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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, September 14, 2018

We Need a Revolution in Trade Enforcement

by Newt Gingrich: Since he was a candidate, President Trump has said free trade must also be fair. He has consistently challenged anti-competitive and unfair practices by our trading partners while working to forge new agreements.

The most recent example of this is the announced deal with Mexico – which his critics had claimed would never happen – and the potential deal with Canada, which has been spurred and shaped by Trump’s toughness.

President Trump’s success in international trade is happening because he understands every trade partner is self-interested and, if allowed, will take actions to benefit their own population and economy. Since the United States is the largest market in the world this gives us enormous leverage in negotiating trade deals.

While the tough negotiating approach has been working, there is a key piece missing. For Trump’s trade revolution to work, there must be a revolution in trade enforcement. It doesn’t matter how fair and equitable new trade agreements are written if other countries are happy to sign them and then cheat.

So, as a part of his revolution in trade, President Trump must build a new, dramatically more effective enforcement system that constantly monitors all trade agreements and quickly acts when parties bend, break, or ignore the rules.

The current multinational, globalist system simply moves too slow to be effective. Countries that disregard the rules have years to make money and dominate markets by cheating the system before they face any consequences. Meanwhile, for those countries who are keeping their words, justice delayed is justice denied. The current, slow system only benefits the cheaters.

An important example of something this revolutionized trade enforcement system should monitor and check are unfair state subsidies.

State subsidies are devious because they unfairly eliminate financial pressure on foreign competition, which in turn allows the companies in subsidizing countries to lower prices, expand distribution, or upgrade products without concern on how to pay for it – or whether the market even wants it.

One example of this system of cheating through state subsidies is the more than $50 billion in state subsidies that have gone to airlines in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) since 2004. With state subsidies, these airlines have been able to ignore market considerations and dump excess capacity all over the world in order to push out competition and gain market share – destroying market-based U.S. aviation jobs in the process.

Earlier this year, President Trump’s administration signed historic agreements with Qatar and the UAE to create transparency and accountability frameworks to expose the full levels of state subsidies flowing to these airlines. This leadership by President Trump has led to statements and understandings by the European Union and Japan to address state subsidies in aviation.

However, the U.S. seriousness about these state subsidies is being tested. Prior to commitments to the Trump administration, the Qatari government-backed Qatar Airways cleverly invested in Meridiana, a small privately owned airline that formerly operated out of Sardinia. Before Qatar intervened, Meridiana had lost more than $50 million in both 2015 and 2016, had reduced the number of flights to just 54 per day, and had only 15 aircraft with no new orders in sight.

Enter Qatar Airways. While the investment from Qatar Airways is capped at 49 percent, it is the Qatar CEO who has made the announcements about Meridiana’s future. A future that rebrands the airline as Air Italy, relocates the airline from Sardinia’s small market to the financial and industrial center of Italy in Milan, expands the fleet with more than 50 new planes from Qatar’s existing fleet and order books, and expands service by nearly 350 percent.

Certain facts about this are incontrovertible. First, Qatar Airways, in both action and word, is in full control of Meridiana/Air Italy. Second, Qatar Airways will report losses over the last two year in excess of $1 billion, so the investment in Meridiana/Air Italy is unquestionably a state subsidy from the Qatari government. Third, Qatar Airways’ expansion of Meridiana/Air Italy flights to the U.S. is directly counter to the assurances provided by the Qatari government to the Trump administration at the beginning of the year. This final point is what the Trump administration must address.

Once again, President Trump’s intuition has proven right. Despite assurances of fairness, our international trading partners are seeking to gain an unfair advantage. This is why Trump’s trade revolution also needs a revolution in trade enforcement.
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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.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, We Need, Revolution in Trade Enforcement To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Gun Control Activist Urges Canadian Audience to Get Involved in U.S. Politics

David Hogg
by NRA-ILA: For someone who has previously falsely accused the NRA of funneling foreign money into domestic politics, it must be that David Hogg either forgot he was in Canada recently or failed to appreciate that it’s also illegal under U.S. law for Canadian citizens to vote in U.S. elections or contribute to U.S. political campaigns.

The occasion was the premiere of Michael Moore’s latest film at the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie apparently focuses on what Moore perceives as problems with the Trump administration and America in general. And who better to showcase his handiwork to than a non-U.S. audience already primed to feel morally superior to those zany Americans who insist on doing things their own way?

After the film, Moore took to the stage with like-minded activists for a panel discussion and Q&A session. With him were David Hogg and other youthful gun control advocates. After introducing Hogg, Moore handed him the microphone.

As video of the event demonstrates, that’s when things started to get awkward.

“I have a question for you guys,” Hogg said to his Canadian audience. “Who’s ready to save America?”

That line might be a rousing call to action in suburban Massachusetts or Illinois, but it was a strange opener for a crowd that predominantly would not identify as American.

Hogg continued: “Who’s ready to make America the country we say it is on paper and make it the actual country that it wants to be?”

He then described a litany of the problems “we face as a country,” oddly (for a gun control advocate) focusing on the disenfranchisement of convicted criminals.

“Turn that shame into your vote,” he challenged the crowd.

After a pause, he seemed finally to remember where he was speaking and added, “If you’re not Canadian.”

The crowd’s response, initially enthusiastic, had by then started to taper off into polite applause.

Hoping to salvage the moment, Hogg turned to Moore and stammered, “Uh, uh, Cana… I think Canadians can donate to political campaigns in the United States.”

Moore gently shook his head and mouthed the word, “No.”

“Well, uh, well, vote here,” Hogg said. “Make … because … Learn from us. Don’t let this happen here, because we … we need to come to you guys if, uh, we stay on this track.”

Moore has been in show business long enough to know when someone is flopping before a crowd, so he took the microphone away from Hogg, eventually reiterating, “No, they can’t give us money.”

Hogg later retrieved the microphone and steered the conversation toward the NRA. “This question to the IRS, if you’re watching on Facebook,” he said. “Why aren’t you auditing the president of the United States, who likely got $30 million from Russia, via the NRA?”

Moments later, Hogg had meandered into commentary on the war in Afghanistan, again prompting Moore to reach for the microphone.

As the Federal Election Commission (FEC) website makes clear, federal law imposes “a broad prohibition on foreign national activity in connection with elections in the United States.” It is also illegal to knowingly solicit political donations from foreign nationals. And, of course, these rules are enforced by the FEC, not the IRS.

This is not the first time Hogg has made legally questionable statements in public.

In May, Hogg became mad at Florida-based supermarket chain Publix for making contributions to a political candidate who also happened to be endorsed by the NRA. The company, like many companies, was in the practice of supporting candidates of all stripes it viewed as favoring pro-business policies.

Hogg responded by calling for a boycott and arranging “die-ins” at Publix stores. This involved protestors lying down on store floors in the path of shoppers, as well drawing chalk body outlines in the store’s parking lot, as if depicting the premises as a violent crime scene. The aim was “disrupting business.”

Hogg also demanded that the company donate $1 million to a victim fund set up for survivors of the murder spree at his high school in Parkland and that it never again contribute to any NRA A-rated politician.

This led some to suggest that Hogg was flirting with the line between political advocacy and extortion.

If Hogg is going to publicly advocate for legal and political reform, he’d do well to at least acquaint himself with the existing laws that govern his own activity.
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NRA-ILA article

Tags: NRA-ILA, Gun Control Activist, David Hogg, Urges Canadians, to Get Involved, in U.S. Politics To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Sessions: 72,000 Died from Overdoses Last Year

... ‘Highest Drug Death Toll’ in US History
AG Jeff Sessions
by Melanie Arter: Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday outlined the DOJ’s efforts to address the growing drug opioid crisis in the nation, including the hiring of 400 more DEA task force officers and 300 federal prosecutors – “the largest surge in prosecutors in decades.”

During a speech at the National Narcotics Officers’ Association’s Coalition Drug Enforcement Forum, Sessions said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the death toll from drug overdoses last year at approximately 72,000, which he said is the “highest drug death toll in American history by far.”

“It is widely estimated that life expectancy has declined in the United States in recent years—largely because of drug abuse,” he said.

Sessions said opioids like prescription painkillers, heroin, and synthetic drugs like fentanyl are to blame for the dramatic increase in overdose deaths, and in 2016 alone, 42,000 Americans died from opioid overdoses.

“We also have a serious and growing cocaine problem in this country. It’s purer, cheaper, and more available. Cocaine-related deaths have nearly tripled the United States since 2010, and our DEA agents in the West tell us that methamphetamine is their number one problem. The situation is daunting and the challenge is great, but we have a unique opportunity to reverse these trends,” he said.

Sessions noted that in the past drug enforcement agents did not get the support they needed from politicians who tried to “tie” their hands.

“I know that sometimes in the past, you haven’t had the support that you deserve. You’ve had politicians that tie your hands, who fail to understand the challenges you face, and who are in denial about the nature and extent of the problem, but not this administration,” he said.

“In the face of an unprecedented crisis we have to take unprecedented action, and with President Donald Trump, that is exactly what we are doing. President Trump has a comprehensive plan to end what he has declared to be ‘a national public health emergency.’ The three legs of our plan include prevention, enforcement and treatment,” the attorney general said.

Trump has improved prevention efforts, Sessions said, “by launching a national awareness campaign about the dangers of opioid abuse” and has set the goal of reducing opioid prescriptions by one-third in three years. Furthermore, the president ordered Sessions to seek the death penalty for certain drug dealers – “something no president had done before him.”

“When we enforce our drug laws, we prevent addiction from spreading. The work that you do helps keep drugs out of our country, reduces their availability, drives up their price, and reduces their purity and addictiveness. That saves lives. Experts tell us supply creates its own demand,” Sessions said.

The attorney general said the Obama administration directed federal prosecutors to omit the full amount of drugs someone is charged with in order to avoid triggering mandatory minimum sentencing for drug cases.

“Under the previous administration, in drug cases, the Department of Justice directed federal prosecutors not to include in charging documents the full amount of drugs being dealt if it would trigger certain mandatory minimum sentences. Prosecutors were required to leave out facts in order to achieve sentences lighter than required by law. That is an improper and dangerous policy. It weakens enforcement and reduces cooperation,” Sessions said.

As a result, drug prosecutions and the average length of sentences for drug traffickers decreased.

“After they put this directive into place, drug prosecutions went down by 17 percent, and the average sentence length for a convicted federal drug trafficking offender decreased 15 percent. Even if everything were going well, that still wouldn’t make sense, but we were suffering from the worst drug crisis in our history,” the attorney general said.

“And so, when I became Attorney General, I restored the charging policy of this department to the traditional one that was in place when I was in trying cases and through much of the Obama Administration, and in the districts where drug deaths are the highest, we are now vigorously prosecuting synthetic opioid trafficking cases, even when the amount is small. It’s called Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge—or S.O.S.,” he said.

Sessions said it only takes a tiny amount of fentanyl – “a pinch of salt” - to kill someone.

“We are in a desperate fight to curtail the availability and spread of this killer drug. Synthetic opioids are so strong that there is no such thing as a small case. Three milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal. That’s equivalent to a pinch of salt. Depending on the purity, you could fit more than 1,000 fatal doses of fentanyl in a teaspoon,” he said.

The attorney general said his department targeted synthetic opioid suppliers in one Florida county and reduced the number of overdose calls from an average of 11 calls a day to one a day.

“I want to be clear about this: we are not focusing on users, but on those supplying them with deadly drugs. In Manatee County, Florida, in partnership with the sheriff, we tried this strategy, and it worked. This past January, they had half the number of overdose deaths as the previous January. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office went from responding to 11 overdose calls a day to an average of one a day. Those are promising results,” he said.

“We want to replicate those results in the places that have been hardest hit. And so I have also sent 10 more prosecutors to help implement this strategy in ten districts where drug deaths are especially high. And that is in addition to the 12 prosecutors I sent to prosecute opioid fraud in drug ‘hot spot districts.’ To help them do that, I have begun a new data analytics program at the Department called the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit to use data to find opioid-related health care fraud,” Sessions said.

“This team follows the numbers—like which doctors are writing opioid prescriptions at a rate that far exceeds their peers; how many of a doctor's patients have died within 60 days of an opioid prescription; pharmacies that are dispensing disproportionately large amounts of opioids; and regional hot spots for opioid issues,” he said.

Sessions also sent more than 300 new federal prosecutors to U.S. attorneys offices nationwide in what is considered “the largest surge in prosecutors in decades.” The prosecutors are expected to prioritize cases involving drugs, gangs, and related violence. In addition, the DOJ hired more than 400 DEA task force officers in 2018 alone, which Sessions considers to be “a record increase.”

“Since January 2017, we have charged more than 200 doctors and another 220 other medical personnel for opioid-related crimes. Just 16 of those doctors prescribed more than 20.3 million pills illegally. Last summer we set a record for the largest health care fraud enforcement action in American history. This summer, we broke that record,” the attorney general said.

“We coordinated the efforts of more than 1,000 state and federal law enforcement agents to charge more than 600 defendants—including 76 doctors—with more than $2 billion in fraud. This was the most doctors, the most medical personnel, the most fraud, and the most opioid-related fraud defendants we’ve ever charged in a single enforcement action,” he said.

The DOJ is also cracking down on opioid drug sales online.
“Last July, the Department announced the seizure of the largest dark net marketplace in history – AlphaBay. This site hosted some 220,000 drug listings and was responsible for countless synthetic opioid overdoses, including the tragic death of a 13-year-old,” Sessions said.

“In January we began J-CODE, a new team at the FBI that focuses specifically on the threat of online opioid sales. They have already begun carrying out nationwide enforcement actions, arresting dozens of people across the country. We need to work together on this – on controlled deliveries – so it becomes clear that internet distribution is no safe path,” he said.

“Last month I announced charges against a married couple who we believe were once the most prolific synthetic opioid, fentanyl, traffickers on the darknet in North America. We had worked with our partners in Canada to help them indict a man we believe was the third most prolific darknet synthetic opioid dealer in North America,” the attorney general said.

“The vast majority of the fentanyl in this country was made in China. And under President Donald Trump we became the first administration to prosecute Chinese fentanyl traffickers,” he added. “Last October, we announced the first two indictments against Chinese nationals for trafficking synthetic drugs in the United States. Last month I announced our third case—a 43-count indictment against a drug trafficking organization based in Shanghai.

“We are interdicting drugs coming into this country at record levels. In 2017, Customs and Border Protection seized 63 percent more cocaine at our borders as they seized just two years before. Meanwhile, the Coast Guard seized record numbers of drugs: about half a million pounds total, worth about $6.1 billion. The Coast Guard also helped us arrest more than 600 alleged drug traffickers,” Sessions said.

In the first three months of this year, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized “more than 200 pounds of suspected fentanyl in cases from Detroit to Boston” – enough, “depending on its purity,” to kill tens of millions of people,” the attorney general said.

“In 2017, we tripled the number of fentanyl prosecutions at the federal level. We are back in the effort at historic levels. The DEA’s National Prescription Audit shows that in the first quarter of 2018, opioid prescriptions went down by nearly 12 percent compared to the first quarter of 2017, when President Trump took office, and that's in addition to a seven percent decline in 2017,” Sessions said.

“And while 2017 saw more overdose deaths than 2016, data for the last months of the year show that the increases may have slowed,” he said.

The crackdown on opioid drug sales has also led to a reduction in violent crime, the attorney general said.

“As surely as night follows day—violence, addiction and death follow drug activity. When the drug epidemic was accelerating—so was violent crime and so was murder. That was no coincidence,” he said. “In 2015, the homicide rate increased by 12 percent nationally, and it increased again by eight percent in 2016. Violent crime, rape, robbery, and assault increased during that time, too.

“But preliminary data show that both the violent crime rate and the homicide rate are beginning to head back down. Public data from 88 large cities suggest that violent crime went down in the first quarter of 2018 compared to 2017. Violent crime went down 6.8 percent, and murder is going down in 2018 by 5.5 percent,” Sessions said.
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Melanie Arter is a Senior Editor and White House Correspondent for CNSNews.com a production of the Media Research Center.

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Bombshell Or Bust, Hurricane Hysteria, "I Can Hear You!"

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Bombshell Or Bust? Yesterday we told you about the "bombshell" that Senate Democrats dropped on Judge Brett Kavanaugh. They have sent a letter to the FBI alleging that Kavanaugh committed some offense when he was in high school.

The letter is an important piece of evidence. Don't miss the significance of this letter, my friends. It shows you that the left is willing to do anything to regain power so it can finally "fundamentally transform" America into a socialist/progressive/left-wing fascist enterprise.

The handling of this letter is a violation of every norm and every standard of decency. Even some members of the liberal media seem disturbed by this latest Democrat attack. (Here and here.)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein had the letter for months. She could have raised it with Kavanaugh during a private meeting. She could have easily brought it up during the hearings. She could have referred it to the FBI at any time.

Instead, the letter was held for precisely this moment -- just as Kavanaugh is on the verge of confirmation.

And she has sent it to the FBI now. Yes, THAT FBI -- the one apparently infested with left-wing deep state operatives who have been out to get Donald Trump for the past two years.

Now various outlets are adding hearsay upon hearsay about a letter that only Feinstein and the FBI have seen. For example, one report speculated that as a practical joke in high school, Kavanaugh and a friend may have locked a girl in a closet.

And there is a far more serious accusation of alleged sexual assault. Responding to that charge, Kavanaugh said today, "I categorically and unequivocally deny this allegation. I did not do this back in high school or at any time."

White House spokesperson Kerri Kupec said:

"Not until the eve of his confirmation has Sen. Feinstein or anyone raised the specter of new 'information' about him. Throughout 25 years of public service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has thoroughly and repeatedly vetted Judge Kavanaugh . . . for some of the most highly sensitive roles.

"He has served in the Office of Independent Counsel, the White House, and on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, all before his nomination earlier this year to serve as Associate Justice on the Supreme Court.

"Senator Schumer promised to 'oppose Judge Kavanaugh's nomination with everything I have,' and it appears he is delivering with this 11th-hour attempt to delay his confirmation."


This latest smear attempt is particularly disturbing given that Judge Kavanaugh has been a leader in promoting women and minorities.

Today, 65 women who have known Kavanaugh for more than 30 years sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee saying, "For the entire time we have known Brett Kavanaugh, he has behaved honorably and treated women with respect."

Hurricane Hysteria - I don't normally spend time on the weather, other than to encourage people to pray for those impacted by natural disasters. And we should do that, especially today.

But it is really hard to watch the news coverage of Hurricane Florence and see how the science on the issue is being so terribly manipulated, just as it is on virtually every other subject.

Science tells us that life begins at conception. Yet, the left refuses to acknowledge that when it comes to abortion. And we're teaching our children that there are dozens of genders. God created male and female. The left created all the other nonsense.

But now leftists are claiming that man is impacting the weather for the worse, and that the solution, obviously, is bigger government to fix the climate. Of course, it is all just socialism in disguise.

After a week of telling us that Florence would likely hit the East Coast as a Category 4 or even Category 5 storm because the oceans are heating up so much, the hysteria turned out to be wrong. Florence made landfall this morning as a Category 1 storm.

By the way, the hysteria is so bad, some are now calling for a new designation of Category 6.

Now, here's something you're not hearing in the 24/7 coverage of Florence: The frequency of hurricanes in recent years has actually fallen. (Here and here).

In fact, we went nearly 12 years -- from October 2005 to August 2017 -- without a single major hurricane impacting the United States. This record lull occurred during the height of the global warming craze, precisely when the "science" was suggesting the exact opposite would happen. We should have been hammered year after year.

And yet from 1941 to 1950, there were 24 hurricanes and 10 major storms, meaning Category 3 or higher. If anyone living through that time period had been subjected to the same kind of hysteria that passes for news coverage today, they would have believed they were living through the apocalypse.

"I Can Hear You!" - Today is the 17th anniversary of President George W. Bush's visit to Ground Zero. He had no prepared speech. There was no stage. There was no podium with the presidential seal.

Yet for a man who was famous for not being a great orator, he certainly rose to the occasion. With the rubble of the Twin Towers as his stage and a bullhorn in his hand, Bush delivered his most memorable speech ever.

Below is a transcript of President Bush's brief remarks to the first responders working at Ground Zero. You can watch it here.

"Thank you all. I want you all to know -- it [bullhorn] can't go any louder -- I want you all to know that American today, American today is on bended knee, in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn.

"The nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens. . .

"[RESCUE WORKER:] I can't hear you!

"I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people -- and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!

"[Workers:] U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

"The nation sends its love and compassion to everybody who is here. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for making the nation proud, and may God bless America.

"[Workers:] U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!"

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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: Bombshell Or Bust, Hurricane Hysteria, I Can Hear You!, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

California Orders NRA To Stop Selling Carry Guard

by Tom Knighton: The NRA’s Carry Guard insurance is the kind of product that every gun owner should have. It’s insurance that can protect you if you’re involved in a shooting and need legal representation, among other possibilities.

And haven’t gun control advocates been saying gun owners should have insurance?

Well, in California, they’re following New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s tyrannical lead in trying to block the NRA from selling Carry Guard in the state.

California has ordered the National Rifle Association to stop selling an insurance policy that covers legal costs for injury or damage from legally using a gun.

The state Department of Insurance on Tuesday issued a cease and desist order saying that the NRA sold an unlicensed insurance product in the state. The order carries a potential fine of $5,000 a day for violations.

…  About 2,400 Californians are policyholders, which gun control advocates have labeled “murder insurance.”

The National Rifle Association says it believes it did nothing wrong. NRA legal counsel William Brewer II says the organization relied on assurances from the insurance broker, Lockton Cos., that the program met California regulations.
In fairness, I see why the NRA would argue that. It’s not an insurance company, so it deferred to the experts. The fact that this is apparently not true isn’t the NRA’s fault.

Sorry, but it’s not.

It was Lockton’s responsibility to make the right call on something like this because it’s the insurance broker. It’s the one who understands insurance. If Lockton can provide some proof that the NRA went against its recommendations and somehow sold an illegal product in California, the buck actually stops with them.

But let’s also be honest here. This isn’t about insurance. It wasn’t about insurance in New York, either.

No, this is about the NRA. California, like New York, is anti-gun and the NRA has fought them time and time again on gun regulations. This is nothing more than an attempt to punish the NRA for daring to combat the state in its effort to completely undermine both the letter and the spirit of the Second Amendment.

California wants to run roughshod over the rights of gun owners, and the NRA won’t let them. While other groups are also active in the state, the NRA is the biggest of them all and the one everyone tends to think of when it comes to gun rights organizations. Because of that, it’s the target. It’s the one being attacked.

The truth is, if anyone else were offering an insurance product other than a gun rights group, California would likely be working with them to make sure the product met regulations. But since it’s the NRA, it has to stop selling it immediately.

What California forgets is that the NRA isn’t afraid of a fight. I mean, that what the NRA does. The NRA fights on behalf of members and even non-members if needed. Did California think the NRA wouldn’t fight for itself?

If so, California is more deluded as a state than even I thought
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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: Tom Knighton, Bearing Arms, California, Orders NRA, To Stop Selling, Carry Guard To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

A Cold Wind off Lake Michigan -- for Chicago and America

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: "It's the Lord of the Flies on LaSalle Street," wrote columnist John Kass in the Chicago Tribune. In case the references are unclear, whether because high schools haven't been assigning the William Golding novel in the last few decades or because out-of-towners unaccountably don't realize that Chicago's City Hall front is on LaSalle Street, the curmudgeonly Kass was writing about Mayor Rahm Emanuel's announcement that he won't run for a third term as mayor next February.

Should readers from outside Chicagoland care? Yes, because Emanuel's surprise exit is a sign of the unworkability of policies that will go national if Resistance Democrats oust Donald Trump, and indeed of some policies embraced by Trump as well.

Emanuel will be leaving office as a frustrated and unsuccessful mayor, even though he is one of the great political talents of his generation. Former Clinton fundraiser and White House staffer, Chicago congressman and chairman of House Democrats' campaign committee when they overturned a Republican majority in 2006: He's done it all.

He gave up a House leadership post to be Barack Obama's first White House chief of staff; he gave that up to run for mayor -- the job that every traditional Chicago politician considers far more important than anything "out of town" (said with a derisive curl of lip).

Emanuel's decision -- and his robust victory margin -- suggested that he intended to stay at 121 North LaSalle Street about as long as the 20-plus years of the ally he replaced, Richard M. Daley, and Daley's father before him. Instead he'll serve just eight.

Emanuel inherited a city whose electorate was divided roughly equally between blacks on the South and West Sides, Hispanics on the West and Northwest Sides, and gentry liberals running ever farther inland from the lakefront. It had a great economic heritage and enjoyed robust growth in the 1990s.

It has been downhill since. Chicago and Illinois have been hobbled by metastasizing pension obligations, frozen in place by state courts and state House speaker (for all but two years since 1982!) Michael Madigan. Taxes have been rising: Shoppers on North Michigan Avenue pay the nation's highest taxes.

Chicagoans have been voting with their feet. Metro Chicago has by far the highest percentage of domestic out-migration of any major metropolitan area, and net outflow this decade is 5 percent of its 2010 population. In particular, blacks have been leaving metro Chicago for Atlanta and other points south.

Emanuel's electoral base has been lakefront liberals plus a plurality of whichever minority group hasn't produced his main opponent. That was blacks in 2015, but his standing with black voters has been hurt by his concealment during electoral season of the videotape of a police shooting of a young black man.

At the same time, Emanuel acquiesced in Obama administration oversight of the city's police department. And police officers' retreat from proactive policing has led to enormous increases in shootings and homicides.

I happened to be in Chicago in the early weeks of December 2008 and saw the celebratory air of a city festooned with posters hailing the new president -- the first president Chicago ever produced. But after leaving office in January 2017, Obama has not moved back to Chicago and recently only visited briefly. Hope and change is not in the air.

Chicago is one of the great creations of mankind: a frontier post in 1833 that was one of the world's great cities just 60 years later, showing off in the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 its new lakefront parks, its new electric light systems, its sanitary canal channeling wastewater away from Lake Michigan, its pioneering skyscrapers and enormous stockyards and factories.

Now the economic foundations of the metropolis are being drained and undermined to provide the generous pensions of long-retired public employees, many of them now in income-tax-free Florida, while public schools are closed, services reduced, police patrols pulled back.

That looks like a future of decline for Chicago, and maybe for America, too. Democrats have shown zero interest in reducing the entitlements of retirees, not since President Bill Clinton broke off negotiations with House Speaker Newt Gingrich amid the impeachment crisis of 1998. Ditto Donald Trump, and no Republican seems to be raising the issue, as President George W. Bush did in 2005.

It's not a good sign -- like a cold wind coming off Lake Michigan -- that even as shrewd and well-connected a politician as Rahm Emanuel doesn't see a viable way forward.
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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 co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, Rasmussen Reports, Cold Wind off Lake Michigan, for Chicago and America To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Chicago Lied To Court About Ongoing Obama Center Work, Plaintiffs Allege

Trees taken down in Jackson Park.
Source: Chicago Sun-Times
by Mark Glennon: Plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit to stop construction of the Obama Center in Chicago’s Jackson Park yesterday filed a motion essentially alleging lawyers for the city and the Chicago Park District lied to the judge respecting work that has already started in the park.

According to the motion, the city and park district earlier represented to the court that no work would commence on the Obama Center until a later hearing, but then proceeded with demolishing an existing track and field in park and destroying century old trees in order to build the center.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported last month on that construction work. An architectural publication called that “Rahm’s Meigs Moment” — a reference to Mayor Richard M. Daley’s pre-dawn, surprise raid to tear down Meigs Field in 2003.

The court last month allowed that work to proceed and set a schedule for the case based, according to the new motion, on representations that the track and field work was unrelated to the Obama Center.

Those representations were false, according to the new motion. As evidence, it cites a Donation Agreement between the park district and the Obama Foundation (which is building the center) that ties the work at issue to the center.

It also cites an earlier press release by the park district that says, “Current plans for the Obama Presidential Center will require the relocation of that field and prompted a joint effort between the Obama Foundation and the Chicago Park District to build a new, updated turf field.”

Further, according to the motion, federal approvals for construction have not yet been obtained. The city is therefore “performing the construction activities…prior to any required federal review and approval.”

From the new motion: “The City and Park District’s material misrepresentations and gamesmanship warrant that the Court requires the parties’ mandatory disclosures immediately and also that the Plaintiff be allowed expedited written discovery from the Defendants. The City and the Park District are essentially playing a game of cat and mouse, by concealing and misrepresenting facts.”

A hearing on the new motion is scheduled for Thursday, September 20.

The lawsuit was brought by Protect Our Parks, Inc. and certain individuals against the city and park district. Case No. 18-cv-03424 in the Northern District of Illinois.

These new allegations of dishonesty appear entirely sound to me and are yet another chapter in the Obama Center fiasco. We’ve written earlier about how the center has been dishonestly rammed through — illegally for the reasons laid out in the original complaint. Initially pitched as a presidential library to be constructed entirely with private donations, it’s in fact a political operation, not a presidential library, and is heavily subsidized by taxpayer dollars and free parkland. Our article about how federal as well as Illinois taxpayers are footing the bill was featured in the Wall Street Journal.

I last visited the site a couple weeks ago and the work going on is very substantial. Interestingly, it’s hidden by tall construction curtains that block off most viewing.

Our earlier articles on the center are linked here.
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Mark Glennon is founder and executive editor of Wirepoints. H/T Truth in Accounting for identifying article.

Tags: Rahm’s Meigs Moment, Chicago, lied to court, about, on going wotk, Obama Center 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 Unpardonable Heresy of Tucker Carlson

by Patrick Buchanan: Our diversity is our greatest strength.

After playing clips of Democratic politicians reciting that truth of modern liberalism, Tucker Carlson asked, “How, precisely, is diversity our strength? Since you’ve made this our new national motto, please be specific.”

Reaction to Carlson’s question, with some declaring him a racist for having raised it, suggests that what we are dealing with here is not a demonstrable truth but a creed not subject to debate.

Yet the question remains valid: Where is the scientific, historic or empirical evidence that the greater the racial, ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of a nation, the stronger it becomes?

From recent decades, it seems more true to say the reverse: The more diverse a nation, the greater the danger of its disintegration.

Ethnic diversity, after all, tore apart our mighty Cold War rival, splintering the Soviet Union into 15 nations, three of which — Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia — have since split further along ethnic lines.

Russia had to fight two wars to hold onto Chechnya and prevent the diverse peoples of the North Caucasus from splitting off on ethnic grounds, as Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan had done.

Ethnic diversity then shattered Yugoslavia into seven separate nations.

And even as we proclaim diversity to be our greatest strength, nations everywhere are recoiling from it.

The rise of populism and nationalism across Europe is a reaction to the new diversity represented by the Arab, Asian and African millions who have lately come, and the tens of millions desperate to enter.

Center-left and center-right parties are losing ground in European elections because they are seen as feckless in meeting what more and more indigenous Europeans believe to be an existential threat — mass migration from across the Med.

Japan’s population has ceased to grow, and each year brings fewer toddlers into its schools. Yet Tokyo resists the racial and ethnic diversity greater immigration would bring. Why, if diversity is a strength?

What South Koreans dream of is uniting again with the 22 million separated members of their national family who live in the North, but share the same history and blood.

This summer, in its Basic Law, Israel declared itself an ethnonational state and national home of the Jewish people. African migrants crossing the Sinai to seek sanctuary in Israel are unwelcome.

Consider China, which seeks this century to surpass America as the first power on earth. Does Xi Jinping welcome a greater racial, ethnic and cultural diversity within his county as, say, Barack Obama does in ours?

In his western province of Xinjiang, Xi has set up an archipelago of detention camps. Purpose: Re-educate his country’s Uighurs and Kazakhs by purging them of their religious and tribal identities, and making them and their children more like Han Chinese in allegiance to the Communist Party and Chinese nation.

Xi fears that the 10 million Uighurs of Xinjiang, as an ethnic and religious minority, predominantly Muslim, wish to break away and establish an East Turkestan, a nation of their own, out of China. And he is correct.

What China is doing is brutalitarian. But what China is saying with its ruthless policy is that diversity — religious, racial, cultural — can break us apart as it did the USSR. And we are not going to let that happen.

Do the Buddhists of Myanmar cherish the religious diversity that the Muslim Rohingya of Rakhine State bring to their country?

America has always been more than an idea, an ideology or a propositional nation. It is a country that belongs to a separate and identifiable people with its own history, heroes, holidays, symbols, songs, myths, mores — its own culture.

Again, where is the evidence that the more Americans who can trace their roots to the Third World, and not to Europe, the stronger we will be?

Is the Britain of Theresa May, with its new racial, religious and ethnic diversity, a stronger nation than was the U.K. of Lloyd George, which ruled a fourth of mankind in 1920?

Was it not the unity Bismarck forged among the diverse Germanic peoples, bringing them into a single nation under the Kaiser in 1871, that made Germany a far stronger and more formidable power in Europe?

Empires, confederations and alliances are multiethnic and multicultural. And, inevitably, their diversity pulls them apart.

The British Empire was the greatest in modern history. What tore it apart? Tribalism, the demands of diverse peoples, rooted in blood and soil, to be rid of foreign rule and to have their own place in the sun.

And who are loudest in preaching that our diversity is our strength?

Are they not the same people who told us that democracy was the destiny of all mankind and that, as the world’s “exceptional nation,” we must seize the opportunity of our global preeminence to impose its blessings on the less enlightened tribes of the Middle East and Hindu Kush?

If the establishment is proven wrong about greater diversity bringing greater strength to America, there will be no do-over for the USA.
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Patrick Buchanan is currently a conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior advisor to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000. He blogs at the Patrick J. Buchanan.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, media, Unpardonable Heresy, diversity,Tucker Carlson To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Naiveté

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Perhaps you have been involved in a political discussion with people and wondered how they could be so naïve about foreign policy or criminal justice because they just wanted to believe every person is basically good. Perhaps you have been sharing your faith with someone who rejected the idea of a savior because he or she rejected the idea of human sinfulness.

So many people in America are naïve about human nature, evil, and sin because they live in one of the greatest countries in the world that is insulated from the harmful realities of life. In many countries, greed and corruption are a way of life. I know that people in America complain about political corruption, but it isn’t anything compared to what is a daily experience in many other countries.

We are also shielded from strife and civil war. We have had an occasional terrorist attack that is unsettling. But we live in a world far removed from the daily threats people in other countries face.

Dennis Prager writes about his experience at the University of California in Berkeley. He had a debate/dialogue with two left-wing students. His final question to them was, “Do you believe people are basically good?” Without hesitation, they said yes.

He reminded them that they could think that way because they live in such a decent country insulated from poverty, corruption, and war. But he was troubled that just two generations after Auschwitz they could naïvely believe this. Since no Western religion (based on the Bible) teaches that people are basically good, this naiveté is obviously the result of secularism.

This naïve view of human nature keeps many from seeing the need for deterrence and protection from evildoers. And it keeps them from seeing their need for the gospel. It is one of the greatest mental obstacles we face whenever we engage in discussion about human nature.
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Kerby Anderson is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service

Tags: Kerby Anderson, Viewpoints, Point of View, Naiveté To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Act of God . . .

. . . In their non-stop bash Trump fashion the Leftist Mainstream is now blaming Trump for hurricane Florence and the death of thousands in Puerto Rico.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial cartoon, AF Branco, Act of God, Leftist Mainstream, non-stop bashing, blaming, Donald Trump, for hurricane Florence, death of thousands, Puerto Rico 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 Ambit of an Ambition

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: “The geopolitical situation makes this Europe’s hour: the time for European sovereignty has come,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker this week, staking a big claim for the future in this year’s State of the Union Address.

Juncker wants the EU to be a shiny new “global player,” but shies from the word that comes immediately to mind: “We have to be super,” Juncker clarifies, “but not a superpower.”

The big question is how Juncker’s ramped-up globalism would serve European citizens. Juncker itches to build a “More United, Stronger and More Democratic Union,” but his biggest problem may be that the people seem increasingly iffy on this whole unity thing.

Brexit is only the most spectacular popular rebellion.

“The Visegrad nations of Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic,” the Washington Times noted yesterday, have balked at EU migration policies, and “all face EU legal sanctions.” Meanwhile, “Populist governments have been elected in Italy and Austria, where voters are sick and tired of the constant intrusions into their lives by Brussels.”

And on Wednesday the EU enacted Article 13, an intrusive copyright law that Net activists have dubbed a “meme killer” capable of destroying “the Internet as we know it.”

While Juncker talks about Europe taking “destiny into its own hands,” Europeans seem more interested in taking their government into their own hands.

After all, it is not as if Europeans cannot prosper in a world economy without confederation — much less something much more, a stronger central bureaucratic authority.

European states could, for instance, adopt free trade. It would make them richer and the world safer.

And they could, in addition, junk Juncker.

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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Whistleblower Exposes Key Player in FBI Russia Probe: “It was all a Set-up”

Adam Lovinger
by Sara Carter: Adam Lovinger, a former Defense Department analyst, never expected that what he stumbled on during his final months at the Pentagon would expose an integral player in the FBI’s handling of President Donald Trump’s campaign and alleged Russia collusion.

Lovinger, a whistleblower, is now battling to save his career. The Pentagon suspended his top-secret security clearance May 1, 2017, when he exposed through an internal review that Stefan Halper, who was then an emeritus Cambridge professor, had received roughly $1 million in tax-payer funded money to write Defense Department foreign policy reports, his attorney Sean Bigley said

Before Lovinger’s clearance was suspended he had taken a detail to the National Security Council as senior director for strategy. He was only there for five months before he was recalled to the Pentagon, stripped of his prestigious White House detail, and ordered to perform bureaucratic make-work in a Pentagon annex Bigley calls “the land of misfit toys.” His security clearance was eventually revoked in March 2018, despite the Pentagon “refusing to turn over a single page of its purported evidence of Lovinger’s wrongdoing,” Bigley stated. Conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch, recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Defense Department to obtain the withheld records.

Lovinger also raised concerns about Halper’s role in conducting what appeared to be diplomatic meetings with foreigners on behalf of the U.S. government because his role as contractor forbids him from doing so, according to U.S. federal law.

An investigation by SaraACarter.com reveals that the documents and information Lovinger stumbled on and other documents obtained by this news site, raise troubling questions about Halper, who was believed to have worked with the CIA and part of the matrix of players in the bureau’s ‘CrossFire Hurricane’ investigation into Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Halper, who assisted the FBI in the Russia investigation, appears to also have significant ties to the Russian government, as well as sources connected directly to President Vladimir Putin.

Halper did not respond to requests for comment.

“When Mr. Lovinger raised concerns about DoD’s misuse of Stefan Halper in 2016, he did so without any political designs or knowledge of Mr. Halper’s spying activities,” Bigley told SaraACarter.com. “Instead, Mr. Lovinger simply did what all Americans should expect of our civil servants: he reported violations of law and a gross waste of public funds to his superiors.”

And for that, Bigley said, Lovinger has paid the ultimate price in his 12-year career as a strategist in the Pentagon’s Office of Net Assessment. According to Bigley, shortly after Lovinger began reporting and asking questions about suspicious contracts given to Halper and others, including one person closely associated Chelsea Clinton, his security clearance was suspended. 

Later, on April 3, 2018, the DoD’s Washington Headquarters Services Director Barbara Westgate sent a letter to Lovinger indefinitely suspending him from duty and pay status after his clearance was removed in March. The letter stated, “The purpose of this memorandum is to notify you that I am proposing to indefinitely suspend you from duty and pay status in your position as a Foreign Affairs Specialist.”

Lovinger, who is married with three children and is the family’s primary breadwinner, has been living off the generosity of family members since his pay was removed.

The retaliation for whistleblowing was something Bigley expected. “So, we weren’t surprised when DoD bureaucrats moved shortly thereafter to strip Mr. Lovinger of both his security clearance and his detail to the National Security Council, where he had been Senior Director for Strategy as a by-name request of the incoming Trump Administration,” said the attorney.

“Yet, we were puzzled by the unprecedented ferocity of efforts to discredit Mr. Lovinger, including leaks from DoD of false and defamatory information to the press,” he said. “Our assumption was that the other contractor about whom Mr. Lovinger explicitly raised concerns – a close confidante of Hillary Clinton – was the reason for the sustained assault on Mr. Lovinger, and that certainly may have played a role.”

Bigley suspects it was more than the Clinton-connected contracts adding, “Mr. Lovinger unwittingly shined a spotlight on the deep state’s secret weapon – Stefan Halper – and threatened to expose the truth about the Trump-Russia collusion narrative than being plotted: that it was all a set-up.”

Halper’s Ties to Russian Officials Raise Serious Questions
Halper has had a long career and worked in government with several GOP administrations. At 73, the elusive professor spent a career developing top-level government connections–not just through academia but also through his work with members of the intelligence apparatus.

Those contacts and the information Halper collected along the way would eventually, through apparent circumstance, become utilized by the FBI against the Trump campaign. But, it was during his time hosting the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar at the University of Cambridge where Halper shifted from a professor and former government consultant to FBI informant on the Trump campaign.

In 2016, Halper was an integral part of the FBI’s investigation into short-term Trump campaign volunteer, Carter Page. Halper first made contact with Page at his seminar in July 2016. Page, who was already on the FBI’s radar, was accused of being sympathetic to Russia and sought better relations between the U.S. and Russian officials. Halper stayed in contact with Page until September 2017.

During that time, the FBI sought and obtained a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to spy on Page and used Halper to collect information on him, according to sources. The House Intelligence Committee Russia report and documents obtained by this outlet revealed that the bulk of the warrant against Page relied heavily on an unverified dossier compiled by Former British Spy Christopher Steele and the matter is still under congressional investigation. Steele, who was a former MI6 agent, also had ties to many of the same people, like former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove, who were part of the seminar.

Halper, along with Dearlove, left the Cambridge Intelligence Seminar in December 2016, saying they were concerned about Russian influence. Halper had told reporters at the time that it was due to “unacceptable Russian influence.”

Ironically, documents obtained by SaraACarter.com suggest that Halper also had invited senior Russian intelligence officials to co-teach his course on several occasions and, according to news reports, also accepted money to finance the course from a top Russian oligarch with ties to Putin.

Several course syllabi from 2012 and 2015 obtained by this outlet reveal Hapler had invited and co-taught his course on intelligence with the former Director of Russian Intelligence Gen. Vladimir I. Trubnikov.

On May 4, 2012, the course syllabus states, “Ambassador Vladimir I. Trubnikov will comment on the challenges faced while directing the Foreign Intelligence Service, his tenure as Ambassador to India, President Putin and the likely course of Russia’s relations with Britain and the U.S.”

In May 2015, Trubnikov returned to teach with Halper at his seminar in Cambridge on “current relations between the Russian Federation and the West.” Other notable intelligence experts attended the event in 2015, including Major Gen.Peter Williams, a former British commander of the mission to the Soviet Forces in Germany.

Halper’s partner in the seminar, Cambridge Professor Neil Kent has also espoused better relations with Russia and Putin in his writings and told Russia Today in a 2014 interview that “everyone is attacking and demonizing Russia.” According to Kent’s biography, he was a professor from 2002 to 2012 at Russia’s St. Petersburg State Academic Institute.

Even more interesting are reports from the British Media outlet, The Financial Times, that state Halper received funds for the Cambridge seminar from Russian billionaire Andrey Cheglakov, who has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Cheglakov also funded Veruscript in 2016, which raised the suspicion of Dearlove and those connected to the seminar. Veruscript, a publisher for a Russian academic journal, was suspected by MI6 of being a front for Russian intelligence. Kent also happened to be the editor and chief of the journal. He published the inaugural article in the journal “The Journal of Intelligence and Terrorism” blaming the West for the Russian invasion into Crimea but the journal closed down due to their suspicions.

Dearlove was also concerned “that Russia may be seeking to use the seminar as an impeccably credentialed platform to covertly steer debate and opinion on high-level sensitive defense and security topics,” according to the Financial Times sources.

A former senior intelligence official told this news outlet, “It’s all smoke and mirrors. Halper was well aware when he was bringing in Trubnikov in 2012 that the Russian’s were already there at his invitation. The FBI uses Halper to get more information on Trump aides but it’s Halper who has the real connection to Russia.”

Lovinger raised concerns with top officials at the Pentagon in 2016 and noted that Halper went far beyond his work as a contractor after he discovered that the amount of money the professor was being paid for his research did not make sense. Lovinger stressed his concern that Halper was not just being utilized as a contractor, but that he was also conducting diplomatic work for the Pentagon “in violation of federal law,” according to Bigley.

In one email from Stephan Halper to Andrew May, the second highest ranking official in Lovinger’s office, Halper writes about a planned trip to conduct meetings in India.

“I am in Cambridge en route to India – arriving Saturday. So far 14 meetings have been scheduled with various parts of the political-military community. On Monday, a meeting is planned with the Delhi Policy Group where I will meet with Brigadier Seghal who is, apparently working with ONA (Office of Net Assessment) Can you tell me anything about him,” according to the document obtained by SaraACarter.com.

Halper and George Papadopoulos
Halper was not only spying on Page for the FBI in 2016, but he had also made contact in September 2016 with another Trump campaign volunteer, George Papadopoulos. He invited Papadopoulos to London that September, luring him with a $3,000 paycheck to work on a research paper under contract. By this time the young Trump campaign volunteer had already been in contact London-based professor, Josef Mifsud, who had basically informed him that the Russians had damaging material about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Misfud’s role has also come into question by Congress.

Eventually, Papadopoulos was swept into Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation and pled guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. His wife, Simona Papadopoulos, who’s been a vocal advocate for her husband, told SaraACarter.com that essentially he was forced to plead guilty because of threats from Mueller’s team and lack of financial resources.

After testifying behind closed doors last month to the House Intelligence Committee, Simona told this outlet that she testified to Congress “as far as George is concerned, he met with individuals following the same pattern of behavior….and all of a sudden (Halper) was asking if he was doing anything with Russians…. This is the case with Halper, who is now proven to be a spy, possibly with (Australian Ambassador) Alexander Downer” who her husband met with in London.

Halper and Michael Flynn
Before Page and Papadopolous, there was the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. Flynn had been invited to Cambridge in February, 2014 for a a dinner hosted by both Dearlove and Halper.

The investigation into Trump didn’t start with Carter Page or George Papadapolous, but with Flynn

But during that time, Flynn was already walking a fine line with the Obama Administration and battling President Obama and the CIA over his deep disagreement with the administration’s narrative that al-Qaeda and extremists groups, had been defeated or were on the run. Several months later Flynn was forced to resign early and ended his tenure as the director of the DIA.

“Flynn was pushed out by Obama and then became a thorn in the side of Obama and the Clintons when he joined the Trump campaign,” said a former senior intelligence source with knowledge of what happened. “The investigation into Trump didn’t start with Carter Page or George Papadapolous, but with Flynn. Flynn was already on the CIA and Clinton target list. Those same people sure as hell didn’t want him in the White House and they sure as hell didn’t want Trump to win.”

Flynn’s career with Trump ended as quickly as it came. He was forced to resign as Trump’s National Security Advisor 27 days after taking the job. The highly classified conversation between Flynn and former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak was leaked to the Washington Post in January 2017 and he was later questioned by the FBI on that conversation. According to former FBI Director James Comey, the agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe he was lying, but in the end, Flynn pled guilty to one count of lying to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. He had already spent more than $1 million in lawyers fees and sold his home to help with the debt. According to sources, Flynn’s family was being threatened by the Mueller team.

Halper’s involvement in the bureau’s investigation started much earlier than the FBI’s opening of its Crossfire investigation into the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016. He was already providing information on Page, Papadopolous, and Flynn earlier that year.

And it was in 2016 when Halper had told the FBI that he witnessed concerning interactions between Russian academic, Svetlana Lokhova, and Flynn at the February 2014 seminar dinner. This suspicion – without any proof – was then leaked to papers in London and eventually discussed in the U.S. media. Lokhova told the BBC in May 2017 that when she first saw the allegations raised in the media she thought it was a joke.

Numerous sources with knowledge of the allegations Halper made about Flynn, said that they were “absolutely” false and that Flynn and Lokhova only spoke for a short time at the dinner. Several email exchanges between Lokhova, Flynn and his assistant that took place after the dinner were generic in nature, as Flynn had asked her for a copy of a historical 1930s postcard she had brought to the seminar.

“But it didn’t matter that it wasn’t the truth,” said the former senior intelligence official. “It was already out there because of Halper’s allegations and the constant leaking and lying of false stories of those to the media.”
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Sara A. Carter is a national and international award winning investigative reporter whose stories have ranged from national security, terrorism, immigration and front line coverage of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. She posts at SaraCarter.com.

Tags: Sara A. Carter, Adam Lovinger, Whistleblower,Exposes Key Player, Stefan Halper, FBI Russia Probe, “It was all a Set-up” To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Nike Pays Kaepernick to Peddle False, Harmful Narrative of Police Brutality

by Larry Elder: The NFL’s Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback who started the phenomenon of NFL players kneeling during the playing of the national anthem, has finally signed a deal. But not to play football.

No NFL team has offered him a contract since he parted ways with the San Francisco 49ers. His new deal is with Nike, which plans to use him for the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” campaign. The Nike ad, over an image of Kaepernick, reads: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

If Nike truly believed one must “believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” why hasn’t the socially conscious company dumped longtime client Tiger Woods? He not only pointedly refuses to condemn President Donald Trump but also recently said: “He’s the President of the United States. You have to respect the office. No matter who is in the office, you may like, dislike personality or the politics, but we all must respect the office.”

How long has Nike been paying Kaepernick for his “activism”? Some have likened him to Rosa Parks, the civil rights icon who refused to move to the back of the bus, helping spark the modern civil rights movement. Oh, please. Ms. Parks didn’t get a shoe deal, and she got arrested for the act of defiance. How has Kaepernick “sacrificed everything”? His NFL career was in decline at the time of his protest. His contract was not likely going to be renewed, even without the controversy that now surrounds him. More important, the NFL, unlike the NBA, does not require its players to stand during the national anthem. So the already rich Kaepernick neither risked losing money nor broke any rule by kneeling.

Remember, the protest began as a criticism of the alleged widespread institutional racism by cops. Kaepernick said, “There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.” Actually, the data say otherwise. The Washington Post Fatal Force database reports that 19 unarmed blacks were killed by the police in 2016. Almost 8,000 blacks were homicide victims in 2016, and most died at the hands of another black. Unarmed does not mean not dangerous. Ferguson’s Michael Brown was unarmed, but his DNA was found on the police officer’s gun, indicating that Brown was trying to grab the gun.

Two studies in recent years found that police are more reluctant and more hesitant to use deadly force against a black suspect than a white suspect. Harvard’s Roland Fryer, a black economist and the author of one of the studies, said, “It is the most surprising result of my career.”

The notion that the police engage in systemic racial profiling is not just wrong — it gets people killed. Because of fears of false allegations of police misconduct, cops in Chicago, according the Mayor Rahm Emanuel, have put themselves in a “fetal” position and do not engage in proactive policing. Why fight crime aggressively if it increases interaction with suspects and therefore increases the chance of a false charge of racism against an officer?

In Baltimore in 2015, an unarmed black man named Freddie Gray died in a police van while being transported to jail. Six officers, including three blacks, were indicted, with charges ranging from second-degree murder for one, to involuntary manslaughter and assault for the others. At the time of Gray’s death, the police department was led by a black man. The second in command was also black. The mayor was black. The majority of the Baltimore City Council was black, as was the state attorney who brought the charges. At the time, the U.S. attorney general was black, as was the President of the United States. Three of the cases were tried before a black judge without a jury. The judge found the officers not guilty. And still protestors cried “institutional racism,” even though blacks in Baltimore are running the institution.

Trump made the NFL’s kneeling protestors a deal that one would have thought could not be refused: “I am gonna ask all of those people to recommend to me … people that they think were unfairly treated by the justice system … and I’m gonna take a look at those applications. And if I find and my committee finds that they were unfairly treated, then we will pardon them, or at least let them out. … If the players, if the athletes have friends of theirs or people that they know about that have been unfairly treated by the system, let me know.”

Where are the names?

Given that the protestors claim there is “structural and systemic racism” and the government runs a “school-to-prison pipeline,” they surely can generate an exhaustive list of names. If whites were to spend as much time thinking about how to oppress blacks as Kaepernick thinks they do, they would never have enough time to oppress blacks.

As for Nike, it believes in pursuing its fiduciary obligation — to make profits. It sees no conflict between representing a Woods who refuses to criticize Trump and a Kaepernick who does. If pushing a false narrative of “institutional systemic and structural racism” sells shoes, #justdoit.
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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 LarryElder.com for list of other articles.

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