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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, December 14, 2018

Mueller Should Release the Cohen Interviews

Michael Cohen
by Newt Gingrich: As the media clamors to cover each nugget of information that comes out of Robert Mueller’s investigation into so-called collusion with Russia, it’s becoming more and more clear just how brutal the Mueller team’s tactics are.

In many ways, the investigation has moved from being a Washington witch hunt vaguely concerning Russia to being a political inquisition of President Trump and his allies. All pretense of truth and justice has been dropped.

Consider what Mueller and his team have done to Paul Manafort. After the early-morning FBI raid of his home in July 2017 that left Manafort and his wife watching armed agents ransack their home as they were in their pajamas, the charges that were ultimately brought against Manafort in October of that year had nothing to do with Russia or the 2016 election. They were all financial crimes related to his own business endeavors, but that didn’t matter to Mueller (or the media). Mueller still interrogated him more than a dozen times.

Manafort eventually signed a plea deal with Mueller – after being kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. Now, Mueller’s team is attempting to renege Manafort’s plea agreement, saying he didn’t fully cooperate in their so-called Russia investigation – although they won’t say how he was supposedly uncooperative.

Then, look at Mueller’s tactics against retired General Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser. After hours of interviews that apparently produced no smoking gun evidence that there was any collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia, Mueller charged Flynn with making false statements during the interviews – and he threatened to go after Flynn’s son to elicit a plea agreement. What parent wouldn’t accept a baloney plea deal to save his child from an unfettered, politically-motivated federal investigation?

Now, President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, has been sentenced to three years in prison for supposed campaign finance violations related to payments he made to women who claimed to have had affairs with President Trump well before 2016. However, The Daily Signal pointed out that legal precedent and statutory language indicate the transactions were not illegal under the Federal Election Campaign Act. Moreover, Cohen is serving two of those 36 months for misleading congressional committees about a one-time nascent Trump organization business proposal that never got off the ground. So, Cohen is showing one of his many faces and is now is doing and saying whatever Mueller wants in the hopes he can reduce his sentence.

Again, after months of interrogations, raids, threats, and more than 30 people and three companies indicted, there’s no evidence of any collusion with Russia to win the election. Yet, as I wrote in my New York Times bestselling books Understanding Trump and Trump’s America, Mueller and his team are determined to get whoever they can for whatever they can.

And these examples are only part of a larger pattern carried out by the Department of Justice. Consider the case against Maria Butina, the 30-year-old Russian national who is accused of conspiracy and breaking Section 951 – or “espionage-lite” –for attempting to build relationships with Republicans to improve U.S.-Russia relations. The charges carry an estimated sentence of up to six months in jail, as reported by The Daily Beast citing the plea agreement.

Since being locked up in July of this year, she has been kept mostly in solitary confinement and has not been given any clear explanation as to why. She broke this week and signed a plea agreement. While she was not prosecuted by Mueller’s team, as a part of her agreement she’s pledged to assist law enforcement, “in any and all to matters as to which the Government deems this cooperation relevant.” Butina has clearly been targeted in Mueller’s inquisition.

Mueller should be forced to release all 70 hours of his interviews with Cohen, so the American people can see how this inquisition is operating. Americans should be able to know whether and how often Mueller and his team threatened or blackmailed Cohen. We should be able to know how many different versions of the story Cohen told them – and how Mueller determined which stories were more useful than others.

They simply interrogated and intimidated Cohen until he broke and said what they wanted him to say – and that happened to take upwards of 70 hours. Make no mistake, this is not an investigation, it’s an inquisition.

These types of tactics are exactly what former Department of Justice attorney Sidney Powell wrote about in her bestselling book, Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice. Every American should read it to fully understand just how sick the system has become.

If we had any sense of equal justice, Comey, the Clintons, and their efforts to influence the 2016 election would be facing investigations of their own.

Mueller and his team feel empowered and emboldened to act on behalf of the establishment in Washington – and they are working to purge President Trump by any means necessary.
----------------------
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, Mueller, release, Cohen, interviews To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

News Flash: Michael Bloomberg Not a Fan of the First Amendment, Either

Michael Bloomberg
by NRA-ILA: Michael Bloomberg, former NYC mayor and billionaire patron of the Nanny State, may be gearing up for the presidential race in 2020. He gave the idea of running as an independent candidate “serious consideration” in 2016, but ultimately decided against it.

A recent Washington Post story on Mr. Bloomberg’s potential 2020 bid highlighted what it called his “disturbing attitude toward the First Amendment,” which safeguards, among other things, freedom of speech and freedom of the press from government interference. Mr. Bloomberg, the founder of the eponymous Bloomberg L.P., a privately-held financial information and media company that operates Bloomberg News, indicated in a radio interview earlier this month, that, “[q]uite honestly, I don’t want the reporters I’m paying to write a bad story about me… I don’t want them to be independent.” To ensure that the coverage from his own news outlet would be consistent with these expectations, he added that, should he run for president, one option would be to eliminate any political reporting by his employees. Kathy Kiely, who wrote the Post story, is herself the former politics editor at Bloomberg News who resigned in 2016 over concerns that the media company could not cover its owner’s possible presidential run in the same way that it reported on other candidates.

This authoritarian outlook is hardly a revelation to anyone who has followed Mr. Bloomberg’s activism regarding another fundamental constitutional right.

While professing his support for the Second Amendment and that “no one wants to take away anyone’s guns,” his efforts – through his Everytown gun control group and otherwise – have included advocating for bans on the manufacture and sale of “assault weapons” and “high capacity magazines,” increased background checks, and in Washington State, spending a quarter of a million dollars to push through an initiative in November that bans the purchase and possession of semiautomatic rifles by law-abiding young adults, without an exception for guns lawfully acquired before the law takes effect. In an appearance in 2015, he apparently went so far as to advocate an age, race and gender-based ban, to “get the guns” away from minority males.

In a move evocative of his “bad story” strategy, in 2015 Mr. Bloomberg set up The Trace, an anti-gun news outlet “whose only mission is to write on gun issues from his perspective” and ensure that the “news” on guns and gun control is in line with his own messaging.

Contrary to this record (and perhaps mindful that most Americans take a dim view of any meddling with their civil rights), Mr. Bloomberg appeared on television a few days ago to assure viewers that “the Second Amendment gives you the right to own weapons and there’s nothing wrong with that,” and “if you want to buy a gun and go through a background check process … I’m not opposed, I’m not in favor of taking that away one bit.”

Freedom loving citizens shouldn’t be fooled into thinking Mr. Bloomberg has become much more open-minded about the Second Amendment as part of his possible bid for the White House. After all, we already know that he thinks we’re “pretty stupid” for exercising our constitutional rights.
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NRA-ILA article

Tags: NRA-ILA, New York Michael Bloomberg, elections, not a fan, First Amendment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

College Campuses: America's Biggest Speech Impediment?

by Tony Perkins: The most dangerous threat to Americans may be the colleges teaching them. In a country where a majority of students are afraid to voice their views, here's the irony: most campuses don't allow it anyway. That's the bottom line of a new report on U.S. colleges, where a whopping nine in 10 are the First Amendment's worst enemy.

The survey, Spotlight on Speech Codes 2019: The State of Free Speech on Our Nation's Campuses, combed through the policies of almost 500 American schools to see how well they protect free speech. Of the 466, a whopping 89.7 percent have rules that "restrict -- or too easily could restrict -- student and faculty expression." To most people -- especially parents with kids in college -- it's probably not a surprise that campuses are hostile to debate. What is a surprise is how widespread that hostility has become.

Laura Beltz, lead author of the report at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), was also taken aback by the depth of the censorship. "Colleges should be a place for open debate and intellectual inquiry, but today, almost all colleges silence expression through policies that are often illiberal and, at public institutions, unconstitutional." Almost a quarter of the 466 universities got a red-light rating, the worst on FIRE's scale. It's important to point out, she explains, that this isn't just a problem on public college campuses. Private schools are just as likely to crackdown on speech as the rest of them.

Amazingly, 11 states and the District of Columbia make up the bulk of the red-light campuses: Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming. Some even have "free-speech zones," which have either been struck down by the courts or negotiated away in settlements.

In a country that already has a First Amendment problem, the idea that colleges are creating even more antagonism for free speech is a scary prospect. There's nothing more dangerous to a republic than the rise of totalitarians shutting down debate. Americans are already paying the price for years of political correctness. And now, even the supposed guardians of the free flow of ideas are nowhere to be found. "When was the last time you saw the American Civil Liberties Union stand up for free speech on college campuses?" Harvard Law Professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz asks.

"We can no longer count on the ACLU. We can no longer count on all college administrators. We have to count on people of good sense on college campuses to try to restore a situation where we can hear conservative points of views as well as liberal points of view." The real heroes, he says, "are the students -- the conservative students, the pro-Israel students, the students who stand up for free speech rather than the administrators, and the faculty who are prepared to go along with this censorship..." It only takes a few students to make a difference. Raise yours to have the courage to be one of them!
--------------
Tony Perkins is President of the Family Research Council . This article was on Tony Perkin's Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tags: Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, College Campuses, America's Biggest Speech Impediment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Media Malpractice, Mocking Pence's Faith, Is Planned Parenthood Anti-Semitic?

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Media Malpractice - The fake news media are at it again. Today's Washington Post has a disturbing report that attempts to smear the courageous men and women of the Border Patrol. Check out this headline:

"7-Year-Old Migrant Girl Taken Into Border Patrol Custody Dies Of Dehydration, Exhaustion."

Unfortunately, many people won't bother to read the article. They will see that headline and assume the worst -- that the Border Patrol is responsible for the girl's death.

Those who quickly skim the article will find left-wing rhetoric that reinforces the media's bias, such as this line:

"The child's death is likely to intensify scrutiny of detention conditions at Border Patrol stations and CBP facilities that are increasingly overwhelmed by large numbers of families seeking asylum in the United States."

At least the Post concedes that our Border Patrol agents and facilities are "increasingly overwhelmed." That's why we need a border wall.

The ACLU, of course, is jumping to the worst possible conclusions, blasting the Border Patrol for an alleged "lack of accountability, and a culture of cruelty." Predictably, many open-borders Democrats are also piling on.

This child's death is a terrible tragedy. But the Border Patrol is not responsible.

Her father, who was with her, is responsible for taking her on the dangerous journey from Guatemala all the way through Mexico and into the New Mexico desert. Her father, not the Border Patrol, is responsible for the fact that she "reportedly had not eaten or consumed water for several days."

And the left is responsible too.

This child died as a result of the left's radical open borders agenda, which encourages migrants to take such incredible risks. The left simply refuses to secure the border and supports idiotic policies like "catch and release" that function as de facto amnesties.

How is that compassionate?

Still Dreaming - Speaking of the Post, its editors wrote this week that President Trump and congressional Democrats should be able to reach a deal on the border wall. In exchange for Democrats funding his border wall, Trump, the Post writes, "should offer a path to legal status or citizenship for more than 1 million 'dreamers.'"

There's only one problem. . . Trump already offered Democrats a bigger deal for the so-called "dreamers," and Democrats rejected it.

Once again, President Trump is not the problem. It's the left that absolutely refuses to compromise on its extreme agenda.

Mocking Pence's Faith - Here we go again. Vice President Mike Pence's Christian faith is once again a punching bag for the left.

During Tuesday's raucous Oval Office meeting between President Trump, Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, Vice President Pence sat there quietly, probably because he thought the president wanted to handle the situation.

At one point, Pence closed his eyes for a brief moment. Perhaps he got a headache listening to Chuck and Nancy squabbling. Perhaps he was praying. That wouldn’t surprise me, given that the vice president is a man of deep faith.

But what did surprise me was the reaction of Ilhan Omar, one of two Muslim women just elected to Congress. Omar tweeted a picture of Pence with his eyes closed with the caption, "Jesus take the wheel!"

Omar has some credibility issues. She's deceived voters in her home state of Minnesota about her view on Israel.

Before her election, Omar said she opposed the anti-Semitic boycott, divestment and sanctions effort that seeks to punish Israel. After her election, she suddenly declared her support for the BDS movement.

And now she seems to think it's a great idea to mock the Christian faith of the vice president.

Just imagine the media's reaction if Mike Pence or some conservative member of Congress had posted a picture of Representative-elect Omar praying with the caption "Allah take the wheel!"

Of course, that would be no laughing matter. Sadly, hundreds of people have been killed by jihadists who were shouting praise to Allah while at the wheel of trucks and vans in Israel, in Europe and even here in the United States.

Is Planned Parenthood Anti-Semitic? We've reported in the past about growing anti-Semitism within the progressive movement. Exhibit A is the Women's March.

Its main leaders, co-presidents Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour, are supporters of Nation of Islam Leader Louis Farrakhan. And the group's relationship to the Nation of Islam evidently goes much deeper than that. Activists within the Women's March allege that the Nation of Islam provides security for the organization.

As scrutiny of the Women's March has mounted in recent weeks, a number of well-known feminists have denounced the organization and called for its leaders to resign. But the radical pro-abortion group Planned Parenthood is sticking with them.

The communications director for Planned Parenthood issued a statement yesterday, declaring:

"The Women's March has become a symbol of our collective resistance to [the Trump Administration] and Planned Parenthood is proud to once again, join our progressive partners . . . to protect and advance the progress we've made as a movement dedicated to equity and justice for all people."

But that's exactly the problem -- anti-Semitism and the Nation of Islam are antithetical to the very ideas of "equity and justice for all people."

As Mercy Morganfield, who used to lead Women's March DC, put it, "Tamika and Linda have betrayed all women by their subservience to radical religious beliefs that do not believe in equal rights for women."
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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, Media Malpractice, Mocking Pence's Faith, Is Planned Parenthood Anti-Semitic? To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Just say goodbye, Flake!

Editorial Cartoon by AF Branco
GOPUSA / Washington Times: Sen. Jeff Flake is taking his leave of Congress with one last warning about Russian aggression and a breakdown in American political norms.

The Arizona Republican who became the face of ‘conservative’ resistance to President Trump did not mention him in a farewell speech from the Senate floor, but it was clear the forces that helped elect Mr. Trump still trouble Mr. Flake.

“Let us recognize from this place here today that the shadow of tyranny is once again enveloping parts of the globe. And let us recognize as authoritarianism reasserts itself in country after country that we are by no means immune,” the senator said.

With Congress looking to close up shop for the year, lawmakers who lost their elections or, in the case of Mr. Flake, who are retiring, are delivering farewell speeches thanking their staff and offering lessons learned to colleagues.

Mr. Flake said he’s been a student of liberty and democracy during periods living abroad, and said he’s still optimistic, even though he sees “threats to our democracy from within and without.”

“We of course are testing the institutions of American liberty in ways that none of us likely ever imagined we would – and in ways that we never should again,” said Mr. Flake.

He served six terms as a House member, breaking a term-limits pledge halfway through to continue his crusade against earmark spending at a time when Republicans were addicted to pork-barrel politics.

He was also one of the foremost voices within the GOP pushing for legalization of illegal immigrants, and for better economic relations with Cuba.

In 2012 he ran for a Senate seat and won — but voters soured on him as he clashed with Mr. Trump, and he decided not to seek a second term.

His seat was won last month by a Democrat.

Colleagues praised him Thursday as someone willing to battle his own party, particularly on immigration.

Mr. Flake’s words to them were more diagnosis of ailments than recipe for recovery, though he said he took comfort from a trip six years ago, as a new senator, to view some of the founding documents.

“It is important to remember that we have seen tumult and trial before, and it is the genius of the architects of our liberty that we can withstand it all and emerge stronger for it,” he said.
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GOP USA article.

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Bill Would Allow Guns In OK State Capitol

by Tom Knighton: Politics has always been tense. It’s the reason it’s not a topic to be brought up in polite conversation.

Because of the obligatory contention that sprouts out of politics, many state houses are off-limits to people carrying guns. However, we live in different times when lawmakers and lobbyists may well soon become the target of political violence to an even more significant degree than what we’ve already seen. People may well be shot inside state capitols, regardless of what the law means, and these people will be powerless to defend themselves.

In Oklahoma, lawmakers are looking at a bill that would prevent that situation from arising.An Oklahoma lawmaker wants to allow those with a valid handgun license to carry guns in the Capitol, something that is currently prohibited.

Senate Bill 38, authored by Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, would allow individuals with a valid handgun license to proceed through a security checkpoint with a weapon after presenting the license.

“Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a peace or security officer to remove or inspect any weapon or restrain any person carrying a properly concealed loaded or unloaded handgun without probable cause that a crime has been committed,” the measure states.

… Bullard said his measure was designed to increase the safety of those in the Capitol. He said it is a common-sense gun bill that would let people protect themselves.
Precisely.

More than that, it allows those same people to protect themselves as they go to and from the Capitol.

Even if they were perfectly safe inside the building, it’s the trip to and from the Capitol that may cause issues in most instances. That’s where they face being mugged while pumping gas, or being caught inside a convenience store during a robbery. It’s walking down the street a block or two away when they face the possibility of a gunman demanding their wallet.

By allowing those with concealed carry permits to carry, these potentialities can be avoided.

Honestly, there’s absolutely no reason to forbid the carrying of a firearm inside the Capitol. If someone wants to harm another who is inside the building, they’ll find a way, even if it’s just as simple as waiting for them to exit the building. This isn’t protecting a soul.

Oh, it sounds good, and any anti-gun lawmakers in the state will probably feel nice and secure hiding behind a barrier of security that the people they want to disarm won’t enjoy, but you can’t stay behind that security forever.

And that’s giving that same security the benefit of the doubt by assuming they actually will stop any attackers from bringing weapons into the building.

That might be too generous on my part. Nothing against the guys doing the work, but no security is completely secure.

Open it up, allow armed citizens to enter, and there won’t be a problem going forward.

Besides, the truth is, the onus should be on the government to provide a compelling reason for Second Amendment rights to be curtailed, and there isn’t one.
---------------
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.

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Suspected Honduran Terrorist Attempts Shakedown At U.S. Consulate

. . . A case for a border wall or Israel-style fence.
by Joseph Klein: Approximately 100 Central American migrants marched to the U.S. consulate in Tijuana on Tuesday delivering a letter with a 72-hour ultimatum: either “allow free entry to all members” of the caravan into the United States or pay them $50,000 each to return to their “homeland.” Organizer Alfonso Guerrero Ulloa of Honduras, a suspected terrorist allegedly involved in a 1987 bombing that wounded six American soldiers in Honduras, claimed that $50,000 was “a small sum compared to everything the United States has stolen from Honduras.” The money, he said, could be used to return home and start a small business. So much for any fear of persecution in their “homeland” that would give these migrants a legitimate basis for seeking asylum! Simply pay each of the migrants $50,000 and they will be happy to go home. A second group of about 50 caravan members delivered on Tuesday their own letter to the U.S. consulate, claiming that slow processing of asylum requests violated U.S. and international law. This letter did not contain any demand for money but pressed for an increase in the daily number of asylum-seekers admitted at the San Ysidro Port of Entry to as many as 300. The current rate is between 40 and 100.

Alfonso Guerrero Ulloa, the migrant group organizer pushing the alternative free entry or pay shakedown demands, is not a migrant himself. After denying involvement in the 1987 bombing in Honduras, Mexico granted him asylum. He has been living there since 1987. Whatever the truth of his denial of involvement in the bomb attack, Ulloa was by his own admission a member of a now defunct left-wing group known as the Popular Revolutionary Forces-Lorenzo Zelayaas. A report published by the U.S. government in April 1990 described the Popular Revolutionary Forces-Lorenzo Zelayaas as one of several “leftist guerrilla groups [in Honduras] that have resorted to terrorist tactics in the past.” Now posing as an organizer on behalf of Central American migrants even though he was not part of the caravans himself, Ulloa has taken contempt for the rule of law to a new level. The demand he delivered for free entry into the United States or payment of money should be placed in the circular file. If this alleged terrorist, who already has asylum protection in Mexico, ever makes his way illegally into the United States, he should be immediately arrested and deported back to Honduras to stand trial.

The U.S. consulate staff in Tijuana went far beyond the call of duty in allowing Ulloa and the migrants into the consulate to present their demands and giving them what one of the migrants described as a “warm welcome.” Such a show of compassion is misplaced. It will only encourage more migrants to try the same ploy or to up the ante with staged encounters for the cameras. It is not a stretch to envision migrants, some with babies in their arms and holding the hands of small children, entering the U.S. consulate the next time and refusing to leave the premises until their demands are acted upon. Hunger strikes that have taken place near the consulate may move inside to gain more attention. More caravans of migrants from Central America will follow, demanding open borders.

Last March, a group calling itself Refugee Caravan 2018, together with the open borders activist organization Pueblo Sin Fronteras that has been involved in organizing the caravans, issued a press release declaring “that by uniting we can abolish borders.” They demanded Mexico and the United States “to open the borders to us because we are as much citizens as the people of the countries where we are and/or travel.” Of course, the United States is their real target since many of the caravan migrants have refused offers of asylum in Mexico.

If the United States is to preserve its sovereign right to control its own borders, the Trump administration must continue to pursue a maximum border security policy. President Trump’s threat to allow the government to shut down if he does not receive the $5 billion he is seeking to build a wall along the southern border with Mexico shows he means business. After President Trump’s televised clash at the White House on Tuesday with the Democrat House Minority Leader (and presumed next speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Pelosi derisively referred to President Trump’s focus on the “wall thing” as “like a manhood thing with him.” In her December 6th press conference, she shot down the idea of supporting some degree of wall funding if she got in return a permanent bona fide solution on DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). She called the wall “immoral, ineffective and expensive.” Even if Mexico were to pay for the wall, Pelosi said, “it's immoral still.”

Pelosi and Schumer claim they support border security. However, they and their open borders friends are acting immorally when they oppose a life-saving solution to the increasing surge of illegal immigrants into the United States. They cannot explain how forcing border agents to risk their lives in confronting thousands of illegal aliens, who could have been stopped from entering the country in the first place by an impassable wall, is a morally superior option. As Terence P. Jeffrey, the editor in chief of CNSnews.com, succinctly wrote, “More wall means less confrontation.” I would add that less confrontation means a lower possibility of deaths and injuries to both the border agents and the migrants themselves. Yet Pelosi, Schumer and their progressive Democrat base prefer the status quo in which thousands of illegal aliens (in their minds, future Democrat voters) who make it into the country are caught and then released. They are even willing to hold the DACA migrants hostage to their obstinacy on the wall issue.

Perhaps President Trump could compromise by proposing to build the kind of large sensor-rigged, razor wire-lined border fence that Israel has with Egypt. This fence has substantially cut the number of illegal immigrants entering Israel. According to a 2017 Majority Staff Report of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, the construction began in 2010. Most of the construction took two years to complete. “In 2010, Israel saw 13,807 illegal entries at its border with Egypt, largely from sub-Saharan Africans looking for work,” the report said. During those two years, “16,514 illegal entries were recorded in 2011 and 10,042 were recorded in 2012,” the report added. “Illegal entries fell substantially after the completion of the security fence—to 43 in 2013 and 12 in 2014.” After Israel discovered that ladders were being used by illegal immigrants, causing the number of illegal entries in 2015 to rise to 213, “Israel increased the height of the fence, rendering the ladders ineffective. In 2016, illegal crossers dropped to 11.” This represented a 99 percent decrease from 2011.

Given the turnover of majority control of the House of Representatives to the Democrats next year, President Trump has a narrow window during the remainder of this year’s lame duck session to have any chance of securing the full $5 billion he is seeking to build an effective barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border, whether a concrete wall or the kind of border fence that Israel has successfully constructed. So far, Senate Democrats appear willing to filibuster anything approaching the $5 billion figure. The president needs to stick with his pledge to shut down the parts of the government not already funded to push the Democrats in his direction, although they may be perfectly willing to let him take the political heat for a government shutdown.

If President Trump does not get his way with Congress this year, he should consider as his first order of business in January declaring a state of emergency in accordance with the National Emergencies Act. Such a presidential declaration may allow the Secretary of Defense to terminate or defer the construction, operation, maintenance, or repair of any Department of the Army civil works project that he deems not essential to the national defense. He can then repurpose the resources, including funds, to the construction, operation, maintenance, and repair of authorized civil works, military construction, and civil defense projects that are essential to the national defense. There is already some limited legislative authority for construction and repair of a border barrier, to which President Trump could direct the Defense Secretary to add the repurposed funds under the presidential emergency declaration. There are requirements for regular reporting to Congress. Moreover, Congress can enact into law a joint resolution terminating the president’s emergency declaration, which. however, would be unlikely to succeed in the Republican-controlled Senate.

Litigation, most likely brought by open borders advocates in the liberal 9th Circuit, is certain to follow the president’s declaration of a national emergency. The usual cast of left-wing activists can be expected to challenge the president’s authority in court to declare the illegal immigration crisis a legitimate national emergency and to challenge his authority to order the diversion of funds from their current purposes to pay for a border wall or Israel-style fence. The 9th Circuit judges will likely side with the plaintiffs challenging the president’s constitutional and legislative authority to act forcefully for the security and well-being of the American people, as these judges invariably do. That will be a fight worth having. The open borders leftists must be stopped from putting Americans at risk and obliterating U.S. national sovereignty.
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Joseph Klein is a Harvard-trained lawyer and the author of Global Deception: The UN’s Stealth Assault on America’s Freedom  and Lethal Engagement: Barack Hussein Obama, the United Nations & Radical Islam., and contributor to FrontPage Mag.

Tags: Joseph Klein, FrontPage Mag, Suspected Honduran Terrorist, Attempts Shakedown, At U.S. Consulate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Going Ballistic . . .

. . . Iran violates U.N. restrictions by testing ballistic missiles capable of carrying multiple nuclear warheads. Some are Curious as to how much of the 150 billion dollars Obama gave them was used for this project.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Parties Need to Up Their Game

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Two weeks ago in this column, I asked what is to blame for the weakness of the heads of government here and in Western Europe, institutional failure, voter fecklessness, leaders' personal weaknesses or some combination of all three?

This week, let's look at one of those institutions: political parties. How have they contributed to current woes? How can they perform better?

There are those who would ask, "What would you expect from parties? They're nasty, grubby, selfish, inward-looking institutions, in which intellectual dishonesty is the norm. Why not be done with them and have a virtuous, nonpartisan democracy?"

One quick reply: When and where has anyone had an electoral democracy like that? The framers of the Constitution loathed parties and were wholly unpersuaded by the case Edmund Burke was making for them on the other side of the Atlantic.

But in the 1790s, they quickly formed parties because of disagreements over serious issues like how to finance the federal government and whether to back Britain or France in their world war.

Political parties do provide a certain stability to politics yet also have incentives to respond to evolving events and emerging issues. But recently, they have been doing a rotten job of both in many prominent democracies.

Consider our own parties. In choosing nominees in 2016, Republicans had too many candidates and Democrats too few. They proceeded to produce the most unpopular pair of rivals in history, with Donald Trump beating Hillary Clinton by carrying most of the voters who disliked them both.

Now both parties are doubling down. Republicans back President Trump, even as he alienates the voters that cost the party 40 House seats last month. Democrats keep licking their chops over impeaching a president for lying about sex, forgetting how that worked out in the 1990s.

The Democrats' yearning to see Trump humiliated and expelled could prove as repellent to swing voters as Trump's stubborn unwillingness to apologize or confess error.

Meanwhile, the three European M's -- Britain's Theresa May, France's Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Angela Merkel -- are in political disarray after singlehanded policy blunders into which they led their parties.

May's failure to negotiate a genuine Brexit, contrary to wishes of most Conservative Party voters, may be producing her downfall, and possibly her party's. Macron's surrender to the so-called yellow vest demonstrators on the gas tax he ordered his party to enact leaves him with 26 percent approval. Merkel's decision to invite 1 million mostly Muslim "refugees" into Germany, made without consulting her party's parliamentarians or European Union colleagues, leaves Germany with permanent problems.

These leaders acted as if they had mandates, when in practice they have failed to gain, or maintain the support of, 50 percent of voters. Trump got 46 percent in 2016, and Clinton got 48 percent. May's Conservatives failed in 2017 to get a parliamentary majority and govern only with Northern Irish MPs. In Germany that year, the Christian Democrats, founded in 1949, and the Social Democrats, founded in 1875, got only 54 percent put together, the poorest joint result since World War II.

Some democracies have jettisoned longstanding parties altogether. Macron created his own party and reduced his former party, the Socialists, founded in 1905, to 6 percent of the vote. The Italian government is a coalition of two hitherto-splintered parties. Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador concocted his own party and won in July, while Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro took over a former splinter party and won in October.

In all these cases, it seems, the candidate has become more important than the party, and the party seems to have abdicated its functions of guiding and cautioning its incumbent once she or he is in office.

This makes the defects of leader selection processes look particularly important. I have long said that the presidential-nominee selection process is the weakest part of the American political system -- and, perhaps not just coincidentally, the one part unaddressed by the framers of the Constitution.

The British party-leader selection processes, arguably even worse, have produced the wacky leftist Jeremy Corbyn for Labour and the hapless Theresa May for Conservatives. May won when David Cameron abruptly resigned after losing the Brexit referendum and Brexit backers feuded, though she opposed Brexit and failed as home secretary to fulfill party immigration and law enforcement promises. She survived a party vote of confidence by only a 200-117 margin.

Parties can do better, and often have in their long histories -- 186 years for Democrats, 164 for Republicans and 184 for British Conservatives. When will they figure out how to do it again?
------------------
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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America’s Debt to Veterans Doesn’t Require More Red Ink

by David Ditch: As the 115th Congress comes to a close, America is once more faced with the prospect of legislators who have retired or been voted out of office being in a position to make bad decisions on their way out the door.

So-called “lame duck” legislative sessions frequently produce laws that benefit narrow special interests and increase the national debt during a period of limited public attention and accountability.

A renewed push to pass questionable legislation for veterans of the Vietnam War is the latest example of this.

With the general public largely distracted by the holiday season, politicians seem emboldened to act with complete impunity. It has become commonplace to see tax breaks for well-connected industries, mammoth spending packages, and other unsavory proposals passed at the 11th hour.

While it might seem odd to include the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act in that category, there are many reasons to be skeptical about it.

H.R. 299, which passed the House in June by a margin of 382-0, would extend “presumption of service connection” coverage to additional service members for certain diseases that have been linked to exposure to the Agent Orange defoliant.

That means that if a veteran in this new category were diagnosed with one of those diseases, the federal government would pay for treatment. That sounds reasonable, since there’s a strong consensus in favor of covering veterans for bodily harm they receive in service to the country.

Where the legislation raises further questions is related to the group of veterans that would be added—namely, those in the Navy who are known to have never set foot in Vietnam. This group, known as the Blue Water Navy, comprises between 70,000 and 90,000 veterans.

Since Agent Orange was only used on land, there’s reason to be skeptical that sailors located miles from shore would have been meaningfully exposed to the chemical. That skepticism is shared by the current Department of Veterans Affairs and the first VA secretary under President George W. Bush.

The lack of scientific evidence to support extending “presumption” coverage to Blue Water Navy veterans can be seen in a 2011 report by the National Academy of Sciences.

Supporters of H.R. 299 have relied on dubious hypothetical scenarios and heavy-handed emotional language. The unspoken implication is that expansions of benefits for veterans should not be questioned.

However, adding thousands of patients to the VA system for conditions that might not have been caused by their service would make the system less responsive for veterans who need and deserve help the most.

Currently, H.R. 299 is being held up from receiving “unanimous consent” in the Senate by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, along with Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Rand Paul, R-Ky.

These senators raise legitimate concerns and should be commended for taking an unpopular stand to protect taxpayers from undue cost burdens and to protect the integrity of veterans’ benefits.

Lee points to a study on the issue that will be released by the VA next year that may finally determine whether Blue Water Navy veterans have been affected by Agent Orange.

If the report draws a conclusive result that certain Navy veterans have suffered from the chemical, then extending related medical coverage to those veterans—and paying for that coverage to prevent a federal deficit increase—could be fully warranted.

Legislators should wait on the report before making a decision.

There are real costs associated with this potential expansion of medical coverage. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that H.R. 299 would lead to more than $2 billion in new spending on medical care over the next decade, plus millions spent for personnel to process the claims.

To put that $2 billion in perspective, consider that the average personal income in the prosperous Atlanta area (home to Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee) is $50,000 per year.

It would require the hard work of 40,000 Atlanta-area people for a whole year to pay for these new benefits. Legislators should not give away the value of people’s efforts lightly.

Making matters worse, the costs could be passed on to younger and future generations. The deficit (or the difference between taxing and spending) will likely exceed $1 trillion for the current fiscal year.

Although H.R. 299 would attempt to partially cover new spending by increasing fees for subsidized home loans to veterans, most of the spending would be put on the national credit card.

Given the high likelihood of a year-end, “must-pass” spending package just before Christmas, there’s a chance that the text of H.R. 299 will be inserted into the bill along with other deficit-increasing provisions.

Legislators would likely pat themselves on the back for such a move. In reality, however, it would be the equivalent of a lump of coal in the stocking for children, who will be paying interest on the nation’s unconscionably large debt in decades to come.

When it comes to providing medical care to veterans, Congress has an obligation to be thoughtful and proceed with all the facts in hand. The Blue Water Navy issue should be resolved after the forthcoming VA study is released, rather than as a result of political pressure.
--------------------
David Ditch (@davidaditch) is a research assistant in the Grover M. Hermann Center for the Federal Budget at The Heritage Foundation. Article on The Daily Signal.

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Mrs. Term Limits?

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Do politicians oppose term limits on principle?

For the answer to be yes, we would first have to explain to them what principles are.

Sure, politicians adamantly oppose term limits that cut against their self-interest, i.e. apply to them. But they are often for term limits . . . when the limitation applies to others.

The exception to this rule? When limiting one’s own terms — or pledging to do so in the future — is absolutely essential in order to win an election.

Take the case of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who wishes to be elected Speaker in January by the new Democratic House majority.

Mrs. Pelosi is an unlikely candidate . . . for Mrs. Term Limits. And yet, she has agreed to support a new rule imposing term limits on leadership positions — even her own speakership.

What gives?

A number of newly elected congresspeople won their seats on a promise to change Washington. And to gain votes, they had pledged not to support the exceedingly unpopular, long-serving Swamp Creature for speaker.

Or should that be Mrs. Swamp Creature?

Now with Democrats comprising a narrow 17-seat majority in the new Congress, these young upstarts wield enough votes to deny Pelosi the position she covets.

So, against the objections of her longtime lieutenants, Pelosi has promised these “rebels” that she will not merely bring before her caucus a new rule imposing limits of three terms for leadership positions, including her own, but she also insists that even if that rule fails to win the support of the Democratic caucus, she will personally, voluntarily, abide by those limits.

Meet the Missus. Don’t ask about her previous status.

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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If House GOP ‘100% Confident’ Votes Are There for $5 Billion for the Wall, Then Vote

by Robert Romano: House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has declared that he is “100 percent confident” that the votes are there in the House to approve $5 billion for the southern border wall.

The comments, on Fox News, came after incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) challenged Republicans at an Oval Office meeting with President Donald Trump, where she said, “You have the House of Representatives. You have the votes. You should pass it right now.”

Not for nothing, but Pelosi has a point.

If House Republicans are 100 percent sure they have the votes to pass $5 billion for wall funding then they need to vote. What have they been waiting for?

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promised $12 billion to $15 billion in Jan. 2017 and so far all they got done was the $1.6 billion supplemental for the wall President Trump requested in Feb. 2017. And that didn’t get passed until March 2018.

So it’s not as if Republican haven’t had multiple opportunities to pass wall funding while they had majorities in both the House and the Senate.

Always it came down to an unwillingness to fight a Senate Democrat filibuster and potentially move to a partial government shutdown over wall funding, for fear it might cost Republicans their majority in the House — which they ended up losing anyway in Nov. 2018.

This is where President Trump has a point. At the Oval Office meeting he said, “the problem is the Senate, because we need 10 Democrats to vote, and they won’t vote.”

That is true, but by postponing a fight on the issue, thus far there haven’t been any votes on fully funding the wall.

Now with the migrant caravan charging the border, suddenly, many members of Congress see the need for the wall.

Just look at Alfonso Guerrero Ulloa, who is now leading the caravan. He has lived in Mexico since 1987, where he fled after being suspected of a terrorist bombing in Honduras that wounded six American soldiers — he claims he was being persecuted for his “left-wing” views.

That Mexico harbored a suspected terrorist is bad enough but now Ulloa has delivered a letter to the U.S. consulate demanding entry of the migrants or else a $50,000 per migrant payoff. It’s a shakedown.

“It may seem like a lot of money to you,” Ulloa told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “But it is a small sum compared to everything the United States has stolen from Honduras.”

Can you believe this? This is who Congress is defending by refusing to build the wall and secure the border right now, radicals like Ulloa who hate the United States and yet think they are owed entry here.

Has Congress taken leave of its senses?

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning said Congress should move immediately on the wall funding, “The House should be moving to a vote immediately, attach the measure to the omnibus bill and then vote the same day the Senate is to vote.”

To bolster their chances of prevailing, House Republicans might also consider guaranteeing they will vote with 146 members to sustain a presidential veto of any spending bill that does not have wall funding in 2019 should this drag on for a few weeks.

Pelosi has already stated she won’t be moving any funding for the wall when she is Speaker, saying to reporters of Trump, “Does he want to have government closed forever?”

Which, that’s actually a good question. Finally, one idea to bring additional leverage to the table are the non-essential federal employees. In Oct. 2013, more than 800,000 federal employees were furloughed according to the Office of Management and Budget. Usually, Congress votes to award them backpay for not working after the fact. But what if they didn’t get backpay this time around?

All options should be on the table. This is a fight that Congress needs to fight now — and win.

The fact is the American people are never going to have a stronger advocate than President Trump on this issue, who has threatened to shut down the government if Congress does not fund the wall. The time for Congress to act is now. It’s time to vote.
-------------------
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Robert Romano, Americans for Limited Government, House GOP, confident, $5 Billion for the Wall, vote To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Mueller Probe: If Convictions Equal Success, Whitewater Was a Triumph

by Larry Elder: President Donald Trump-haters salivated over special counsel Robert Mueller’s recent filings on ex-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and Trump former lawyer/”fixer” Michael Cohen. In both cases, Mueller recommends lengthy sentences, having accused them of committing crimes, including, in the case of Cohen, that Trump directed him to violate campaign finance laws in paying off porn star Stormy Daniels and Playboy Playmate Karen McDougal.

If true, is it an impeachable offense?

In 2013, the Federal Election Commission leveled a $375,000 fine against President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign for failing to properly report almost $2 million in 2008 campaign contributions, along with other violations. No criminal prosecutions. Nobody went to jail.

In the case of President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who pled guilty to lying to the FBI, the special counsel recommends no jail time. Flynn, according to the filing, gave the probe “substantial assistance.” The filing described Flynn as “one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight” into Mueller’s investigation. But did Flynn give evidence of a Trump “collusion” or conspiracy with Russia to win the election — the purpose of the Mueller investigation? So far, the investigation has resulted in the convictions of several Trump associates. Not one of the convictions, however, has had anything to do with a Trump-Russian “collusion.”

If the definition of a successful special counsel or special prosecutor is the number of convictions he or she obtains, then the Whitewater investigation into an allegedly crooked Arkansas real-estate deal and a crooked Little Rock bank was an unmitigated success. True, that probe’s big targets, Bill and Hillary Clinton, were not charged, but the investigation resulted in 14 convictions, including the then-governor of Arkansas.

Webster Hubbell, Hillary Clinton’s former law partner at Little Rock’s Rose Law Firm, was convicted. Hubbell, at the beginning of the probe, held the No. 3 position in the Justice Department. He admitted to stealing from clients and partners of his law firm and pled guilty to mail fraud and tax evasion. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison. He was later indicted on an additional 18 charges after resigning from the DOJ. The New York Times reported: “Some money Hubbell received in 1994, for which the prosecutor said he did ‘little or no work,’ might have been given to discourage him from being more candid with investigators. … Much of the income Hubbell received in 1994 came from contracts arranged by close friends and supporters of the Clintons, suggesting to investigators that Hubbell may have been given money to discourage him from cooperating with the Whitewater independent counsel’s office.”

James McDougal, Clinton friend and Whitewater business partner, operated Madison Guaranty Savings and Loan, the bank under investigation. Madison failed in 1989, costing taxpayers $60 million. McDougal was convicted of 18 felony counts related to bad loans made by his bank. After his conviction, McDougal agreed to cooperate with the special prosecutor.

Susan McDougal, James McDougal’s former wife, was a partner in the Whitewater land deal and in Madison Guaranty. She was convicted of four felony fraud counts, but refused to cooperate with the Whitewater prosecutors. McDougal was sentenced to 18 months in jail on a civil contempt charge, but still has refused to answer questions before a grand jury. She was later charged with criminal contempt and obstruction of justice. President Clinton gave her a full pardon in the final hours of his presidency.

Hillary Clinton called her husband a victim of a “vast right-wing conspiracy.” Bill Clinton adviser Paul Begala called independent counsel Ken Starr “corrupt” and his investigation a “witch hunt” and “a scuzzy investigation” based on “leaks and lies and manufactured evidence.” Clinton senior strategist Rahm Emanuel complained of the “partisan pursuit of the president.” The difference is that the Whitewater convictions, as opposed to the Mueller probe convictions at this point, specifically related to the purpose of the probe.

Clearly, some Trump associates broke laws, and real-estate developer Trump perhaps made misleading statements about a proposed deal for a real-estate project in Russia. But since virtually every political pundit predicted Trump’s landslide defeat in 2016, why the surprise that Trump was simultaneously working on his next act? As for the accusation that Trump directed Cohen to make payments to prevent his relationships with Daniels and McDougal from coming to light during the campaign, what happened to the Bill Clinton defense — “Everybody lies about sex”? Trump critics simultaneously called him an idiot and the conductor of a scheme intended to break campaign finance laws by using his own money to pay off mistresses.

The Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel, in 2000, wrote, “The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions.” The recourse is impeachment and then removal from office, following a trial in the Senate. Unless the Mueller report contains a lot more than what we know, so far, neither is likely.
-----------------
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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Prison Reform Should Be a Conservative Priority, Mike Lee Argues

Senator Mike Lee
by Rachel del Guidice: One of the Senate’s conservative stalwarts, Mike Lee of Utah, says lawmakers should pass a criminal justice reform bill before the end of the year because it is necessary to the nation’s well-being.

“We’ve seen what happens when we take away somebody’s brother or son or uncle or nephew or father and we warehouse them for decades at a time,” Lee said Thursday during a press conference in the Senate Visitors Center.

“It’s not always a good outcome, it’s not always the outcome that we claim to want as a society, which is to protect innocent Americans from the dangers of crime,” the Utah Republican told reporters.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has promised a vote on the criminal justice overhaul. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has said his chamber will vote before lawmakers leave for the holidays and Democrats take over the House at the start of the new year.

“I’ve been involved in the efforts of criminal justice reform for nearly all of the eight years I’ve spent in the United States Senate so far, and I want to make one thing very clear at the outset: I am a supporter of criminal justice reform not in spite of, but because of, my conservatism,” Lee said.

The bill before Congress, the First Step Act, says it “incentivizes prisoners to participate in evidence-based programming designed to reduce recidivism.”

It also offers assessment programs for risks and needs, and gives low- and minimal-risk inmates a chance to obtain credits to serve “a limited part of their sentence” in a prerelease facility.

Prisoners who are ineligible include those serving time for crimes such as smuggling aliens into the U.S. who have records of aggravated felony, which carry harsh consequences for noncitizens upon conviction.

Also ineligible are those convicted of female genital mutilation, bringing in aliens for the purposes of prostitution, drug-related robberies involving assault with a dangerous weapon, and carjacking resulting in serious bodily injury.

Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said he supports the bill because it embraces prison reform programs that have been successful across the country.

“This bill advocated and advanced by Sen. Lee, and many others to whom I’m grateful, is tough on crime,” Cuccinelli said. “It will lower crime. How do we know it will lower crime? We’re using methods that have already been tried in the states and have worked.”

John Malcolm, director of the Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation, said during the press conference that criminal justice reform is critical because it is a public safety issue for communities across the country.

“Ninety-five percent of the people who are presently incarcerated at some point will be back to our neighborhoods,” Malcolm said, adding:
We should care deeply about what kind of shape they are going [back] in…. Recidivism rates of nearly 50 percent of federal inmates and over 75 percent of state inmates is simply unacceptable. The First Step Act will provide [support for] low-risk offenders who could become productive members of society.----------------
Rachel del Guidice (@LRacheldG)is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program.

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Truth vs. Lies

by Pat Carlson: What is it about human nature that makes us more willing to believe the worst news rather than the best news? During the second week of the latest international climate change conference being held in Katowice, Poland COP24, two groups showed up with news - one group predicting a catastrophic disaster and the other with a message of hope and encouragement.

Monday the U. S. held an event featuring U.S. government and industry officials showcasing the newest innovations in fossil fuels. These innovations will reduce emissions, create jobs and still provide reliable and affordable energy. The event was disrupted, with the sanction of the U.N., by youth standing and chanting “keep it in the ground” and then exiting yelling “shame on you, shame on you.” These young people had no desire to hear the good news about this cheap abundant energy.

In contrast, Al Gore held an event on Wednesday walking out on stage like a rockstar. His presentation began with a slideshow of a satellite picture of planet Earth. He said we are using our “atmosphere like an open sewer” and in that sewer we are dumping “man-made global warming pollution…equivalent to exploding 500,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day 365 days per year”. He spent the first hour of his 1 1/2 hour speech showing slides of the devastation and destruction caused by natural disasters from all over the world. And of course, he blamed this on global warming.

He claimed the civil war in Syria was caused by global warming not Hamas and the caravans headed toward the U.S. are migrants escaping a draught caused by global warming, not the crime and corrupt governments of their countries.

When he made derogatory comments about fossil fuel companies and President Trump, the crowd laughed accordingly.

When he concluded, the crowd gave him a standing ovation as he walked off the stage. In the real world he might have been called on his lies, but the reality of COP24 is built on his lies.

COP24 is working on a rulebook on how to implement the Paris Agreement. The rulebook will include a section called a “Just Transition.” It refers to societies transitioning from fossil fuels to a carbon-free society. This section is to soften the hard fact that there will be no “just” transition, there will only be a “forced” transition by governments.

Most of the world is completely unaware that the United Nations is planning a complete “transformational change” in their lives. To reach a carbon-free atmosphere, which is impossible, but just trying to get there, will begin this transformational change with governments telling it’s citizens what to eat, where to live, and what to drive. Al Gore said in a few years there will no longer be a combustible engine.

A carbon-free environment will require governments to take over farm and grazing land telling this sector what to grow and what animals to raise. One event on “Food Systems and Climate Change” claimed that to keep the temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees, western countries will have to eat 50% less meat and more food will have to be grown on less land.

Citizens of western countries will have to convert from a diet of meat and potatoes to a diet of vegetables, fruit, nuts and some grains. Government regulations will be required to change this behavior.

Al Gore and the United Nations have been telling the world since the United Nations’ Framework on Climate Change UNFCCC treaty was ratified by the U. S. Senate and signed by President George H. W. Bush in 1992, that we are experiencing global warming. And if the planet gets hotter than 1.5 degrees Celsius, oceans will rise, glaciers will melt and there will be no more planet Earth.

But Earth’s temperature has increased less than one degree Celsius. So to speed this process along, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change IPCC issued a new report right before COP24 predicting that mankind has 11 years to drastically change its behavior or the temperature is “likely” to rise above 1.5 degrees C.

This report is driving everything at COP24 and the words “transformational change” are used in every conversation and event. The good news is COP24 was unable to include the IPCC report into its language because four countries refused to recognize it - the U. S, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Russia. The four largest oil-producing countries.

The good news is fossil fuels are not our enemy. This abundant easily accessed energy lifts societies out of poverty. The bad news is societies will never be able to reach a carbon-free atmosphere even with heavy government interventions, and alternative energy is so expensive poverty will only increase.

The bad news is the climate change train has left the station and it seems, it will not be stopped. The good news is the U.S. has President Trump.
-----------------
Pat Carlson is Environmental Chairman at Eagle Forum.

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  • 11/20/16 - 11/27/16
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  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
  • 1/1/17 - 1/8/17
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  • 5/21/17 - 5/28/17
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