.

Mob violence in the country antedates the Internet.

Perhaps a thousand material circumstances directly or indirectly enable any particular act of wrongdoing. But no such prerequisites “lead to” anything without individual choices.

If someone pretends it’s okay to kill innocent persons — or persons whose guilt or innocence he doesn’t care to know — he, the killer, is the guilty party. The telecommunications network or messenger app used to provide grist for excuse-making is innocent.

Apps don’t murder people. People murder people.

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.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Blame the App? To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Rubbing SALT In The Wound

by Printus LeBlanc: The tax cuts passed by President Trump and the Republican controlled Congress have been a resounding success. The economy is growing, companies are hiring, and employees are getting raises and bonuses. Who could possibly be against that? Leftist progressive states that demand more money from taxpayers, that’s who.

New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Connecticut announced a lawsuit against the federal government this week. It is not odd for states to sue the federal government. The practice happens quite often actually. Mostly it deals with the federal government overstepping its bounds or the feds are not fixing a federal problem. But the new lawsuit takes the cake.

The four progressive high tax havens are suing the Trump administration because the tax cuts passed last December capped the state and local tax deductions, also known as SALT. The deductions give taxpayers that itemize their deductions the ability to deduct certain taxes paid to state and local government from income for federal tax liability purposes.

High tax states love the deduction because it is nothing more than a subsidy. The states get to spend with no regard to consequences, because the SALT deduction would be there to bail them out when they raise their taxes. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act changed that by limiting the deduction to $10,000 and those states were not happy.

The lawsuit alleges capping the deductions to $10,000 is an “unconstitutional assault on states’ sovereign choices.” The argument is a nonstarter, because the legislation does nothing to any taxpayer’s property tax, state income tax, or sales tax. If a state wants more revenue, it can raise taxes. It a state doesn’t want to raise taxes, it can cut revenue.

Americans for Limited Government Vice President of Public Policy Robert Romano questions the validity of the law suit stating, “Congress has the plenary power to set tax rates and to set the size of deductions, which apply to every single state. The SALT deductions in many cases were simply modified and limited by Congress. In other words, the states are in essence quibbling over how much of a deduction their citizens will be receiving. It’s a nonsense lawsuit. They’re still getting deductions, just not as large as they once did. There is no right to a tax deduction.”

It is no surprise the four states suing are also financial basket cases. The Mercatus Center at George Mason University annually ranks the fiscal health of all fifty states and the four states suing are not prominently featured. In fact, New Jersey is dead last, with Maryland rounding out the bottom 5. Not to be outdone New York and Connecticut are still in the bottom 15. Is it any wonder they are suing? The states don’t know how to manage fiscal matters and feel the only solution is more of someone else’s money. The residents are noticing this and are starting to vote with their feet.

The states in the lawsuit are also on the losing end of the tax migration battle. New York alone has lost over 500,000 people since Gov. Andrew Cuomo was sworn in, taking with them $27 billion in economic activity. A recent United Van Lines moving study, found New York, New Jersey, and Illinois had the highest percentage of relocations occurring outside the state, 63.4 percent. Connecticut was number four. The numbers mean for every person that moves into the state, two move out, and with them goes the economic activity, putting a greater strain on state finances. If the states would get their financial house in order, they would not be in the situation they are in now.

This is going to create a vicious cycle for the high tax states. They raise taxes to make up for lost revenue, thereby chasing away people that can afford to move. The exodus creates more budget gaps, forcing the states to raise taxes again. The only way to get the problem under control is to cut spending and make the state business friendly. Without drastic action, the high tax states are doomed to fail.

Make no mistake about it, this has nothing to do with the Constitution, and everything to do with subsidies. The four states that filed suit have been living of the federal taxes paid for by states like Florida, Texas, and Wyoming for decades. The capping of SALT deductions forces the states to prioritize spending or raise more revenue through taxes. That is not unconstitutional, it just requires fiscal discipline, and they have none.
Printus LeBlanc is Legislative Director at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Printus LeBlanc, Americans for Limited Government, Rubbing SALT, In The Wound To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Russian Bots vs. Media/Academia/Hollywood — Which Had A Bigger Impact On The Election?

Larry Elder
by Larry Elder: The indictment of a dozen Russian spies explained, in great detail, the extent of their interference in the 2016 election. Americans learned about the depth and extent of the Russian operation to interfere.

That the Russian activity altered the outcome of the election to “make Trump win” has become an article of faith for many who still cannot fathom how Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton. This will persist as a subject of speculation in book after book, for a long time. What will be of less concern to the same researchers and writers is the far greater impact of the anti-Trump trio of media, academia and Hollywood.

Professor Tim Groseclose, author of “Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind,” makes the case that were the media truly fair and balanced, the average state would vote the same way Texas votes, in favor of Republicans. But media bias gives Democrats a bump of about 8 to 10 points. Of 20 major sources of news, Groseclose found about 15 years ago, 90 percent lean to the left.

The late Barbara Bush said she was surprised when her son won the presidency in 2000: “I just thought it’s too difficult. And you’re not going to like this, but my gut feeling is that all the media is against George, Republicans, any Republican.” That Democrats and liberals in the media outnumber Republicans and conservatives is a fact. Years ago, the Pew Research Center conducted a survey of over 500 national reporters, editors and media executives and found that only 7 percent self-identified as ‘conservative.” Most of the major newspapers endorsed Clinton over Trump. The New York Times hasn’t endorsed a Republican for president since 1956. The Washington Post, which has only been endorsing presidents for 42 years, has never

NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd worked on the 1992 presidential campaign of left-left Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin. CNN’s Jake Tapper used to work for a U.S. House Democrat. ABC News “chief anchor” George Stephanopoulos worked as a top campaign strategist for the election of Bill Clinton, and after Clinton’s election worked as his communications director.

Critics at CNN hyperventilate over the relationship between President Trump and Sean Hannity. CNN’s Brian Stelter called this relationship between the star of a television news network and the president “weird,” saying, “No TV host has ever had this kind of relationship with a U.S. president before.” Really? Hannity is not a news “journalist,” and the relationship is not a secret. Contrast this with the close relationship President John Kennedy enjoyed with Ben Bradlee, the editor of the highly influential Washington Post, the paper that helped topple President Richard Nixon. That the two were close is no secret. What the public did not know is that Bradlee was such an advocate for JFK that, during the primary presidential campaign, Bradlee gave Kennedy private tips on how to beat rival Lyndon Johnson.

The Huffington Post, for months after Trump’s formal entry into the race, refused to cover the campaign in its political section. Publisher Arianna Huffington called Trump’s candidacy, in effect, a circus that did not deserve serious coverage.

Academia, on the humanities side, overwhelmingly leans left. What effect does this have on the voting habits of students? Since Trump’s election, we’ve seen a video of a university teacher likening Trump voters to “terrorists.” We hear of professors denouncing Trump as “racist” and predicting a dystopian future. No doubt during the election many professors let their opinions and preferences be known to their students. Years ago, an American Enterprise magazine study confirmed what we already know, that our college and university faculty, whether big or small, north or south, east or west, private or public, are mostly left-wing. What effect does our left-wing academia have on the electorate?

Hollywood hates Trump. From first dismissing candidate Trump as a clown and a buffoon to, post-election, when actor Robert De Niro said, “F— Trump,” Hollywood dislikes Trump perhaps even more than it did President George W. Bush over the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina.

Ann Coulter was ridiculed by “Real Time” host Bill Maher, her co-panelists and the studio audience when she told Bill Maher that she thought Trump could win the Republican nomination. President Barack Obama, echoing a common line throughout the election from the late-night comics, insisted Trump would never be president.

There is no doubt that Russia attempted to interfere in our 2016 presidential election. Why didn’t Obama do more to stop it? Two likely reasons. First, Obama correctly assumed that the American people could not be manipulated into voting for someone they otherwise didn’t want to because Russian bots reprogrammed their minds through Facebook. Second, Obama, like most pundits, assumed that Hillary Clinton, whom he called the “most qualified” candidate ever to run, was unbeatable.

Whatever influence Russia may have had on the elections is dwarfed by the “collusion” of the largely anti-GOP media, academia and Hollywood. If the right dominated these fields, congressional Democrats would demand hearings.
Larry Elder (@larryelder) is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host, an American lawyer, writer and radio and television personality who is also known as the "Sage From South Central." To find out more about Larry Elder. Visit his website at for list of other articles.

Tags: Larry Elder, commentary, Russian Bots vs. Media/Academia/Hollywood, Which Had A Bigger Impact, On The Election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Rubio: ‘Deep Fake’ Technology Is a Threat to National Security, Politics, and the Media

by Rachel del Guidice: Sen. Marco Rubio says so-called “deep fakes”—the ability to use artificial intelligence video tools to swap a person’s face on another person’s body, with little indication of manipulation—is a threat to national security.

“One of the ironies of the 21st century is that technology has made it cheaper than ever to do that … . In the old days, if you wanted to threaten the United States, you needed 10 aircraft carriers, and nuclear weapons, and long-range missiles,” the Florida Republican said in a speech Thursday at The Heritage Foundation about the danger of deep fakes, the ability to manipulate audio and video of real people to have them do or say things they never said or did.

“Today, you just need access to our internet system, to our banking system, to our electrical grid and infrastructure, and increasingly, all you need is the ability to produce a very realistic fake video that could undermine our elections, that could throw our country into tremendous crisis internally and weaken us deeply,” Rubio said.

The New York Times reported that “a community of hobbyists has begun experimenting with more powerful tools, including FakeApp—a program that was built by an anonymous developer using open-source software written by Google.”

The app, easy to use and free of charge, allows ordinary people to make seamless face swaps and could be used to harm the character of public figures, to frame people for crimes, or to create so-called “revenge porn,” The New York Times reported.

Rubio said that deep fakes, while a threat to the U.S. as a whole, pose a particular threat to the American political system and the media.

“The vast majority of people watching that image on television are going to believe it, and if that happens two days before an election, or a night before an election, it could influence the outcome of your race,” he said. “The capability to do that exists now, and a culture that would perpetuate and instinctively believe that stuff exists now, because the nature of our political coverage today is driven by conflict.”

The Florida senator, who was a contender in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries, said it is likely that nations that want to do the U.S. harm could use the deep fake technology to destabilize the U.S.

“This all sounds fantastic. It all sounds exaggerated. It all sounds hyperbolic, but the capability to do this is real. It exists now. The willingness exists now. All that is missing is the execution, and we are not ready for it,” Rubio said.

“We are not ready for it, not as a people, not as a political branch, not as a media, not as a country. We are not ready for this threat. Maybe it will be Russia. They are the likeliest culprit, but it could be anybody,” he said.

In remarks to reporters Tuesday at the White House, the Associated Press reported, President Donald Trump said he accepts the findings of his intelligence officials on Russia’s meddling during the 2016 election, walking back a comment he made Monday during his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

At the press conference, Trump appeared to fault both sides.

Rubio says he’s certain Russia played a role in interfering with the 2016 election, and said that America must be ready for similar and even increasing interference in the future.

I know for a fact that the Russian Federation at the command of Vladimir Putin tried to sow instability and chaos in American politics in 2016; not necessarily, as some might report, for purposes of electing one candidate over another, but the primary goal was to ensure that the next president of the United States, whoever won, would be facing a cloud of controversy for weeks and years to come in order to weaken them and to weaken us.While Rubio said he does not have all the answers to address this newest threat to America’s security, he said the country must always remain on the offensive.

“I know awareness is part of it. I know educating people, including producers and editors, but also political figures and others, about this capacity, is important,” he said of the deep fake threat. “I know that one of the answers is just that this threat exists and from it, we can talk about how we can balance the right to privacy, free speech, and all the other things that come with our constitutional protections, with our obligation to protect our country … our Constitution, and our republic.”
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.

Tags: Sen. Marco Rubio, ‘Deep Fake’ Technology, Threat, National Security, Politics, Media To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama, Trump a World Apart on Freedom

by Tony Perkins: "If I'm still here at Christmas, I'll thank God for sending Jesus to be born. If I'm still here at New Year, I'll thank him for helping me make it through the year. If I'm here on my birthday, I won't be like Job and curse the day I was born. I'll give thanks for the life I've lived." --Pastor Andrew Brunson, from Turkish prison

The story of the Brunson family is a heart-wrenching one -- but it's hardly the only one. While the world waits for news about the American Christian behind bars for a crime he didn't commit, men and women of faith around the globe quietly share his pain. Tortured, raped, jailed, on the run, they wake up every day relieved to be alive. Unlike Pastor Brunson, their nightmares play out almost anonymously, the background noise to so many other first-world problems. Thanks to the president of the United States, that's changing. For the first time in years, they have something in common with the American pastor: a country willing to fight for them.

If there was anyone more grateful for the election of Donald Trump than conservatives, it was almost certainly millions of the world's persecuted. For almost a decade, they watched in dismay as America turned its back on entire populations, leaving faith groups to fend for themselves. When whole villages were wiped out in bloody rampages, they saw an American president who refused to even say the word "genocide," let alone do anything about it. Their hope -- and the hope of the world -- seemed lost. Then came 2016, and the rise of a new administration that picked up the torch where Barack Obama dropped it.

Almost immediately, the message from this White House seemed to be: you are not alone. America will stand by you. It's a mission -- and message -- that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes personally. Since the moment he first set foot in his new office in April, Mike has been an outspoken voice for international religious liberty. But, as we've come to appreciate from the Trump administration, talking about the issue is just part of the agenda. Action is the rest.

Next week, Secretary Pompeo, together with Ambassador Sam Brownback, are proving just how serious they are about this global crisis by hosting the first-ever ministerial on international religious freedom. From July 24-26, some of the most powerful foreign dignitaries, activists, and faith leaders from around the world will gather in Washington to put pressure on every country to recognize this fundamental human right. On "Washington Watch," the secretary told me that he was "overwhelmed" by the response to what he describes as a "clarion call for religious freedom."

"[The enthusiasm of other countries to this] has been remarkable... As I was traveling this past week -- I think I was in six or eight different places -- I had foreign ministers say, 'I'm going to be there.' ...They're excited to come and be around other people who think religious freedom is important. I was in Muslim countries, I was in places with religion very different to my own Christian faith, but every one of those leaders was excited about the opportunity to gather with like-minded individuals who share their desire -- their quest -- for every individual to practice their faith in their country in the way that they wish to do."He talked about what an important moment this is for the entire Trump administration. "There are many countries where religious freedom is not available, and we believe that by gathering citizens from around the world -- we'll have over 80 delegations and 40-plus of my counterparts from foreign ministry level and religious leaders like yourself -- all brought together to highlight the central nature of religious freedom... Every country ought to honor that."

Proving just how important this is to the White House, Vice President Mike Pence will also speak. But, as Secretary Pompeo reiterated,

"We expect this to be far more than just talk. We do believe that just putting people together from all across the world in a room and talking about this topic will empower them to go back to their home countries and advocate for religious freedom as well. It's difficult, as you know, in some countries to even speak about religious freedom. And so we hope to provide a support system for some of them to return home to their own countries... We will be laying out a path where we are hopeful the State Department here in the United States can lead a process where religious freedom is raised as a priority for the citizens of every country. We will have our teams in the subsequent weeks and months in the field talking about religious freedom on a regular basis."In a world starved for America's leadership on issues like this one, next week's event is a historic one. Let's not forget, the Secretary pointed out, that this was a priority laid out in the president's national security strategy. He, like the rest of his cabinet, understands the importance of fighting for religious freedom -- not just because it's the right thing to do, but because of its real-life impact on things like the economy and global security.

In administration that doesn't know the meaning of the phrase "lip service," we continue to be grateful for the intentionality of this president and his team. When Donald Trump promised to make religious freedom a priority, he meant it. And just as significantly, he surrounded himself with leaders who are just as committed as he is. "We'll have just three days there," Secretary Pompeo said, "but this will be a mission of the State Department every day."
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: Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council,
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America’s Growing Economy Helping Employers, Workers, Families

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
ARRA News Service: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) remarks on the benefits Americans continue to see from the Republican pro-opportunity, pro-worker agenda:

“This week, I’ve discussed a number of converging reports that highlight the strength of this economy for middle-class families and job creators. U.S. retail sales just increased for the fifth consecutive month. Earlier this year, consumer confidence hit its highest level since 2000. More than a million new jobs already created in 2018. More job openings than job seekers for the first time in more than fifteen years. Over 95% of U.S. manufacturers reporting confidence in their companies’ outlook -- an all-time high. And just this morning, this announcement from the Department of Labor: In the second week of July, new claims for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest level since 1969.

“All these favorable trends are interrelated. Jay Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve, testified before our colleagues on the Banking Committee this week that – quote: ‘Robust job gains, rising after-tax incomes, and optimism among households have lifted consumer spending this month.’ To put it even more simply, American employers are doing better, so American workers are doing better, so American families are doing better, so American businesses are doing better.

“This is how a vibrant, growing economy works. This is what happens when Washington D.C. swallows up less of the American people’s money in taxes, imposes fewer heavy-handed regulations that make it hard to do business, and get the bureaucracy’s foot off the brake of our economy. This is among the best -- quite possibly the best -- economic moments for jobs and opportunity that Americans have seen in recent memory. The policies of this united Republican government helped bring it about. And they are helping sustain it.

“Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported, quote: ‘Tax cuts appear to be propelling robust consumer demand. Many households are experiencing less withholding from their paychecks thanks to the tax overhaul.’ According to a recent survey, fewer than 1 in 5 American manufacturers now say an unfavorable climate due to things like taxes and regulations is a primary obstacle to their business. Back in 2013, in the Obama economy, more than two-thirds of manufacturers said that.

“And all across the country, as job creators of all sizes have announced worker bonuses, pay raises, and business expansions, many say -- loud and clear -- that tax reform is what made it possible. The American people voted. Republicans kept our promises. So, now, middle-class families are seeing the effects of the pro-growth policies they asked for in November 2016. And the whole world is seeing what the American people can accomplish when their government gets off their backs.”

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