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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, October 26, 2018

'Hate Crimes'? 1,705 Deadly Force Attacks on Churches Since 1999

by Tyler O'Neil: Liberal groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) track "hate crimes," and conservatives rightly remember crimes of malice committed against them, but the vast majority of crime is not motivated by animus towards people groups — but by personal anger. Carl Chinn, founder of the Faith Based Security Network, has cataloged deadly force attacks against religious organizations for nearly 20 years, and found that "hate" only inspired a small percentage of these attacks.

"The animus that results in deadly violence is one of the lowest reasons that we see deadly violence," Chinn told PJ Media. While this does not prove that animus towards people groups (racism, sexism, Christianophobia, et cetera) does not exist, it does show that the more likely motive for deadly violence — at religious organizations at least — is something else.

According to his statistics, only 76 out of the 1,705 deadly force attacks against religious organizations (including all denominations of Christianity, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, etc.) since 1999 have been inspired by animus against a specific people group (be it racial or religious or something else). Such incidents make up only 5.87 percent of the deadly attacks on churches.

Chinn remarked that "the Southern Poverty Law Center is a flagship for what's wrong with the study of hate crimes." The SPLC brands mainstream conservative and Christian groups "hate groups," and focuses on instances of apparent animus against people due to their skin color, sexual orientation, or other characteristics. The group has been known to fall for "hate" hoaxes and to fail to correct the record afterwards.

"I do not track hate crime," the statistician remarked, noting that it is hard to keep "hate crime" reporting unbiased. "There's a lot of misreporting in this business, because people look at it with colored lenses."

"I don't agree with the Southern Poverty Law Center at all," Chinn explained. "When somebody calls the Family Research Council (FRC) a hate group, I discredit them." SPLC marked FRC a "hate group" in 2007, and their "hate map" inspired a terrorist attack on FRC in 2012. SPLC has not removed FRC from its list of "hate groups" or from its "hate map."

The underlying problem goes far beyond the SPLC, however. "We want to chase over all this sexy stuff, the terrorist attacks and the bias, but the truth of the matter is, it is anger in mankind towards his fellow man that gets people hurt," Chinn explained. "More than anything, it's anger."

"It's fun to join with the others in your tribe that are talking about terrorism coming to America or talking about hate crimes," the crime statistician said. "Those are tribal turf wars, and the truth of the matter is, those aren't what's getting people hurt. It's the anger that's getting people hurt — anger on a local level between two or more people."

According to his data, robbery (25.97 percent), domestic violence spillover (16 percent), personal conflict (13.6 percent), mental illness (11 percent), and gang activity (8.89 percent) were much more likely motives for deadly force attacks in churches than any form of bias. While a full 57.2 percent of attacks involved a firearm, Chinn warned that this number is likely inflated because it includes incidents where a police officer shot the perpetrator.

Chinn presented another reason to question "hate crime" statistics.

"If you look at the FBI crime reports for 2007, they say that there were 9 fatalities resulting from hate crime," he noted. "About half of those were against homosexuals and half of those were against race. None were religion-based."

Yet in that same year, on December 9 to be exact, a killer attacked the YWAM in Arvada, Colo. The shooter killed two and wounded others, then disappeared into the night.

"He got on the Internet, he posted 13 suicide diatribes," the statistician recalled. He paraphrased one of those diatribes: "I'm going out to make a stand against this sick religion. Christian America, this is your Columbine."

This shooter came to Chinn's church (New Life Church in Colorado Springs) and killed two, wounding others. "That was not listed as a hate crime because we're the wrong religion," he quipped.

"You can kill Christians and it won't be a hate crime," Chinn added, bitterly. "But you can paint a swastika on a Jewish center, and it's a hate crime. Or you can rip down a Black Lives Matter sign from a black church, and that's a hate crime."

Chinn began researching deadly force attacks on religious organizations in 1997, "trying to find what was the most likely thing to occur at a faith-based organization." He said he uses various sources, from news media to court documents, to capture as many events as possible. He follows incidents over the long haul, because "sometimes it's a year or two before somebody's arrested and in some cases until somebody dies."

"Most crime goes unreported," Chinn explained. In fact, his original goals were much more ambitious — he wanted to catalogue all attacks on religious organizations, but he realized that "unless it's a murder event or has the potential of murder, the chances of finding anything on it are none."

In 1999, he narrowed the parameters of his study to "how often does a deadly force level of violence happen at a faith-based organization?" His data traces back to that year, but with the rise of the Internet, his ability to catalogue events became more reliable around 2009.

"If it's a deadly force incident, if it's got the potential or the real-life actions of a homicide or a suicide, that would affect your security team, so I put it in my report," Chinn told PJ Media.

For a long time, the statistician kept the numbers to himself. Then one day in 2005, he grew so frustrated at false media coverage that he literally screamed at his television.

"I was watching the news in March of 2005 when the Brookfield Wisconsin killer told the pastor in anger on a Sunday morning service, 'I'll be back.' He came back in with two guns, killed the pastor, the pastor's son, and four others," Chinn recalled. "This news reporter said this was the fourth shooting in a church in America. I yelled at the TV. My wife was knitting and I'm going into this tirade. 'Where do they get this nonsense?!'"

His wife encouraged him to do something about it, and he finally published his data online. He published a book, "Faith Invades Sanctuary," about the threats to religious organizations, in 2012. Last year, he filed the paperwork to establish the Faith Based Security Network, a non-profit dedicated to preparing churches and other faith organizations for self-defense.

According to Chinn's records, 2017 was the worst year for deadly force attacks against religious organizations, even before the Sutherland Springs church shooting last November that claimed 27 lives.

"Even before Sutherland Springs, we were set to have a record high, and a scary record high," he told PJ Media.

"Something has changed in America," Chinn warned, suggesting a larger spiritual crisis. "You can't start saying that there's no difference between good and evil and not see moral decay."

"There's a whole agenda out there that says there's no such thing as moral decay but a child undisciplined is an angry child," the statistician noted. "Maybe that's what we have going on in America. Maybe we have forgotten how to discipline ourselves."

"Darkness in the human heart, that's what it boils down to, and in America we've said there's no such thing as an evil heart, it's just preference and lifestyle," he lamented. "No, it's not. There's good and bad in the human heart."

If anyone would doubt that, Chinn pointed to child victims of sexual abuse. Among other things, his organization helps churches set up policies to protect children's safety. "A pedophile has many victims before he has a record. You've got to have policies in place that are so sound, even if you had a pedophile serving in your ministry, he would have no opportunity to hurt a child."

Although "hate" motivates comparatively few attacks in churches, Chin upbraided Democrats for stoking animus and anger in general.

"I try so hard not to sound political, but when you've got leaders of one party saying, 'We won't be civil until we rule the House,' that's like the tantrum of a toddler," Chinn quipped, referencing comments from Hillary Clinton. "I don't know how an adult could say that. I don't know how an adult can say some of the stuff Trump does, either."

While Democrats — and Clinton in particular — were the intended victims of the recent string of attempted bombings this week, that does not erase the fact that Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has encouraged constant harassment of Republicans, as have Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Eric Holder, and Hillary Clinton.

Shane Mekeland, a Republican candidate for Minnesota's state House, blamed Democrats for inspiring the incivility that led a man to punch him out of nowhere, leaving him with a concussion and the inability to campaign outside without getting a headache.

If anger and lack of discipline, rather than "hate" stemming from one agenda or another, is the main driver of most attacks, then Americans need civility more than "bias" training. "Hate groups" are not the real problem — the human heart is. Evil cannot be eradicated from the human heart, but Americans can learn the discipline required for civility.
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Tyler O'Neil is Assistant Editor of PJ Media, Tyler O'Neil is a conservative fundraiser and commentator. He has written for numerous publications.

Tags: Tyler O'Neil, Hate Crimes, 1,705 Deadly Force Attacks, Churches, since, 1999 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 Proposed Republican Pledge on Health Care

by Newt Gingrich: The 2018 midterm elections are less than two weeks away, and many polls show there is a sizable bloc of independent voters who have not yet made up their minds. At the same time, health care remains the number one issue for the American people.

The best way for Republicans to earn the votes of these undecided voters – and honor commitments to the Republicans who already support them – is to clearly articulate how they would fix our broken health care system.

This is an example of what that plan should be:

Republicans are Creating a Better Health System and Pledge to Do More

Republican Principles for America’s Health and Health Care System
  • We believe every American should have the opportunity to live a long and healthy life, supported by a health system that is simple to use, innovative, and affordable.
  • We believe that every American should have his or her choice of doctors and insurance that meet his or her specific needs.
  • We believe the health system should be transparent about health care costs and quality of treatments options and that this information should be available to every American in a simple, understandable way so patients can make better decisions about their own health.
  • We believe in protecting patients with pre-existing conditions so that they can obtain affordable health insurance coverage.
  • We believe in the importance of American medical innovation that leads to breakthroughs that dramatically improve health outcomes while significantly lowering costs.
  • We believe that the doctor-patient relationship is at the center of an effective health system, and it should not be disrupted by micromanagement from public and private bureaucracies.
  • We believe American seniors have earned their health care benefits; and that they, their families, and their doctors should make their own medical decisions – not unelected government boards, bureaucrats, or private third-party payers and middlemen.
  • We believe in a competitive health care market where private sector innovation works to strengthen public programs. One-size-fits-all government-controlled health care interferes with doctor-patient relationships, kneecaps new medical breakthroughs, provides less access to treatments, and leads to long wait times for critical care.
  • We believe that the current health care system in America is far too expensive. While it is very good at treating people when they become sick, it is much less effective at helping Americans remain healthy – which is equally as important.
  • We believe the goal of health reform should be to build on what’s working and fix what’s not. Destroying what’s good about our health system in an attempt to fix what’s bad is not an acceptable step toward a better future.
Republican Accomplishments in Improving America’s Health and Health Care System

Consistent with these principles, Republicans have taken several steps to improve the simplicity and affordability of America’s health and health care system. So far, the Trump administration and the Republican-led Congress have:
  • Passed legislation to eliminate the Obamacare individual mandate penalty.
  • Passed legislation to end pharmacy “gag” clauses so patients can find the lowest prices for drugs.
  • Passed Right-To-Try legislation.
  • Passed $6 billion dollars in new funding to fight the opioid epidemic.
  • Passed the historic VA Mission Act, which replaced the troubled Veterans Choice Program and passed the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to make sure VA employees are held accountable for bad behavior and bad service.
  • The Trump administration is providing more affordable health care options for Americans through association health plans and short-term limited-duration plans.
  • In the first year of the Trump administration, the Food and Drug Administration approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history. Thanks to its efforts, many drug companies are freezing or reversing planned price increases.
  • The Trump administration reformed the Medicare program to stop many hospitals from overcharging seniors on their drugs – saving seniors hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone.
  • The Trump administration cut high-dose opioid prescriptions by 16 percent during its first year in office. This year, President Trump signed the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act to direct even more resources to fighting addiction and crack down on dangerous synthetic drugs that are killing tens of thousands of Americans a year.
  • Under the Trump administration, the VA expanded telehealth services, walk-in clinics, same-day urgent primary and mental health care, and launched the promised 24-hour White House VA Hotline.
The Republican Promises for Additional Improvements to America’s Health and Health Care System

If the American people re-elect Republicans to a majority in the House and Senate, we pledge to enact a series of practical and specific changes, based on what works in the public and private sectors, to build a better health system. This system will keep people healthy and provide effective treatments and economic security for those who get sick. These legislative changes will:

1. Protect patients with pre-existing conditions with an alternative approach to the Washington-knows-best method of Obamacare, which doubled premiums in the individual marketplace. We will do so by committing the resources necessary for states to try new approaches, like high risk pools and reinsurance, so everyone – regardless of medical history – has access to affordable insurance.

2. Further reduce the cost of prescription drugs by requiring additional transparency and accountability across the entire prescription drug supply chain (from manufacturers, to pharmacy benefit managers, to health insurers); making sure patients receive the benefits of drug manufacturer discounts and rebates; changing FDA rules to accelerate the release of new and generic drugs to market; and creating incentives to give more patients affordable access to new, highly-effective treatments that cure diseases and save money over time but have large up-front costs that create short-term challenges for public and private payers.

3. Lower premiums for individuals and small businesses by eliminating the health insurance tax; reducing Washington mandates that limit choices and drive up the cost of insurance; allowing the self-employed and small businesses to band together to purchase insurance so that they can have the same negotiating power as big businesses; and making it easier for smaller companies to self-insure.

4. Strengthen Medicare by protecting Medicare Part D patients from excessive out-of-pocket costs for drugs; protecting the market competition model of Medicare Part D, which has kept premiums low for seniors; eliminating unelected boards and bureaucrats that have decisions over treatments; and protecting Medicare as a program for seniors by opposing government-run health care, which would strain resources and limit availability and access to health services.

5. Maximize medical innovation by fully funding National Institutes of Health research that leads to new cures and treatments; creating incentives for private sector research dollars to flow into national health priorities, such as Alzheimer’s disease; repealing the medical device tax; reforming the FDA to give patients access to breakthrough treatments faster and at lower costs; and applying pressure on foreign countries to pay their fair shares for U.S.-developed drugs.

6. Make health care simpler by passing additional legislation to make the price and quality of health care providers visible and useful to patients; insist on patient rights to ownership and portability of their medical records; liberate primary care physicians to practice their craft with minimal interference from government and insurer bureaucracies – including expanding patient access to direct primary care options; and reduce or modify federal mandates, which increase administrative overhead, incentivize waste, and interfere with the kind of doctor-patient relationship that keeps people healthy for the long term.

7. Fight the opioid crisis by reducing the use of opioids to treat pain; enhancing border security to stop the flow of deadly fentanyl into our communities; investing in research to create non-addictive painkillers; and improving access to evidence-based treatment – including medication-assisted treatment.

8. Address the underlying costs of health care by focusing on treating chronic disease; shifting to payment models based on value and long-term health outcomes; passing medical liability reform to reduce unnecessary and duplicative testing; fighting health care fraud through public and private investment in information technology that the credit card industry uses successfully; and emphasizing public investment in improving the social determinants of health status, such as access to public transportation, affordable housing, and healthy food options.

This is the type of contract on health Republicans should be willing to sign – and deliver – to the American people so that we can all live longer, healthier, more productive, and more enjoyable lives.
----------------------
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: Proposed Republican Pledge, Health Care To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

CNN Denies Reality of Gun Confiscation to Attack President Trump

NRA-ILA: It’s as if someone confiscated the facts from CNN. When it comes to guns or President Donald Trump the self-professed “most trusted name in news” has a difficult time telling the truth. Combine those topics into a single story and the network can’t seem to help but fabricate a story.

In an October 19 piece for CNN.com titled, “The 45 most bizarre lines from Donald Trump's wild Montana speech,” CNN political reporter Chris Cillizza purported to refute several of the comments President Donald Trump made at an October 18 campaign rally for Republican U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale in Missoula, Mont.

At one point in his speech, President Trump told the pro-gun crowd, “I wouldn't want to be the one that walks into your house and says, 'Give me that gun.' Right? Nobody has the courage to do that. But Matt is going to protect your Second Amendment.”

Cillizza characterized the statement as one of Trump’s “oft-repeated falsehoods about those who support gun control measures: That their ultimate goal is confiscation of all guns, including from law-abiding citizens.” The CNN “journalist” continued,

While there is the occasional radical voice within the gun control movement who suggests something like this, no mainstream Democratic politician has come close to saying it. In fact, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton expressly rejected the idea that they had any interest in any sort of gun collection program.

Cillizza went on to claim that President Trump was intentionally lying to his audience because “the prospect of a politician coming to your house and taking your gun is something that works for him politically.”

In the first portion of his comment, Cillizza erects a straw man. The President never claimed that gun control supporters seek to confiscate “all guns.” However, Trump is right that the threat of some form of gun confiscation is real.

Cillizza’s comment that “no mainstream Democratic politician” supports gun confiscation is ridiculous. In a February 5, 1995 interview with 60 Minutes, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who authored the 1994 ban on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, explained that the ban did not go far enough. Explicitly endorsing gun confiscation, Sen. Feinstein stated, “If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them, Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in, I would have done it.” The firearms Feinstein was targeting with her comments included what is now America’s most popular rifle - the AR-15.

As ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Feinstein should qualify as a “mainstream Democratic politician” for Cillizza’s purposes. In fact, she might be a little too mainstream for many California Democrats, as she is facing an election challenge from radical anti-gun California State Senator Kevin de Leon.

Cillizza’s claim that “both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton expressly rejected the idea that they had any interest in any sort of gun collection program” is also false. Both Obama and Clinton have endorsed Australian-style gun confiscation.

Following a high-profile shooting in Port Arthur, Tasmania in 1996, Australia banned almost all possession of semi-automatic rifles and semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns. To carry out the ban, the government created a confiscatory “buyback” program, whereby gun owners were forced to turn in their newly-prohibited firearms for set compensation. In 2002, Australia severely restricted the types of handguns that could be possessed. Again, the country operated a “buyback” to enforce the ban.

Speaking at a September 22, 2013 memorial service for those killed in a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Obama endorsed the United Kingdom and Australia’s confiscatory gun control schemes. Lamenting Americans’ willingness to protect their Second Amendment rights even in the face of tragedy, Obama stated that such episodes “ought to lead to some sort of transformation.” The former president went on to state,

That’s what happened in other countries when they experienced similar tragedies. In the United Kingdom, in Australia, when just a single mass shooting occurred in those countries, they understood that there was nothing ordinary about this kind of carnage. They endured great heartbreak, but they also mobilized and they changed…

On June 10, 2014, Obama participated in a Tumblr Q&A session where he again endorsed Australia’s gun control regime. Describing his administration’s failure to enact gun control as his “biggest frustration,” Obama noted, “A couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting similar to Columbine or Newtown. And Australia just said, well that’s it, we’re not seeing that again and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws.”

In a 2015 podcast interview with Marc Maron, Obama again praised Australia’s confiscatory gun laws. Pointing to Australia’s post-Port Arthur measures as the path forward, Obama stated, “When Australia had a mass killing, I think it was in Tasmania about 25 years ago, it was just so shocking to the system, the entire country said, 'We're going to completely change our gun laws’, and they did...”

As for Clinton, during an October 2015 presidential campaign event in Keene, N.H. the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee expressed her support for Australia’s gun confiscation measures. During a question and answer session, an audience member said that Australia “managed to … take away … millions of handguns, and in one year, they were all gone,” and asked, “Can we do that?”

In response, Clinton said in part, “I think it would be worth considering doing it on the national level if that could be arranged.” The former first lady added, “I don’t know enough details to tell you … how we would do it or how it would work, but certainly the Australian example is worth looking at.”

It’s not even necessary to take politicians at their word when they say they support gun confiscation, because there have already been instances of gun confiscation in the U.S.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans law enforcement officers were ordered to confiscate lawfully possessed firearms from the city’s law-abiding residents. In 2008, NRA secured a settlement with the city to return hundreds of firearms to their owners.

Standing as a testament to the dangers of gun registration, New York City has repeatedly adopted confiscatory gun policies. In 1967, New York City adopted a law requiring the registration of shotguns and rifles. In 1991, the city adopted a law barring the possession of certain configurations of semi-automatic rifles and shotguns. As the city knew who the law-abiding owners of the newly-banned guns were, these residents were directed to surrender their firearms, make them inoperable, or remove them from the city. This scenario played out again in 2013, after the city banned possession of an additional class of long guns.

As is often the case when the news media covers firearms, it is difficult to discern whether Cillizza’s comments were more the result of ignorance or deceit. In any case, Cillizza’s invalid assertions on gun confiscation were the epitome of fake news.

Tags: NRA-ILA, Gun Confiscation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Strong Growth, Arrest Made, October Surprises

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Strong Growth - Third quarter economic growth came in at a very strong 3.5% rate, beating economists' expectations.

It wasn't that long ago when the "experts" were telling us to lower our expectations, that 2% or less was the "new normal."

After all, President Obama went eight years without ever cracking 3% and he was the most brilliant man ever to serve in the Oval Office. Or so we were told. President Trump was mocked for suggesting we could do better than 3% growth.

Well, the results are in, and Trump's economic policies are working, and so too are millions of Americans who struggled during the Obama malaise.

The last thing we should do now is slam on the brakes by electing a bunch of socialists to Congress this November.

Arrest Made - Federal officials this morning arrested Cesar Sayoc in Florida for sending 13 suspected mail bombs to left-wing politicians and celebrities. Reports indicate that Sayoc has a history of past arrests for making "terroristic threats," among other issues.

During a press conference today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions denounced the threatening packages as "utterly unacceptable" and a denial of our democratic process. Sessions said Sayoc was charged with five federal offenses and faces up to 58 years in prison.

While the media are blaming Trump, I think it is worth revisiting how he handled this situation.

When news broke about the packages, the president strongly condemned them, and ordered law enforcement agencies to spare no expense in tracking down the culprit.

The FBI did what it does best, which is not interfering in a presidential election, but using its tremendous resources to bring bad guys to justice.

Speaking at the White House this afternoon, President Trump once again condemned the mail bombs as "despicable acts," and congratulated law enforcement officials for their work.

In short, the administration efficiently and effectively stopped Sayoc before anyone was harmed. That is particularly noteworthy because we are told day after day that this president is incompetent and incapable of focusing on important issues.

He has said repeatedly that his most important job is to keep the American people safe and he did that.

If more of the individuals in the headlines as a result of the packages would cooperate with President Trump, the administration could do much more to secure our borders and everyone would be a lot better off.

By the way, why is no one talking about the Trump assassination porn that ran in the New York Times Tuesday? The same New York Times that condemns Trump for poisoning our political discourse.

October Surprises - Let's briefly review some recent events.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh was well within the mainstream of judicial thinking. But his confirmation hearings turned into political theater of the worst kind. And there is evidence that people lied in order to rally millions of young women to the Democrat Party.

Yesterday, Sen. Charles Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, referred Michael Avenatti and Julie Swetnick to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation to determine whether they deliberately attempted to deceive the Judiciary Committee.

While no one knows for sure, it looks like the Kavanaugh Surprise was a colossal failure that fired up conservative voters.

The second October surprise is the migrant caravan. Alex Mensing, an organizer for the open borders group Pueblo Sin Fronteras, told reporters that the migrant army is "a mass exodus." But are we obligated to accept them all?

Pueblo Sin Fronteras seems to think so. It previously issued a list of demands calling for the Trump Administration to "recognize our right to dignified work," and to "open the borders . . . because we are as much citizens as the people of the countries where we are and/or travel."

In other words, they claim to be "citizens of the world" who can walk across any border they choose and take any job they want.

Ohio Governor John Kasich appears to agree with them. He told CNN that we were lucky to be born in America, that the Lord doesn't want us putting up walls and we should welcome those less fortunate than us.

When it comes to legitimate refugees, America is a welcoming nation, and no country in the world does more to help those in need than we do. But Kasich's argument could justify allowing virtually every Third World individual into the U.S.

Again, this isn't about legal immigration, but illegal immigration, and whether we are a sovereign nation with the will to secure our borders.

Unfortunately, there are few options to stop the caravan once it reaches our border because left-wing politicians and judges have resisted every effort to secure the border.

I think this October surprise was intended to show that Trump can't keep his promises or use the migrants as cannon fodder, hoping there would be an incident at the border that could swing many close races.

The Caravan Surprise seems to be backfiring because President Trump is using the migrant march to aggressively point out the urgent need to secure the border, and to highlight the reality of the left's unpopular open borders agenda.

Other Headlines
  • The White House is reportedly considering an executive order [subscription required] modeled after the president's 2017 travel ban to prohibit Central American migrants from entering the U.S.
  • The Pentagon may deploy an additional 1,000 troops to the border.
  • George Papadopoulos testified before House investigators this week regarding Russian collusion in the 2016 elections. Conservative lawmakers say his testimony further undermines the FBI's explanations for why it spied on the Trump campaign.
  • Papadopoulos believes he was "framed" and is considering withdrawing his plea deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Make Your Voice Heard - Early voting is now underway in most the states. In many areas of the country, there are reports of record turnout.

It is difficult to overstate the importance of this election. Please make your voice heard. Vote your values.

If you voted for Donald Trump in 2016, you must vote for Republican candidates in 2018. If you voted against Hillary Clinton in 2016, you must vote against the radical left-wing Democrats in 2018.

If you have already voted, you're not done. Make sure at least five friends or family members vote between now and November 6th.

Everything is at stake. Please vote!
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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: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Strong Growth, Arrest Made, October Surprises To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Wayne LaPierre Calls Out Anti-Gun BS Blaming Americans For ‘Selfishness’

Wayne LaPierre
NRA executive vice president
by Tom Knighton: From an early age, we teach children not to be selfish. We instruct kids to share, to consider others. We’ve ingrained it into ourselves to not be selfish in any way. It’s what we’ve done as a society.

More importantly, though, we’ve made it clear that selfish people are bad people. A charge of selfishness is often sufficient to force one to change their ways.

Which is probably why folks like you and I are being called “selfish.”

Luckily, NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre is calling them out on their crap.

The national news media denigrate you. Anti-freedom, social-engineering billionaires would expunge you from their utopian society. Democratic socialists determined to seize control of the U.S. Congress would, if given the chance, destroy your Second Amendment freedom.

While our National Rifle Association remains one of the most trusted and respected organizations in the country, a massive, highly orchestrated war is being waged against us, and it has become personal.

They hate you. Just a few weeks ago, two MSNBC hosts went so far as to blame you for their inability to destroy the president.

In an interview with Tom Steyer—the billionaire who is running ads to impeach President Donald Trump and is spending $100 million to help Democratic socialists take over the U.S. House and Senate—MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle mulled over the president’s solid support as the midterm elections near.

Her conclusion? That you—supporters of the Second Amendment—are selfish Americans.

“A lot of people vote pretty selfishly, and they say, ‘What’s going to give me more money in my pockets?’” Ruhle told Steyer.

“Or what’s going to make abortion illegal, or what’s going to make sure that my Second Amendment rights stay the same, and clearly, that adds up to enough people that the president still has something akin to 40 percent of the electorate in the polls,” added co-anchor Ali Velshi. He even went so far as to call it “fascinating” that some Americans think lawmakers should follow the official amendment process when changes to the u.s. Constitution are sought!

Wow. How selfish of us!
First, I want to invite you to go and read the rest of LaPierre’s column. It’s very good and very important.

However, I want to address the charges of selfishness, the idea that by supporting the Second Amendment, we’re somehow selfish.

When I fight for the Second Amendment, I do it not just because I like guns. I do it because I’ve known people who live in awful neighborhoods who are only able to sleep soundly at night because of an inexpensive 9mm on their nightstand. I do it because I’ve read too many accounts of women being stalked and harassed by bigger, stronger men who there’s no way in hell they could fend off on their own. I do it because I’ve seen too many cases of people being shot by criminals over a pittance.

Our world is an awful place in some ways. In that world, there are actual selfish people, people who demand that you give them that which they have no right to. It could be your money, your virtue, or your life. They want it, and they’ll take it by force if they have to. The only thing that will stop them is a good guy with a gun.

Statistically, I understand that it’s not particularly likely to be me. I’ve already raised my gun in self-defense once, which means the odds of me having to do it again are astronomical.

But the chances of someone else needing it are 100 percent, and so I fight not just for my right to keep and bear arms, but for theirs.

I don’t come at this from a place of selfishness, necessarily. While I’d be upset if I couldn’t have guns anymore, I’d probably be okay in the long run.

No, I come at this from the point of wanting others to be able to defend themselves if and when they need to. I want them to have the tools necessary to protect themselves and their families because when you need a gun, little else will suffice.

That’s not selfishness. It’s altruism at its finest.
---------------
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.

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Doctoring the Truth about Male and Female

by Tony Perkins: Dr. Miroslav Djordjevic is not your normal physician. He came to fame more than two decades ago, making a name for himself as one of the world's premiere genital reconstruction surgeons. After years of helping men and women transition into a body they weren't born with, he's started to realize something: the procedure called sex reassignment surgery isn't making patients happy. Beyond the transgender flag-waving and pride-marching are real people in real pain. And according to doctors like Djordjevic, they're struggling, but their struggle is with something the media or LGBT activists don't want to admit.

Over the last five years, in particular, Dr. Djordjevic says he's been overwhelmed by the number of people who've approached him about reversing their procedure. The surgery that they thought would bring them the satisfaction they were looking for only plunged them into deeper despair. A growing number of them, he tells Canada's National Post, were miserable. Six people, he says, made appointments to undo a procedure that's not only excruciatingly painful -- but expensive. "They came from countries all over the Western world, Britain included, united by an acute sense of regret."

The majority, he points out, were men who'd undergone surgery to transition into women. When he told them that "reattaching the male genitalia" is a complex and excruciating procedure that would take several operations and thousands of dollars, they didn't blink. They told him about "crippling levels of depression" with intense suicidal thoughts. "It can be a real disaster to hear these stories," he says. "And yet," the doctor points out, "they are not being heard."

When other doctors and advocates started demanding more research into the effects of sexual reassignment surgery, they were ignored. The medical community and universities that would normally study these things were too afraid of the transgender lobby. In England, Bath Spa University turned down an application for research on the remorse Djordjevic is encountering and school officials refused to touch it. It's "potentially politically incorrect," they insisted. "Definitely reversal surgery and regret in transgender persons is one of the very hot topics," Djordjevic says. But as doctors -- especially as doctors -- "we have to support all research in this field."

One of his biggest concerns -- and others' -- is that there's such a rush into surgery. These days, he explains, the men and women in his field either don't want to seem intolerant or they just want the money, but there seems to be a real lack of psychiatric evaluation and counseling. Even worse, Djordjevic points out, they're advocating this surgery for younger and younger children. It's a mistake, he insists. And research bears that out. Our friends at the American College of Pediatricians, who've labeled this ideology "child abuse," point out just how absurd that agenda would be. "According to the DSM-5, as many as 98 percent of gender confused boys and 88 percent of gender confused girls eventually accept their biological sex after naturally passing through puberty."

FRC's Peter Sprigg thinks it's even more significant that a doctor who performs these surgeries has concerns.
"The rush to transition on the part of many with gender dysphoria -- especially minors -- and their medical enablers can only have tragic consequences. Even the American Psychiatric Association acknowledges that among children with gender dysphoria, the majority do not grow up to identify as 'transgender' if left to themselves. People who are wrestling with gender identity issues need to understand that 'transition' is not a panacea and could be disastrous, so they should not be rushed into such a radical response."What people need more than anything is the help that too many states want to deny them: the advice and comfort of a qualified therapist. So many of these issues are emotional and mental, argues Walt Heyer, who formerly identified as transgender. In a 2009 study by the Department of Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University, researchers found that most of the people struggling in this lifestyle -- 90 percent -- "had at least one other significant form of psychopathology." Even in a liberal country like Sweden, even after receiving the surgery they seek, the suicide rate of people who identify as transgender is 19 times higher than the general population. LGBT activists want you to believe that the humane response is encouraging and affirming these feelings. But affirming dangerous and destructive ideas is not compassion. Real compassion is helping people find their way to freedom and fulfillment which comes by knowing the truth.

President Trump, meanwhile, has been maligned, criticized, and harassed for trying to move our country away from this radical ideology that keeps people who identify as transgender in bondage. When he is working to roll back Barack Obama's radical definition of "sex" (which included "gender identity"), actor Bradley Whitford tweeted: "This is obscene. This must not stand. This is, and I use this word intentionally, what the Nazis did. Otherization, vilification, and exclusion of vulnerable minorities." We've gone so far, conservative Brent Bozell fired back, that "Calling a man a man is now the Holocaust."

In the end, the hysteria from many on the Left only proves one thing: they don't care about people. Not really. They care about their agenda. And just like the women they nudge into abortions -- without a thought to the pain or consequences -- they'll do anything to protect it. That's not tolerance -- it's manipulation. And for the sake of human dignity, it's time to rise up and say: "Enough!"

For more on what the Trump administration is actually doing on the issue (hint: it's not erasing people!), check out Peter Sprigg's op-ed in the Washington Examiner, "Trump Transgender Policy Is Simple and Scientific: 'Sex' Means Biological Sex." Also, take the time to read through FRC's publication, "Understanding and Responding to the Transgender Movement."
----------------------
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.

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Harvard’s Racist Diversity Problem

. . . Racial quotas help you when you fail. They punish you when you succeed.
by Daniel Greenfield: “Diversity and excellence go hand in hand," Harvard College Dean Rakesh Khurana had declared two years ago. “Diversity is at the heart of the mission of the College."

Now, at the trial over Harvard’s racially discriminatory admissions policy, Khurana was asked about a different type of diversity by a lawyer representing Students for Fair Admissions. The group representing 20,000 students, parents and others was challenging Harvard’s discrimination against Asian students.

“Don’t you actually think that Harvard’s class should have a socioeconomic makeup that looks a lot more like America?"

Khurana demurred.

“We’re not trying to mirror the socioeconomic or income distribution of the United States,” he insisted.

Why is racial diversity at the “heart” of Harvard’s mission, but not socioeconomic diversity?

The lawsuit against Harvard by Students for Fair Admissions has successfully raised that question.

"The admissions process is designed to identify those students who manifest the qualities, academic and otherwise, that suggest they will become engaged participants and leaders in an increasingly diverse, complex society," Harvard's lawyers argued.

But the complex diversity of this society is defined in an extremely simplistic way. Harvard would like to map the United States, but not by income, only by race. And only by certain races.

Asian students had the lowest Harvard admission rate of any group at 8.1%. White students were admitted at a rate of 11.1% and black students at a rate of 13.2%. In the early oughts, black student admission rates actually approached an unprecedented 20%.

Harvard’s 2019 class boasted a makeup of 11.6% black students, 21.1% Asian students, and 13% Hispanic students. The 2022 admissions numbers have hit 15.2% black students, and 22.9% Asian students: though these don’t reflect the final enrollment numbers which are likely to be lower.

Black and Hispanic students get recruitment letters if they score only 1100 on their SATs. For Asian students, it’s 1350. According to the Princeton Review, the current average SAT score is 1060.

Asian students applying to Harvard had average SAT scores of 726.2 across the sections of the exam. White students had average scores of 712.7. Asian students admitted to Harvard had average scores of 766.6 and white students had average scores of 744.7.

Meanwhile black students admitted to Harvard had average scores of only 703.7.

Black students admitted to Harvard were the only group with SAT scores lower than those of the average white student applying. Asian applicants had higher SAT average scores than every admitted student group, except white students.

“Given racial bias in standardized testing and endemic racial inequities in educational opportunities in primary and secondary school, Harvard must consider race if it is to assemble a diverse student body," a filing by NAACP lawyers on behalf of Harvard student and alumni groups claimed.

The groups being represented by the NAACP include the Kuumba Singers of Harvard College, the Coalition for a Diverse Harvard, Fuerza Latina of Harvard, and the Harvard Islamic Society.

But why does this alleged “racial bias in standardized testing”, not to mention the endemic, epidemic and pandemic “racial inequities in educational opportunities” somehow pass Asian students by?

And if America is suffering from a pandemic of racial inequities in education, how is it that black students are able to get into America’s most elite institution with SAT scores that would get a middle- class white student from Brooklyn or Boston, who isn’t a legacy, laughed all the way out the door?

Harvard’s policy of racial quotas invalidates its own arguments in favor of those quotas.

The only racial minority suffering from “racial inequities in educational opportunities” is the one suing Harvard over it. If there were racial inequities at Harvard toward black students, the NAACP lawyers would be suing Harvard, instead of filing briefs in defense of the racial inequities that benefit them.

And if Harvard privileges black students, are we supposed to believe that the institution that asserts that it produces the nation’s leaders is an outlier in discriminating in favor of black students, rather than that it sets the tone for educational policy across the country?

The success of Asian students exposes the racist lie on which all the claims of white privilege are built. If America is a racist society that excludes non-whites, why do Asians succeed and thrive in it?

America is not a white supremacist society. It’s a fair and just society whose meritocracy has only been compromised by affirmative action. The lawsuit by Students for Fair Admissions reveals what racism in America really looks like. If you want to see institutional racism, skip the trailer parks where the last of the KKK wizards collect their food stamps, and look at Harvard’s affirmative action quotas.

Asian success represents a unique threat to the cult of diversity. Affirmative action is essentially a collectivist scheme for redistributing college admissions, jobs and business opportunities by race. To be in favor of it, and of any socialist scheme, you have to believe in your inability to succeed on your own.

The Harvard racial quota debate has divided Asian students between those fighting for their rights and those embarrassing themselves by supporting a system of racial discrimination against themselves.

At a Harvard rally in support of racial quotas that discriminate against students like her, an Asian student can be seen holding up a sign reading, "Yellow Peril Supports Black Power."

The Left builds its systems around ideas that seemed radical and relevant generations ago. After the rising middle class made Marxism seem like a quaint joke, the system of racial privileges that replaced it was born in an era when America’s racial conflicts were black and white. It was never meant for a world in which Asian students outperform white students.

Intersectionality has struggled to patch the holes in the bipolar origins of diversity, throwing in a goulash of identities, and privileging some at the expense of others. But that provides little satisfaction for the successful groups in the intersectional gulag, Asians, white women, gay men, who increasingly don’t need the quotas, and are being berated about their privilege by the beneficiaries of their discrimination.

The Harvard lawsuit asks Asians and every other identity group in America whether, as individuals and a community, they benefit or lose from opting out of meritocracy in exchange for group privileges.

That’s the essential question of the old debate between capitalism and socialism through the lens of identity politics. Some groups are willing to suppress individual merit for collective privileges even though accepting them sharply caps their individual ability to succeed. Others want off the plantation.

Socialism offered to cap individual potential in exchange for collective security. Affirmative action offers racial groups the same poisoned gift. It claims to do this in the name of fighting white privilege and institutional white supremacy. But what better tool of white supremacy could there be than seducing racial minorities into abandoning their best and brightest by offering them racial quotas and caps.

As the data out of Harvard shows, racial quotas work both ways. They reward a minority group as long as it performs poorly. But once it succeeds, they start punishing it for its success.

The fundamental flaw of affirmative action is the same flaw as that of welfare state socialism. It punishes hard work and rewards a refusal to work. No white supremacist plot could have done more damage to the minority communities that foolishly accepted the poisoned gift of affirmative action.

The Harvard lawsuit is waking up Asian-Americans to the real cost of affirmative action. That’s the true lesson being taught at Harvard and at countless educational institutions across the country.

Racial quotas help you when you fail. They punish you when you succeed.
-----------------
Daniel Greenfield is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. David Horowitz is a Contributing Author of the ARRA News Service

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Did Trump Goad and Guide the Pipe Bomber?

by Patrick Buchanan: By Thursday, the targets of the mailed pipe bombs had risen to nine: George Soros, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Maxine Waters, John Brennan, Eric Holder, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Joe Biden and Robert De Niro.

That list contains four of the highest-ranking officials of Barack Obama’s administration: the president himself, his vice president, his secretary of state and his attorney general.

Yet, by Thursday morning, there was heartening news.

Not one of the mailed bombs had reached its target. Not one handler of a mailed bomb had been injured. Not one bomb had exploded.

Several of the bombs were said to be deficient. While they contained elements of pipe bombs, with shards of glass and powder, there was no trigger to ignite an explosion.

Were these devices simply poorly made, or did the bomber intend not to wound or kill, but simply to cause a panic?

As of this writing, we don’t know. Moreover there is this oddity: All of the bombs had the same return address — that of Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, who was ousted as leader of the DNC when hacked DNC emails revealed she had tilted the party machinery to defeat Hillary Clinton’s principal rival in the primaries, Bernie Sanders.

Was putting Wasserman Schultz’s return address on all the bomb packages some kind of joke?

What was going on here?

Beltway residents, however, did not need to look far to learn who inspired and motivated the would-be mass-murderer of our liberal elite. In a front-page story headlined, “Subjects of Trump’s ire in bomb-maker’s sights,” The Washington Post identified the suspect:

“(A) common theme among the targets was unmistakable. Each has been a recurring subject of Trump attacks.”

The Post elaborated. Trump has called Democrats “evil.” Trump has denounced Obama’s presidency. Trump has “demonized Hillary Clinton, inspiring chants of ‘Lock her up!'” Trump has “used his bully pulpit to taunt Maxine Waters … as a ‘low IQ individual.'”

Trump has impugned ex-CIA Director John Brennan and fanned “conspiracy theories about George Soros.” Trump has called the news media “the enemy of the people.” Trump has singled out CNN’s reporting as “fake news.”

What the Post was implying was that Trump at his rallies had done the target acquisition for the bomber who intended to maim or murder the leading lights of liberalism and enemies of Trumpism.

If one missed the point on Page 1, the headline over the balance of the story inside the Post drove it home: “Amid incendiary rhetoric, targets of Trump’s words become bombs’ targets.”

The correlation between Trump’s targets and the bomber’s targets is no accident, comrade, the Post is saying.

Yet, as of late Thursday, still, no bomb had exploded. And what had been called bombs were being called “suspicious packages.” And the person or persons who made and mailed them had yet to be identified.

But still the attacks on Trump and the calls to hold him morally culpable for the bombs, because of his rhetoric, went on unabated.

Said Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, jointly responding to the president’s call for civility in Wisconsin: Trump’s “words ring hollow until he reverses his statements that condone acts of violence.”

This is not the first time a political atrocity has been to exploited to wound political enemies.

Though Lee Harvey Oswald was a Communist who had defected to the Soviet Union, the city of Dallas, then a conservative stronghold, was indicted by the media for having “created the atmosphere” in which JFK was assassinated.

In the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombing, the media blamed the anti-government rhetoric of conservative talk radio for poisoning the minds of extremists like Timothy McVeigh.

Guilt by association seems a more common recourse of the left.

When members of the Republican Congressional baseball team were shot and wounded at their morning practice, no major GOP figure blamed Bernie Sanders, though the would-be mass murderer was one of Bernie’s volunteers.

“Democracy dies in darkness,” reads the motto of The Washington Post. But democracy dies in other ways as well.

Democracy dies when the divisions in a society become so bitter and rancorous that a segment of that society becomes so estranged it decides that it would rather leave and live apart.

With their endless charges of racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia America’s elite has let Trump’s “base” know what it thinks of them.

And at his rallies, where Trump’s mockery of that elite and its media allies evokes hoots and cheers, Middle America is telling our cultural and political establishment what it thinks of them.

Before we were a democracy, we were a republic. And we were always more than just a polity. We were a people and a nation.

Today we seem to be two countries and two peoples.

And if that is true, a political system based on majority rule is not going to be strong enough to hold us together indefinitely.
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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.

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Creep Show . . .

. . . The scariest scenario going this Halloween season among many Democrats is the possibility of Hillary Clinton running for president in 2020.
Editorial Cartoon by AF Branco

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Historical Illiteracy

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: The US Constitution reminds us that the responsibility for our government rests with “we the people.” In order for us to be effective, we need to know something about our government and our history.

Citizens in countries ruled by dictators don’t need to know much since the major decisions are made for them. But we Americans should be educated and informed.

Unfortunately, we are not well educated and informed. A study done by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation discovered that only one in three (36%) Americans could actually pass the US citizenship test. And I might add that you only have to get 60 percent of the questions right in order to pass the test.

For example, a majority (57%) did not know how many justices serve on the Supreme Court. Nearly three-fourths (72%) could not accurately identify which states comprised the 13 colonies. And only a quarter (24%) even knew why the American colonists fought the British in the Revolutionary War.

Most disturbing was the fact that young people performed worst on the test. You might excuse an elderly person for forgetting some facts about government or history. But less than one in five (19%) under the age of 45 could pass this test.

In previous commentaries, I have proposed a solution that some states have considered. Require students to pass the citizenship test before they graduate from high school. Consider the fact that a naturalized citizen probably knows more about America’s history and structure of government than someone who was born in this country.

Young people in America cannot pass a citizenship test for one of two reasons: either they weren’t paying attention in class or they weren’t taught this material in the first place.

Let’s require students to pass a citizenship test before graduation. We require it of people who want to be American citizens. Why not require it of students who are already citizens because they were born here?
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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.

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Will Burly Men Stop House Democrats' Blue Wave?

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Do they live in two different worlds? White college graduate women favor Democrats over Republicans in House elections by a 62 to 35 percent margin. White non-college-graduate men favor Republicans over Democrats in House elections by a 58 to 38 percent margin.

Those results are from a Washington Post-Schar School poll conducted in 69 seriously contested congressional districts, 63 of them currently held by Republicans. The numbers in other polls are only slightly different for these two groups.

They all tell the same story. These Americans live in the same relatively small slices of America (average population about 750,000), not many miles away from one another if they're in major metropolitan areas or in similar communities in rural districts. But they take very different -- often angrily different -- views on where the nation is headed and on sensitive issues.

Most, though, take a similar view of what has long been considered a decisive issue: the economy. Fully 77 percent in the survey rate the economy positively, a huge contrast with just about every survey taken between 2000 and 2016. Several months of 4 percent growth, considered impossible by some economists, has apparently been impossible to ignore.

But when asked their view of the direction of the nation "apart from the economy," the respondents revert to partisan type. White college women are especially negative, and white non-college men are solidly positive. Anyone whose personal acquaintance ranges across these groups can appreciate why one finds President Donald Trump repellent and the other congenial.

But there's a policy component, too. It's not that white college women are diehard Keynesians and white non-college men supply-siders. People tend to tailor their economic theories to partisan preference, not vice versa. But the economic policies of the last two administrations and concurrent trends have had -- and were intended to have -- very different effects on white college women and white non-college men.

Then-President Barack Obama's 2009 stimulus package was heavily tilted toward college women. As my American Enterprise Institute colleague Christina Hoff Sommers wrote in The Weekly Standard in June 2009, the Obama economic team's original idea was to finance infrastructure, construction and manufacturing, sectors that lost 3 million jobs from 2007-09.

But feminist groups objected. Obama economist Christina Romer, Sommers wrote, recalled that her first email "was from a women's group saying 'We don't want this stimulus package to just create jobs for burly men.'" So Obama ditched his "macho" stimulus plan for one stimulating creation of jobs in government, and especially in education and health care, which had gained 588,000 jobs during the 2007-09 recession. Forget the bridge building and electric grid modernization; let's subsidize more administrators, facilitators and liaisons.

The results were disappointing. Sputtering growth nudged up toward 3 percent and down toward zero, as it was during the last quarter of the Obama administration. Administrators outnumbered teachers in higher education but added little value. Government payrolls were temporarily sheltered from cuts. There was little recovery in blue-collar jobs, reduced life expectancy among downscale groups, opioid dependency and deaths. There were millions of men lingering on the disability rolls.

The trajectory of the economy -- and the beneficiaries -- seems different in the Trump presidency so far. Growth is more robust, obviously, though some economists thought this was impossible. And the biggest gains are, in contrast with the last 30 years, in blue-collar jobs and downscale earnings.

It's not clear there's a connection between these trends and Trump's policies and promises to make blue-collar America prosperous again. White House economic adviser Lawrence Kudlow argues that tax reform -- especially corporate tax cuts and 100 percent depreciation -- has stimulated capital spending on manufacturing and jobs for burly men. That's certainly plausible, though it's probably wise to wait and see whether the trend continues.

It's also possible that economic gains or losses have been less important than increases in people's feelings when they are earning respect. And their angry feelings when they feel they're not.

How does this affect next month's election? White college women's anger has given Democrats an edge in enthusiasm and money most of this cycle. White non-college men's apparently rising anger over Brett Kavanaugh's nomination and pride in Trump's economy have apparently given Republicans a late boost.

How much? White college turnout is overstated in polls, says The New York Times' Nate Cohn, and over anticipated by a white college-dominated media. The Republican boost's size -- and perhaps its existence -- is unclear. The Post poll puts Democrats up 4 percent in its 69 districts; the NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll has the parties even in the most competitive races. What looked like a Whole Foods blue wave for Democrats looks more like a narrow Democratic -- or maybe Republican -- House majority.
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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.

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Fix The Land And Water Conservation Fund . . .

. . . or don’t renew it to just do more federal land grabs.
by Robert Romano: The Land and Water Conservation Fund was enacted in 1965, according to the act, to “provid[e] funds for and authorizing Federal assistance to the States in planning, acquisition, and development of needed land and water areas and facilities and … providing funds for the federal acquisition and development of certain lands and other areas.”

Although it started out to help state and local governments with recreation projects, over the years, the primary mission of the fund has shifted almost entirely to federal land purchases, with as little as 12 percent going to stateside projects, according to U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), writing for the Daily Caller on Oct. 9.

That is why Bishop offered an amendment to H.R. 502, which reauthorizes the fund, that would require that at least 40 percent of the taxpayer money in the fund indeed goes to the states. It’s a good start, but it might not make up for other shortcomings of the legislation.

For starters, the bill raises the amount of the fund to $900 million from its FY 2018 level of $425 million, a 112 percent increase, and the highest level since 2001.

The bill also permanently reauthorizes the fund, abdicating Congress’ constitutional prerogative to allow the legislation to sunset.

As of this moment, the fund’s authorization lapsed on Sept. 30. Meaning, Congress will be looking for an excuse to reauthorize it. But that gives Congress leverage to reform the program without expanding it so dramatically.

It is unfortunate that the only way it was perceived that state and local government programs could be funded was to simply double the agency’s budget. Under the well-intentioned Bishop amendment, stateside projects would now get $360 million. But it comes at the cost of doubling land acquisition funding to more than $400 million, even though the Trump administration request hundreds of millions of dollars less than that.

If anything, the reauthorization should be an opportunity to limit federal land grabs. The federal government already owns 46.4 percent of western states’ land as it is, according to a 2017 study by the Congressional Research Service. How much more does it really need?

Surely, in the lame duck session of Congress, this will come up again, especially now that the bill has cleared committees in both the House and Senate. But the haste to get the bill done during the lame duck should not come at an exorbitant cost to taxpayers. It might be better to just wait until 2019 if the alternative is doubling the amount of federal land grabs.
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Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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The ‘Voter ID Is Racist’ Con

by Larry Elder: Add late-night comic Trevor Noah to the list of ill-informed lefties who consider voter identification a “racist” demand intended to “suppress” the black vote.

“Isn’t it interesting,” Noah said, “how every time Republicans create a voting restriction, it just so happens to disproportionately affect people of the brown-brown? … Let’s be honest, you don’t have to say who you’re targeting to target someone. You just have to know which rules are likely to hit them the most.”

Noah echoes the sentiment of then-Attorney General Eric Holder, who in 2014 characterized the call for voter ID laws as an example of “pernicious” racism. Last week, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews told Holder’s successor, former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, that Republicans push voter ID laws to “screw the African-American voter.” Lynch responded: “Yes, yes — and it’s nothing new. … This is a historical issue. It’s a current issue. And it’s only history because it happened to somebody else, not because it could never happen again. That’s what’s happening now.”

Former Vice President Joe Biden called Trump’s assertion that millions of people voted illegally in the 2016 election a “flat lie.” But Biden did not stop there. The Republican support for voter ID, he said, was all about suppressing minority votes: “It’s what these guys are all about, man. Republicans don’t want working-class people voting. They don’t want black folks voting.” Last year, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., denounced “racist voter ID laws and voter suppression tactics (that) sprout like weeds all across the country.” In a press conference in July, CNN’s April Ryan asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders: “So, Sarah, since you keep saying that the President is very concerned about the election process … you did not mention voter suppression in that. Voter suppression has been an issue for decades and particularly in these last few elections.”

Despite these alleged racist roadblocks to the ballot box, in 2008 blacks voted at a higher percentage than whites. That same year, liberal Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens wrote one of the majority opinions in a 6-3 case that upheld Indiana’s voter ID law, which required voters to show a photo ID — such as a driver’s license or passport — before casting their votes. Stevens recognized “flagrant examples of (voter) fraud” throughout America’s history and wrote that “not only is the risk of voter fraud real” but “it could affect the outcome of a close election.” The additional burden on voters, Stevens argued, is more than offset by “the state’s interest in counting only the votes of eligible voters.”

Blacks also support voter ID. A 2016 Gallup poll found that 77 percent of non-whites support voter ID, nearly as high as the 81 percent of whites who support it.

The fact that voter ID is legal and popular does not, of course, affect the view that it “suppresses” the minority vote. The George Soros-supported website ThinkProgress ran a story last year with this menacing headline: “New Study Confirms that Voter ID Laws Are Very Racist.”

Citing research by three professors from U.C. San Diego, Michigan State and Bucknell University, the article says: “turnout among Hispanic voters is ‘7.1 percentage points lower in general elections and 5.3 points lower in primaries’ in states with strict voter ID laws. The laws also reduce turnout among African-American and Asian-American voters. White turnout, according to their study, is ‘largely unaffected.'”

Case closed? Not exactly.

A follow-up study by researchers from Yale, Stanford and the University of Pennsylvania found no evidence that voter ID laws have a statistically significant impact on voter turnout. This study examined the methodology and conclusions of the previous study. Its researchers wrote: “Widespread concern that voter identification laws suppress turnout among racial and ethnic minorities has made empirical evaluations of these laws crucial. But problems with administrative records and survey data impede such evaluations. … We show that the results of the paper are a product of data inaccuracies (and) the presented evidence does not support the stated conclusion … When errors are corrected, one can recover positive, negative or null estimates of the effect of voter ID laws on turnout, precluding firm conclusions.”

In other words, the data do not support the notion that the “brown-brown” are too dumb, too lazy or otherwise incapable of obtaining the necessary identification to vote.
-----------------
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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