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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, March 22, 2019

Abolishing the Electoral College Would Be a Mistake

by Jonah Goldberg: Sen. Elizabeth Warren has reignited the debate over the Electoral College -- she wants to get rid of it, naturally. I say "reignited" because this is a very old argument. To paraphrase Billy Joel, Warren didn't start this fire; this debate's been burning since the world's been turning. But I'm going to skip rehashing the usual -- and to my mind, persuasive -- arguments in favor of the Electoral College.

Arguments against it tend to boil down to two gripes: It's very old-fashioned, and it's undemocratic.

In 2016, the last time we had this kerfuffle, "Handbook of Electoral System Choice" author Josep Colomer wrote in the Washington Post: "The U.S. electoral college is a medieval relic. ... The United States is the only country in the world to still use the system to elect a president."

Warren says she wants to get rid of the Electoral College because she wants "every vote" to matter. The widespread insinuation -- or the assumption -- is that this is how most enlightened democracies do it: a direct election of a single national leader.

That's nonsense.

First, most democracies don't have presidents like we do (or at all). We combine the head of state (the symbolic, generally weak representative of the nation) and the head of government (the person who actually calls the shots in politics).

The U.K. has a monarch (head of state), and a prime minister (head of government). Sometimes a legislative body picks the head of government or head of state. Sometimes voters pick one but not the other. In the Netherlands, the head of state is a monarch and the head of government is elected by the legislature (i.e., the majority party). In New Caledonia the head of government is elected by the legislature, and the head of state is the president of France. Go figure.

There are countries that combine both roles in one person -- Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, Ghana, Brazil, Benin and a few others -- but no Western European country has a unified leader directly elected by the people.

Even this is misleading. As Elaine Kamarck of the Brookings Institution has observed, America is the only advanced democracy that has decided to strip its political parties of the power to select their own candidates. Until 1972 -- through conventions, smoke-filled rooms, etc. -- the parties, not the voters, determined who their presidential candidates would be. This function is among the informal checks and balances that make democracy workable around the globe; we scrapped it in favor of ever more open primaries.

America now suffers from a political paradox: This is one of the most partisan times in American history, but the parties have never been weaker. Abolishing the Electoral College would make parties even weaker by further incentivizing populist politicians to work outside the system to cultivate celebrity and cults of personality.

I think the way the Electoral College forces candidates to build broader coalitions across the nation is valuable. The way it minimizes the risks of interminable recounts and voter fraud (a single national tally would be a nightmare logistically) is important. But none of these things are essential by themselves.

What's essential is the ability to have some check on direct democracy and the centralization of power that comes with it. Our specific constitutional architecture isn't necessarily sacred, but the underlying idea behind it should be. The founders understood that democracy depends on some undemocratic mechanisms to maintain liberty. For instance, the Bill of Rights and the Supreme Court are not purely democratic. You can't vote away my right to free speech, for instance.

Most of our political problems today are a result of our political gatekeepers surrendering to the mob. All extreme political movements are hostile to restraints on their will. This is what unites the progressives who want to pack the Supreme Court, abolish the Electoral College and "reform" the "undemocratic" Senate and those on the right who celebrate President Trump's emergency declaration and other attempts to rule by fiat.

In a healthy democracy, leaders are answerable not just to voters but to legislatures, the courts, the states and parties. The decades-long trend has been to dismantle this arrangement to make presidents answerable to no one but the slice of electorate that voted for them. And even there, those voters are increasingly more interested in seeing their leader "win" than in holding them accountable. Abolishing the Electoral College would be another step toward a kind of national absolutism, which is an even worse medieval relic.
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Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) is editor-at-large of National Review Online. He shared this article in Townhall.com and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés.

Tags: Jonah Goldberg, National Review Online, Abolishing, Electoral College, Would Be a Mistake 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 Files Final Report Without Any Russia Collusion Prosecutions of Any Americans

ARRA News Service: Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement responding to Special Counsel Robert Mueller turning in his final report to Attorney General William Barr without any prosecutions for Russia collusion:

Robert Mueller’s providing a final report to Attorney General William Barr ends almost three years of investigation into candidate and then President Donald Trump in relation to Russia. Every media outlet owes President Trump a non-stop apology for their continued claims that there was a conspiracy and that his presidency was illegitimate. Mueller ended his investigation with zero prosecutions of Trump campaign officials for conspiracy with Russia to hack the DNC and Podesta emails.

This false narrative driven by a toxic combination of the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and the Obama Justice Department, State Department, FBI, CIA and other foreign policy intelligence operatives demands that Attorney General Barr either immediately prosecute those involved in this destructive attack on our constitutional system of governance and the electoral process.

Many of the facts are already in the public domain but justice demands declassification of the internal Department of Justice documents used to justify this attempt to overthrow the results of a presidential election.”

Attachment:
Whatever happened to the U.S. Attorney investigations into the Deep State and the Clinton Foundation?
------------------
Interview Availability: Please contact Americans for Limited Government at 703-383-0880 ext. 1 or at media@limitgov.org to arrange an interview.

Tags: ARRA News Service, Americans for Limited Government, President Rick Manning, issued, statement, Mueller, Files Final Report, Without, Russia Collusion Prosecutions, of Americans To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Solving The Public Defecation Dilemma

by Petro Alexandrovich: Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, and other bastions of the natural approach to social diversity are faced with a hygiene challenge that appears insoluble. It is not. We have already solved the identical challenge as we walk man's best friend!

Liberal city councils in the metropolises mentioned above merely have to assign their progressive constituents the voluntary duty of following one person who fits the public pooping profile with biodegradable plastic bags at the ready. Once the public pooper has deposited his expression of human rights and privileges, in steps our citizen-volunteer to claim the rewards of a progressive civilization by ensconcing the fresh extrusion in a nice new transparent bag. Imagine the sense of self-satisfaction, public solidarity, and social justice accruing to the progressive bleeding hearts!

What better way to show off one's progressive credentials than having a one-on-one relationship with the least among us? I imagine that city council members would be the first to volunteer their participation. The city managers would have to set up and administer a department of public pooping accountability. Each volunteer would have to have pre-printed, bar-coded labels that would be affixed to each bag, and then dated and coded with GPS coordinates. A public pooping phone application could automate much of the data being collected. I'm certain that in high-tech cities like Seattle and San Francisco, many techies would rush to develop the required app.

Imagine the value of the data collected using this pooping profile. Each bag would contain a wealth of health information. A specialized laboratory would be established to run an extensive analysis of each sample. Things like specimen weights, disease, toxicity, and nutritional evidence could be charted. Interventions would be scheduled based on one's pooping pathology report. DNA profiles would develop rapidly to facilitate further interventions as socially deleterious patterns emerge.

Incorporating an incentive program for the volunteers would be easy. Rewards based on weight totals collected, diseases identified, toxins confirmed, and interventions accomplished would be celebrated at an annual event. Both pooper and collector would be feted in the press. A reality television series would internationalize the public pooping franchise. The Poopdashians as a title springs to mind.

And the best is yet to come! The program would pay for itself! Impossible? Not in progressive paradises that enable the political ecology that creates these opportunities.

After each bio-degradable bag is collected and data recorded, it is then deposited into a large-scale composting facility designed to turn this human waste into a high-value-added product. The composting facility would be solar- and wind-powered. Any residual methane would be used to power the facility or sold back to the grid. Considering the amount of poop accumulated from each depositor into the poop bank, profits would quickly finance the new green ordeal in the process.

Each composting facility would then sell the product under the progressive label. It's the ultimate in environmental enhancement for all public projects or for anyone inclined to support progressive human rights and social justice activism. Who would not want to spread this precious progressive commodity far and wide?

Franchises available at DNC headquarters.
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Petro Alexandrovich is a resident of Seattle and Denver and writes for the American Thinker. He is a child of the Gulag. His father survived six years in a Siberian timber camp. Both parents survived Hitler's labor camps and made their way with the family to America in 1960. Petro has worked as an artist and ecologist for the past 40 years.

Tags: Petro Alexandrovich, Solving, Public Defecation Dilemma To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Divided We Fall, Progressive Anti-Semitism, A New Purim Miracle

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Divided We Fall
One of the left's oft-repeated mantras is "Diversity is our strength." But diversity by itself has never historically been a strength unless those diverse people were united around something -- usually a set of common values.

Our Founding Fathers recognized this when they adopted the phrase "E Pluribus Unum" -- Out of many, one. What is the "one"? It's the idea of being American, believing in freedom and the common values of Judeo-Christian civilization.

Unfortunately, the cult of multiculturalism and identity politics has reversed this concept. We no longer celebrate what unites us. Not even our national anthem and our flag.

The concept of the "melting pot" -- assimilation or Americanization -- has been replaced with the "salad bowl," where the individual diverse elements are celebrated.

Many progressives today are operating under the idea that we should celebrate our own identity, whatever it happens to be. It's causing tremendous conflict throughout society, even in the U.S. military.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland addressed this recently during remarks at the American Enterprise Institute. His response was surprisingly candid:

"We call it 'soldierization.' We assimilate people into the Army, and teach them what it's like to be part of a cohesive whole. . . I mean we used to talk about the melting pot in schools in America. I don't know if we still do anymore. My guess is we don't.

"And I mean I just heard a statistic recently that about 80 percent of American kids consider themselves as just plain old Americans before they enter high school, and about two-thirds of them about halfway through college become hyphenated-Americans.

"We remove those hyphens in the Army, in the military. You know, 'You're a soldier, next question.' You know, we all wear the same patch on our right shoulder — the American flag. And that's what it's all about. . .

"Is it getting harder in the U.S. military to assimilate everybody and get everybody playing for the same team? Yea, it is. Identity politics is a cancer. . . And we have seen what Balkanization looks like. . . it's a dangerous path that we're moving along. . ."


To better appreciate the "soldierization" that Lt. Gen. MacFarland was talking about, watch this brief clip from the movie "We Were Soldiers."
President Trump, the man the left frequently accuses of being a divider, frequently speaks about the need to come together. During his remarks to the Latino Coalition Legislative Summit last March, Trump said this:

"America First is about unity. It's about coming together as one family -- one big, beautiful American family -- no matter our race, or color, or creed, to protect our jobs, our communities, and our country. We want all Americans to thrive and flourish together."

Progressive Anti-Semitism
The radical left-wing group MoveOn is demanding that Democrat presidential candidates skip this year's American Israel Public Affairs Policy Conference, which begins this Sunday in Washington, D.C.

We often hear people and organizations say, "We're not anti-Semitic. We're just critical of the Israeli government." Well, that's a very fine line to walk considering there's only one Jewish state. Those same individuals and organizations are frequently more critical of Israel than they are of Palestinian terrorists.

I find it odd that MoveOn isn't encouraging candidates to go to AIPAC to speak up for the two-state solution or more autonomy for the Palestinians or whatever it is they claim to support.

No, instead of encouraging dialogue, they are essentially telling candidates, "Don't you dare talk to those Jews." MoveOn is now obviously part of the anti-Semitic boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement.

And this is happening just weeks after the Democrat Party was presumably embarrassed by the anti-Semitic comments of some of its members. Under these circumstances, Democrat candidates should be lining up to speak at AIPAC to denounce anti-Semitism!

So far, at least five Democrats have announced that they will not be speaking at AIPAC this year. That speaks volumes about the state of today's progressive movement.

By the way, five Democrat candidates are promising to rejoin Obama's nuclear deal with Iran if they win the White House in 2020.

"A New Purim Miracle"
In stark contrast to MoveOn's call to boycott AIPAC, Israelis and pro-Israel Americans are still celebrating yet another bold move by President Trump to stand with Israel -- officially recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

The strategic Golan Heights was captured by Israel 52 years ago after one of many wars waged against the Jewish state by its Arab neighbors. Israel annexed the Golan in 1981, but the United Nations refused to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the region.

But just who is Israel supposed to surrender the Golan to? The genocidal Assad regime?

Time and time again, President Trump has done more to help Israel than any president since Harry Truman. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Trump's latest move as "a new Purim miracle."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was asked by CBN if it was possible that President Trump "has been sort of raised for such a time as this, just like Queen Esther, to help save the Jewish people from the Iranian menace?" He answered, "As a Christian, I certainly believe that's possible."

I agree. I believe God regularly sends righteous people to help His covenant people, the Jews. A covenant was made between God and Abram and it hasn't been repealed.

Needless to say, Secretary Pompeo is taking a lot of heat today for his remarks. But secular heads explode when they hear anything like this. It's not only that they don't understand what motivates radical Islamists, they don't understand orthodox Christianity or Judaism either.

CUFI Washington Summit
Join me in our nation's capital on July 8th and 9th for the Christians United for Israel Washington Summit. This year's Summit features an outstanding lineup of speakers, including:
IDF Major Elliot Chodoff
U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman
Pastor John Hagee
Holocaust Survivor Irving Roth
And many others.
Register now to lock in the lowest rates!

I look forward to seeing you there!

More Good News
Today's report could easily be twice as long. There is so much good news.
  • As we noted yesterday, the ISIS caliphate has been crushed.
  • The president issued an executive order on free speech to break the left's lock on our universities. He also alluded to more higher education initiatives, including one to deal with the tuition crisis.
  • There is a front page story in today's Washington Post about the border crisis and how Democrats risk being blamed for it. They should be.
  • Religious liberty won <a big victory in the courts recently. Radical secularists tried to force a $1 billion tax hike on pastors and churches. They lost in a unanimous decision by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
  • And there is breaking news at Fox regarding the extent of the deep state plot against Donald Trump.
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Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  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, Divided We Fall, Progressive Anti-Semitism, A New Purim Miracle To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Hickenlooper Wrong On Universal Background Check Impact

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper
by Tom Knighton: Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is one of the Democrats hoping to be president. While he lacks the name recognition of a Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren, he does have a name that sounds like the town drunk in an old western movie.

Regardless, he also has his anti-gun credentials handy. Strong ones, in fact, and that seems to be a requirement to be considered a viable candidate for the Democrats in 2020.

However, while touting his anti-gun street cred, he may have overstated the impact of his state’s universal background checks just a tad.

Hickenlooper has repeatedly touted his signature on a universal background check measure. He has said the law was important because background checks in Colorado have prevented people from purchasing guns and that the system in place beforehand didn’t require checks on half of all gun sales.

“In a state like Colorado with 5.5 million people, there were 38 people in 2012 who—and we only got to half the gun purchases—but there were 38 people convicted of homicides who tried to buy a gun and we stopped them,” Hickenlooper told The Electables podcast last month.

In 2013, then-governor Hickenlooper signed two new gun-control measures passed by the state general assembly in response to the Aurora Theater shooting, with one of those measures requiring so-called universal background checks.

… To assess the impact of HB 1229 on gun checks in Colorado, the Washington Free Beacon looked at data from the Colorado Bureau of Investigations (CBI), originally obtained by the gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety. Those data, which are monthly between July 2012 and December 2014, provide raw totals of background checks against sales by licensed gun dealers, by private individuals at gun shows, and by private individuals elsewhere.

Before the passage of the universal background check measure in 2013, Colorado had already required background checks on private sales at gun shows—CBI had been tracking those sales. HB 1229 expanded that requirement to nearly all other forms of private sales. At that point, CBI began tracking those sales as well.

Contra Hickenlooper’s claim that the lack of universal checks was leading to half of sales being uncovered, data show the overwhelming majority of sales pre- and post-HB 1229 were clearly attributable to purchasers at already-covered, licensed gun dealers.

… There is little evidence from these data sets to suggest that HB 1229 had much of an impact at all, never mind doubling the number of gun sales that were background checked as Hickenlooper claimed. Further, Colorado’s experience suggests private sales are not as prevalent as some gun-control advocates suggest, or a universal background check system doesn’t capture as many private sales as advocates suggest, or likely a combination of the two.
In other words, he’s bragging about a law that pretty much did nothing.

Well, it did nothing except make it a bit more difficult for people looking to sell excess firearms.

I’ve noted before that most gun owners buy from licensed dealers. Why? Because the guns we want may not be available through a private seller. When I wanted my Glock 19, I didn’t want to wait for some guy who had a Glock 19 for sale. I went to a store and bought the damn thing — the same when I bought my last AR-15.

Frankly, most gun owners are the same way. They may buy a gun that’s being sold by a private seller, but that’s more of it being too good an opportunity for them to pass up or something similar. It’s not all that common, though.

Hickenlooper is trying desperately to grab hold of relevance in a crowded Democratic field, so it’s not surprising that he holds up a piece of legislation popular with the anti-gunners and overstates its effectiveness.

I won’t get mad that he’s lying, though. It’s what politicians do. It would be like getting mad at a shark for eating.
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Tom Knighton is a Navy veteran, a former newspaperman, a novelist, and a blogger at Bearing Arms. He lives with his family in Southwest Georgia.

Tags: Colorado Governor, John Hickenlooper, Wrong On, Universal Background Check, Impact, Tom Knighton, Bearing Arms To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Rep. Ayanna Pressley Says Voting Age Should Be 16

. . . A close look at the views and agendas of a “rising star” in the Democratic Party.
Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)
FPM Discover the Networks: Earlier this month, Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, a freshman in the House of Representatives, proposed the so-called “For The People Act,” an amendment advocating that the legal minimum voting age be reduced from 18 to 16.

“Across this nation,” said Pressley in a statement explaining her rationale, “young people are leading the way – from gun violence, to climate change, to the future of work – they are organizing, mobilizing, and calling us to action.... I believe that those who will inherit the nation we design here in Congress by virtue of our policies and authority should have a say in who represents them.”

Because the 45-year-old Pressley is widely regarded as a rising star of the Democratic Party, it is vital that voters should know exactly who she is and what she stands for. Hailing originally from Chicago, Pressley is an NAACP member who worked for both Democrat Congressman Joseph P. Kennedy II and Senator John Kerry in the 1990s. From 2009-18, she served as an at-large representative on the Boston City Council. In recognition of her belief that there should be no room in the Democratic Party for anyone who opposes abortion rights in any way, EMIILY’s List presented Pressley with its Rising Star Award in 2015.

In 2018 Pressley ran for Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Endorsed by the Boston chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America and by Justice Democrats, the organization that also helped elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Congress. Pressley's campaign promoted a so-called “Equity Agenda” that characterized income disparities between blacks and whites as “the legacy of decades of policies that have hardened systemic racism, increased income inequality, and advantaged the affluent.”

In an effort to openly address the issue of supposedly ubiquitous white racism, Pressley spoke in support of the National Football League players who had chosen to kneel during the playing of the pre-game national anthem as a gesture of protest against police brutality and racial injustice allegedly aimed at African Americans. “It is necessary that we are disruptive right now and making people feel uncomfortable,” said Pressley.

Also, during her congressional campaign, Pressley:
  • characterized the disproportionate number of incarcerated blacks in the U.S. as a manifestation of “modern day slavery”;
  • advocated a plan that would allow all students to attend public colleges and universities free of charge, with taxpayers picking up the full tuition tab;
  • pushed for the passage of paid family leave legislation for employees needing to take extended time off from work in order to help an ailing family member;
  • called for Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15 per hour;
  • derided the 2017 Republican tax-cut bill as a measure that unfairly gave tax breaks to the highest earners and corporations;
  • condemned President Donald Trump’s proposed barrier along America’s southern border as “Trump’s hate wall”;
    advocated defunding of the Immigration & Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), on grounds that it represented an “existential threat” to “immigrant communities”; and
  • spoke out in favor of both the DREAM Act and former President Barack Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program.
In the September 2018 Democratic primary, Pressley defeated ten-term incumbent Michael Capuano by a margin of 58.6% to 41.4%. Two months later, she ran unopposed in the general election. After taking her oath of office this past January, Pressley joined the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the most stridently socialist wing of the Democratic Party.

Rep. Pressley was quick to announce her support for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez‘s “Green New Deal,” environmental legislation designed to rapidly eliminate all fossil-fuel use from the U.S. economy, create a basic income program and a federal “living-wage” jobs guarantee, implement a government-run health care system, and replace free-market capitalism with a socialist economic framework.

At a February 2019 press conference organized by groups like MoveOn.org, Indivisible, United We Dream, and CASA, Pressley joined Representatives Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib in demanding cuts to federal funding for the Department of Homeland Security. “We are here to draw a line in the sand, in the name of love and in the name of justice,” said Pressley. “It is clear that we must reduce and not increase funds for the DHS.”

In an interview with Boston Public Radio that same month, Pressley argued that President Trump should be impeached immediately because “the occupant of the White House … has lost all moral authority and the high ground, and certainly it appears there could be evidence of obstruction of justice and other things.”

As matters of principle, Pressley believes that:
  • Obamacare is an excellent law that should serve as a stepping stone toward the eventual implementation of a government-run healthcare system, which Pressley describes as “Medicare For All”;
  • public and private employers alike should be legally required to implement affirmative-action hiring and promotion policies that give preference to nonwhites and women, as compensation for historical injustices;
    U.S. defense spending should be scaled back dramatically;
  • wealthy people should be required to pay much higher tax rates than those who earn less;
  • capital punishment constitutes cruel and unusual punishment and is never justified, under any circumstances;
  • federal spending on infrastructure projects and job programs is crucial to the success of any economic recovery plan; and
  • the nationalization of failing banks and companies is more appropriate than government bailouts on their behalf.
It is eminently clear why Ayanna Pressley is a “rising star” in the Democratic Party. She is the quintessential big-government, high-taxation, soft-on-crime, soft-on-national-defense, pro-open-borders, pro-identity-politics grievance monger. She couldn't possibly be any more qualified.
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Rep. Ayanna Pressley was highligted by Front PageMag Discover the Networks is a series of articles linking politician and organizations to left wing agendas.

Tags: Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Democrat, Voting Age Should Be 16, Progressive agenda, FrontPage MAg, Discover the Networks To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Liberalism Is Dehumanizing

David Limbaugh
by David Limbaugh: Liberal ideology is rife with inconsistencies, but none is greater than how its supposedly animating motivation — human compassion — is contradicted by its devaluation of human life.

Liberals have long claimed superior compassion and demonized conservatives as being uncaring. This has always been untrue while superficially appearing to be true, and liberals have evangelized countless young minds with this seductive canard.

It’s difficult to convince embryonic liberal activists that individual liberals may be compassionate but their governing ideology and the inevitable consequences of their policies are not. It’s also difficult to make them see that conservatives are compassionate and tolerant when we stand for unchanging moral standards and openly disagree with policies that liberals successfully peddle as compassionate.

But beyond the superficial rhetoric, liberalism does not stand the test of compassion, because it subordinates individuality to identity groups and the collective and degrades human dignity. One of the great ironies of secular humanism is its purported championship of mankind as the measure of all things while undermining what makes us human. How can a philosophy that devalues human individuality ultimately be compassionate toward human beings?

The most obvious example is liberals’ extreme advocacy of abortion, making it a holy sacrament that is not about individual choice but a paranoid conviction that pro-lifers threaten women’s rights, health care and autonomy.

Another example is socialism, which the leftist-dominated Democratic Party is virtually embracing today. Throughout history, socialists have duped millions of well-meaning people into believing that free market capitalism is evil and socialism is noble. I don’t even subscribe to the glib pitch that it is wonderful in theory but doesn’t work in practice. It’s also unappealing in theory because it is fundamentally at odds with human nature and the human spirit. It arrogantly assumes it can remake human beings as irresponsive to incentives and devoid of their competitive spirit and their natural yearning for liberty.

In practice, socialism has consistently impoverished and enslaved. With its top-down control of the economy, it obliterates individual economic liberty and thus robs individuals of an essential part of their humanity. Government-forced transfer payments — taking other people’s money to satisfy one’s sense of moral self-worth — is a far cry from charity and compassion. I know of no conservatives who oppose a social safety net for the truly needy, provided it incentivizes the able-bodied to return to the workforce.

When it comes to health care, of course conservatives want to maximize people’s access to the highest-quality care at the lowest prices and most choices, but they dispute that forcing everyone to be insured helps achieve any of those goals efficiently. What is true of socialized medicine is true of socialism generally: It doesn’t work anywhere in the long run — including in Sweden, truth be told. How compassionate are socialism and less extreme big-government liberalism when they destroy economic growth and prosperity and, left to their own devices, often lead to totalitarianism? Socialism, just like much of economic and political liberalism, is more about people seeking power and control over individual lives.

The latest rage is intersectionality, which establishes new hierarchies of victimhood and privilege based on the overlapping and interrelated categories of disadvantages that groups of people have experienced. We must no longer look at discrimination through the “single-axis framework” of race, gender, class, disability, etc., but understand how the various identities intersect. Some people have multiple “burdens” or “disadvantages,” such that black women, for example, suffer more discrimination than black men and white women. Unless we refine our thinking to account for these combinations of disabilities, the most disadvantaged will be ignored. Isn’t this exhausting? Who really thinks like this if not forced to?

This is why feminists have recently been shamed for promoting their singular cause while presumably ignoring the plight of transgender people, gay people, the disabled and black women in particular. It is why intersectionality zealots are questioning whether Sen. Kamala Harris is “black enough” to be president, as her father is Jamaican and her mother is Indian. She may not be black enough because she is not African-American — a bona fide descendant of American slaves. It is why race- and gender-obsessed people are upset that the three Democratic presidential front-runners are white men.
It doesn’t seem to occur to these self-described supporters of democracy that three white guys happen to be ahead because people are voicing their opinions. It also doesn’t seem to bother the Democrats expressing their preference for white men that though they won’t dare challenge the orthodoxy of intersectionality, they are violating its premises with their voting inclinations.

Among other things, intersectionality is dehumanizing because people are demonized or protected depending on their group, not on what they have done or what they have personally experienced. How can people not see that this kind of thinking violates our basic sense of justice and accountability? Intersectionality, perhaps even more than the rudimentary forms of identity politics that preceded it, is also damaging to people because it forces them to focus on themselves as victims of disadvantaged groups rather than encourage them to strive, as individuals, to be the best they can be.

If the results of liberals’ policies — as opposed to their good intentions, posturing and virtue signaling — count for anything and if the ideas they promote are as dehumanizing as they appear, though many individual liberals may have enormous hearts, the ideology to which they are in thrall is stunningly uncompassionate.
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David Limbaugh (@DavidLimbaugh) is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter& @davidlimbaugh and his website at davidlimbaugh.com.

Tags: David Limbaugh, Liberal ideology, Liberalism, Dehumanizing To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

40th Anniversary: End of an ERA

by Ed Martin: Tomorrow marks an important anniversary — the day the Equal Rights Amendment was laid to rest. Congress passed ERA on March 23, 1972, and sent it to the states for ratification with a standard seven-year deadline. Many politicians and states wanted to appear "progressive" and were quick to support and ratify this dangerous addition to the Constitution.

But in just three short years, the supposedly unstoppable feminist force came grinding to a halt. The radical "women's libbers" tried every trick and pulled politically correct strings at every level of government to find support for the ERA, but Phyllis Schlafly and her army of American mothers, homemakers, and families stopped ERA dead in its tracks. The Amendment never found momentum again.

Proponents have complained for years that they were out-maneuvered, out-strategized, and out-messaged by Phyllis Schlafly (all true!) but the reality is that only a short while into the seven-year timeline, the nation saw the true face of the Equal Rights Amendment. This radical movement had nothing to do with securing women's rights and everything to do with fundamentally destroying the fabric of the American family.

Even though feminists secured what Phyllis rightly called an unconstitutional three-year extension, state ratifications nearly ceased within 2 years of initial passage. Phyllis's band of Stop ERA activists celebrated "The End of an ERA" on March 23, 1979 as the timeline for ERA ratification vanished with a whimper.

Americans didn't fall for leftist lies then and we must not fall for them now! All of the arguments for womens' equal rights that feminists made are items already codified in U.S. law. Inserting the word "sex" into the Constitution, as ERA would do, would simply be a lawyer's dream. It would open the door to interpretations that would hasten the erosion of the natural family unit. ERA is nothing more than another Marxist plot against one of America's greatest strengths - the family.

As modern-day socialists seek to revive this long-expired danger, we must look to the wisdom and truth of Phyllis Schlafly. She truly defended the rights and privileges of American women, and so must we.

Phyllis Schlafly's army of volunteers celebrated the death of ERA in 1979 and again in 1982. As attempts to resurrect ERA are soundly defeated across the country, let us celebrate this 40th anniversary of the Death of ERA and remind the nation that Equal Rights Amendment is a bad deal for American women.
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Ed Martin is President of Eagle Forum, the pro-family education and policy organization founded in 1972 by CEO Phyllis Schlafly. He is co-author of the 2016 New York Times bestselling book The Conservative Case for Trump. Martin was a former chairman of the Missouri Republican Party and a member of the Republican National Committee. Martin served as Chief of Staff for Governor Matt Blunt and was the Republican nominee for Missouri's 3rd congressional district in 2010 and also ran for Missouri Attorney General.

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Old Rules of Thumb Yield to Even Older Ones

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Success in politics -- and in political predictions -- depends on the ability to distinguish between old rules of thumb that don't apply any more and old rules of thumb that do.

Take the old rule that an officeholder's chances of re-election depend on what James Carville in 1992 took to calling "the economy, stupid."

That used to be a real thing. The Great Depression took President Herbert Hoover down from 58 percent of the vote in 1928 to 40 percent in 1932. The return of economic growth enabled President Franklin Roosevelt to increase his 57 percent in 1932 to 61 percent in 1936, and then to win re-election twice in the shadow of world war in the 1940s.

Amid recession, President Ronald Reagan's job approval sunk to 41 percent in January 1983. Amid surging growth, it rose to 58 percent in October 1984. A month later, he won 59 percent of the popular vote and carried 49 states.

During President Donald Trump's time in office, the economy has improved sharply, with record-low unemployment and -- something not seen since Reagan's time or before -- with the biggest income gains for low earners. The public's rating of the economy has improved sharply as well.

But Trump's job approval has barely changed at all. After hitting a low of 37 percent in the RealClearPolitics average of public polls in December 2017, it has remained steady for more than a year, oscillating between 40 and 44 percent.

Analysts have attributed wobbles upward or downward to specific events. But given the inexactitude inevitable in polling, they may not represent any change at all. Trump's numbers remain slightly below the high 40s, the pre-election-year approval numbers of recent presidents who have won a second term. But their approval numbers were closely tied to perceptions of the economy. Trump's aren't.

One reason old political rules stop working is that one generation of voters has different experiences from those of the generations before. Voters who remembered the Great Depression of the 1930s and World War II in the 1940s rewarded incumbent presidents who seemed to have produced prosperity and peace with landslide re-elections.

They were willing to cross party lines to express their gratitude for policies that seemed to prevent the horrors that were all too familiar. So incumbent presidents of both parties won between 57 and 61 percent of the popular vote in 1956, 1964, 1972 and 1984. Since 1988, only a shrinking sliver of voters remembers what Americans used to call "the depression" and "the war," and no president has won more than 53 percent.

Just as Trump has not been able to raise his job rating to the improving economy, so his political enemies have not been able to lower it significantly. Each new supposedly shocking personal revelation has failed to shock; each eagerly whispered allegation of criminal collusion has failed to disenchant.

It's apparent now that Trump's support -- the 21st-century Republican core minus a couple million white college grads, plus a couple million white non-grads -- is sticking with him pretty much regardless of events or outcomes. And that the coalition that makes up the 21st-century Democrats, with the reverse adjustments, is solidly arrayed against.

This is actually in line with old political rules, rules with origins far before the 1930s and 1940s. The Republican Party, from its formation in 1854, has been built around a core of people considered to be ordinary Americans but not by themselves a majority. The Democratic Party, from its formation in 1832, has been a coalition of those regarded as out-peoples, often at odds with one another but together often a majority.

Both parties' voters today are acting characteristically. The vast body of Republicans has no truck with the plaints of never-Trumpers. The Democrats are in turmoil, panicking at the possibility of having enemies on the left, to the point that House Democrats at first couldn't pass a resolution decrying the blatant anti-Semitism of one of their own.

So we see multiple presidential candidates racing to embrace programs with 8 to 20-some percent support in the general electorate -- racial reparations, ninth-month abortions, tearing down existing border walls, abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

We see eminences, hoarse from denouncing Donald Trump for violating longstanding norms, now advocating the abolishment of the Electoral College; packing the Supreme Court; enacting the 16-year-old vote and the Green New Deal, with its abolition of gas-powered automobiles and flatulent cattle.

Old rules of thumb, it seems, can yield to even older ones.
-----------------------
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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Why Joe May Be Courting Stacey

by Patrick Buchanan: How, with a record like this, does Biden inoculate himself against attacks by rival candidates, especially candidates of color, in his run for the nomination?

Of 895 slots in the freshman class of Stuyvesant High in New York City, seven were offered this year to black students, down from 10 last year and 13 the year before.a

In the freshman class of 803 at The Bronx High School of Science, 12 students are black, down from last year’s 25.

Of 303 students admitted to Staten Island Technical High School, one is African-American.

According to The New York Times, similar patterns of admission apply at the other five most elite high schools in the city.

Whites and Asians are 30 percent of middle school students, but 83 percent of the freshman at Bronx High School of Science, 88 percent at Staten Island Technical and 90 percent at Stuyvesant.

What do these numbers tell us?

They reveal the racial composition of the cohort of scientists and technicians who will lead America in the 21st century. And they tell us which races will not be well represented in that vanguard.

They identify a fault line that runs through the Democratic Party, separating leftists who believe in equality of results for all races and ethnic groups, and those who believe in a meritocracy.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has expressed anger and frustration at the under-representation of blacks and Hispanics in the elite schools. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature have ignored his pleas to change the way students are admitted.

Currently, the same test, of English and math, is given to middle school applicants. And admission to the elite eight is offered to those who get the highest scores.

Moreover, Asians, not whites, are predominant.

Though 15 percent of all middle school students, Asians make up two-thirds of the student body at Stuyvesant, with 80 times as many slots as their African-American classmates.

The egalitarian wing of the Democratic Party sees this as inherently unjust. And what gives this issue national import are these factors:

First, the recent scandal where rich parents paid huge bribes to criminal consultants to get their kids into elite colleges, by falsifying records of athletic achievement and cheating on Scholastic Aptitude Tests, has caused a wave of populist resentment.

Second, Harvard is being sued for systemic reverse racism, as black and Hispanic students are admitted with test scores hundreds of points below those that would disqualify Asians and whites.

Third, Joe Biden has a history on compulsory integration dating back to the 1970s that Sen. Jesse Helms called “enlightened.”

Here are Biden’s quotes, unearthed by The Washington Post, that reflect his beliefs about forced busing for racial balance in public schools:

“The new integration plans being offered are really just quota systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school. That, to me, is the most racist concept you can come up with.

“What it says is, ‘In order for your child with curly black hair, brown eyes, and dark skin to be able to learn anything, he needs to sit next to my blond-haired, blue-eyed son.’ That’s racist!

“Who the hell do we think we are, that the only way a black man or woman can learn is if they rub shoulders with my white child?

“I am philosophically opposed to quota systems. They insure mediocrity.”

That was 44 years ago. While those views were the thinking of many Democrats, and perhaps of most Americans, in the mid-’70s, they will be problematic in the 2020 primaries, where African-Americans could be decisive in the contests that follow Iowa and New Hampshire.

Biden knows that just as Bernie Sanders, another white male, fell short in crucial South Carolina because of a lack of support among black voters, he, too, has a problem with that most loyal element in the Democratic coalition.

In 1991, Biden failed to rise to the defense of Anita Hill when she charged future Justice Clarence Thomas with sexual harassment. In the Senate Judiciary Committee, he was a law-and-order champion responsible for tough anti-crime legislation that is now regarded as discriminatory.

And he has a record on busing for racial balance that made him a de facto ally of Louise Day Hicks of the Boston busing case fame.

How, with a record like this, does Biden inoculate himself against attacks by rival candidates, especially candidates of color, in his run for the nomination?

One way would be to signal to his party that he has grown, he has changed, and his 2020 running mate will be a person of color. Perhaps he’ll run with a woman of color such as Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost the 2018 governor’s race in Georgia.

An ancillary benefit would be that Abrams on the ticket would help him carry Georgia, a state Donald Trump probably cannot lose and win re-election.

Wrote Axios this morning:

“Close advisers to former Vice President Joe Biden are debating the idea of packaging his presidential campaign announcement with a pledge to choose Stacey Abrams as his vice president.”
--------------------
Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) 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 adviser 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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Ground Game . . .

. . . Among all the crazy things Robert (Beto) O’rourke has done, now add eating dirt to the list.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Bitcoin to the Rescue

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: I own no Bitcoin; it’s not my thing. The blockchain concept Bitcoin is based upon seems clever, sure, but I often curse at my “devices,” so only my politics prevents me from full-blown Luddism.

Besides, when I think “the people’s money” I don’t think “private fiat currency.” Which is what Bitcoin sure looks like to me.

But to quote from these very pages, “When times get tough, the tough . . . switch currencies.”

And times cannot get much tougher than in Venezuela right now. No wonder “many are turning to digital assets such as Bitcoin as an alternative to the Venezuelan bolivar,”writes Matthew Di Salvo for the BBC.

“Critics say Bitcoin and other cryptos — there are more than 1,600 globally — are unstable, use too much energy, and are used by money launderers or those wanting to buy illicit goods on the web,” Di Salvo explains.

These points need addressing. I’ll try:
  1. A wannabe money will be as unstable as investor demand. When actually used as money, though, we may expect more stability. And Bitcoin is deflationary, so it should be more stable than government money.
  2. As if our banks and ATMs don’t use energy!
  3. Used by bad people? Well, you can say that about cash. But if we get rid of cash — as many experts want to — you can kiss any hope for freedom goodbye.
Venezuelans, by turning to keeping “their money in a digital wallet in the form of Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dash or any of the others,” are grabbing at something much better than what their malign inflation-happy government provides.

It is a pity that the “free-market” alternative is called “crypto” — meaning secret.

Freedom is the world’s best-kept secret?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
----------------
Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ ) 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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Time Running Out To Prevent The Green New Deal

by Robert Romano:One of the centerpieces of the Trump administration’s deregulation agenda is the rescission of the Clean Power Plan that was put into place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2015 under former President Barack Obama. Comprising in part the new and existing power plant rules by the EPA, the Obama plan was to reduce carbon emissions by retrofitting existing coal power plants and making the costs of building new ones so onerous that nobody would dream of it.

By and large, the Obama policy was a “success,” if by success we mean that existing coal plants were taken off-line and replaced with natural gas, and the new plants being built run on natural gas.

In 2007, coal-generated electricity made up 49 percent of the total U.S. grid, while natural gas was just 21 percent, according to the Energy Information Administration.

In 2018, after Obama, now natural gas makes up 35 percent of the grid, and coal is down to 27 percent.

What made this overreach possibility — a de facto ban on new coal power plants and a major incentive to convert existing ones to natural gas — was the 2009 carbon endangerment finding by the EPA, defining carbon dioxide as a harmful pollutant under the terms of the Clean Air Act.

To address this war on coal, the EPA has now come back with a plan to modify the standards under the new power plant rule, while still imposing emissions reductions, doing so in a manner that is actually technically feasible and achievable. Instead of limiting new larger power plants to 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, which the agency said was too onerous to be met, it will make it 1,900 pounds.

As for existing plants, the EPA proposes for states to decide for themselves how to reduce carbon emissions. If states fail to produce a plan, then the EPA will give them one.

Both of these proposals would certainly be a step in the right direction and afford more latitude to meet emission reduction targets but they still accept the central premise that carbon dioxide is a harmful pollutant and must be addressed under the Clean Air Act. They leave the carbon endangerment finding in place, creating an opening for future administrations to come back and just do the same thing again — or worse, implement something like the Green New Deal, which ambitiously contemplates getting to net zero carbon emissions within 10 years.

This minimal progress being made is not unexpected. It is a lot harder to rescind regulations and have courts sustain that rescission than it is to water them down a bit via a modification. In 1983, the Supreme Court unanimously decided in Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association v. State Farm Mutual that in rescinding a regulation, the agency must provide a reasoned analysis, “for the change beyond that which may be required when an agency does not act in the first instance.”

This leaves every rescission subject to judicial review, where you have to prove not only that rescinding the regulation in question is rational based on the statutory scheme, but prove that enacting it was irrational to begin with. The problem in this case is that the Supreme Court already decided in Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007 that carbon dioxide could be regulated under the terms of the Clean Air Act even though the law never contemplated doing so.

In other words, it was “reasonable” based on the 2007 Supreme Court ruling to implement the carbon endangerment finding and so too were the Obama rules that sought to reduce carbon emissions within the statutory scheme. If the Trump administration simply rescinded the regulations, it would likely face an uphill battle in court, since ultimately the question would boil down to persuading the Supreme Court to second-guess itself in the 2007 ruling or not.

If the courts were to block an attempt to rescind the regulations, it could be argued the Trump administration had squandered an opportunity to clarify them instead into something that would at least allow for new coal plants to be built and save a dying industry.

On the other hand, it is a good question whether it would be worth the risk of losing to rescind the regulations in this case. Justice Anthony Kennedy was the swing vote in the majority opinion in the 2007 case, a 5 to 4 decision, and is no longer on the Supreme Court. This might be the best, last opportunity to revisit the carbon endangerment finding.

Other avenues of potential remedy appear to be cut off at the moment. Congress could have addressed this issue in 2017 and 2018 when Republicans controlled majorities in both chambers of Congress, and clarified the terms of the Clean Air Act either by reforming the statute or by defunding implementation of the Obama era regulations but that was not even attempted — it would have likely stalled in the Senate failing to get to 60 votes and the GOP Senate had already foreclosed the possibility of eliminating the filibuster — and so President Trump is left with what he can do under limited discretion the agencies have to modify the existing regulations.

Unfortunately, what that means is that to prevent something like the Green New Deal from being implemented via regulation, Republicans will have to win every election from now on. In the least, the GOP would need to win back the House in 2020 and hold the Senate and White House. To prevent the Green New Deal, the Clean Air Act needs to be reformed to rule out carbon emissions regulations or else the Supreme Court needs to go back on its 2007 decision.

What it really comes down to is even with these new regulations, will investors want to risk building a new coal power plant, knowing that it’s just one election away from being shut down again? The coal industry may need more permanent protections via law. The regulations keep changing.

Also, the President’s Commission on Climate Security is an important step to addressing whether such onerous regulations are even necessary, as it will take a second-look at the science behind man-made climate change. But it is Congress that really needs to act.

Arguably, under the existing statutory and regulatory scheme and judicial precedent, Democrats already have everything they need to one day implement the Green New Deal via regulation, effectively banning carbon emissions by making carbon capture requirements so onerous nobody can comply with them. Do we really want to sit around and wait and see if they are successful in jamming it through the regulatory process and the courts — and consigning the U.S. to economic oblivion?
-----------------
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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If $15 Minimum Wage Is Such a Good Idea, Why Did AOC’s Bar Close Down?

by Larry Elder: The brilliant Thomas Sowell, when in college, considered himself a Marxist. Asked what changed him, Sowell said, “Evidence.”

After completing undergrad at Harvard and obtaining a master’s in economics, Sowell landed a summer internship with the Department of Labor. While there, he researched the impact of minimum wage law on employment. Sowell learned two things, both of which he found startling.

First, minimum wage laws create job loss by pricing the unskilled out of the labor force. Second, Sowell discovered that “the people in the labor department really were not interested in that, because the administration of the minimum wage was supplying one-third of the money that was keeping the labor department going. … I realized that institutions have their own agendas and their own incentives.”

In short, Sowell found that the Department of Labor did not care about the real-world effects of the minimum wage law. He credits this experience, this search for evidence, with having the “biggest” impact on his thinking.

The left refers to the skeptics of “climate change” alarmism as “anti-science.” But when it comes to left-wing passions like the $15 minimum wage, a “universal basic income” and the “wealth tax,” it is the left that ignores evidence.

Among those calling for a $15 minimum wage is self-described Democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Before her election to Congress, Ocasio-Cortez worked at as a bartender at a popular New York bar in Union Square called The Coffee Shop. How popular? Investor’s Business Daily said the bar was “frequented by A-list celebrities and featured on ‘Sex and the City.'” Despite its popularity, The Coffee Shop went out of business last year. Its co-owner, Charles Milite, cited as the primary reason the city’s minimum wage law. “The minimum wage is going up,” said Milite, “and we have a huge number of employees.”

Economists have long studied the impact of minimum wage laws. The Employment Policies Institute is a Washington, D.C., based nonprofit organization that studies public policy issues pertaining to employment growth. It is managed by an economist formerly with the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As to the $15 minimum wage, a 2015 EPI-commissioned survey of economists found:

“Nearly three-quarters of these US-based economists oppose a federal minimum wage of $15.00 per hour.

“The majority of surveyed economists believe a $15.00 per hour minimum wage will have negative effects on youth employment levels (83 percent), adult employment levels (52 percent), and the number of jobs available (76 percent).

“When economists were asked what effect a $15.00 per hour minimum wage will have on the skill level of entry-level positions, 8 out of 10 economists (80 percent) believe employers will hire entry-level positions with greater skills.

“When economists were asked what effect a $15.00 per hour minimum wage will have on small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, nearly 7 out of 10 economists (67 percent) believe it would make it harder for them to stay in business.”

What about the “universal basic income”? Two countries, Canada and Finland, recently tried it. Both stopped.

In Canada, the experiment was tried in the province of Ontario. According to the Washington Times: “The Ontario experiment was a particularly generous version of a UBI. Eligible individuals could receive $17,000 (Canadian; about 13,000 U.S. dollars today) minus half of any earned income. A couple could receive $24,000. And people with disabilities could get as much as $23,000. For the Ontario pilot, only low-income folks participated, and their benefits replaced unemployment insurance, the state pension and disability payments.” The program, begun in 2017, was supposed to last three years. But the government of Ontario, citing costs, ended it after just 15 months. About the experiment, one researcher said, “We just don’t have any data to know whether it was working or not.”

The Finnish two-year experiment started in 2017. A random group of 2,000 unemployed 25 to 58-year-old Finns received a monthly income of about $650, no strings attached. But Finland did not renew the program. A preliminary review found no positive effect on employment as to the first year. But one prominent proponent, a professor at Finland’s University of Turku, said, “The whole truth is much more complex, we need many more studies and research to find out.”

As to the wealth tax, in 1990, 12 European countries had such a tax on those with high incomes. But only three of those countries still have it. A February NPR piece on Europe’s wealth tax said, “According to reports by the OECD and others … it was expensive to administer, it was hard on people with lots of assets but little cash, it distorted saving and investment decisions, it pushed the rich and their money out of the taxing countries — and, perhaps worst of all, it didn’t raise much revenue.”

As to the left-wing pursuit of the $15 minimum wage, a universal basic income and the wealth tax, does evidence matter?
--------------
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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Bernie Sanders Doesn’t Want You To Have 2nd Amendment Rights

by Joseph Sacco: After the New Zealand bans firearms, Bernie Sanders believes we should do the same.

Democrats and the progressive left are nothing if not persistent. Like clockwork, they have demanded that the individual right to defend oneself and family from danger that is enshrined in the Second Amendment be eroded in the name of public safety.

It used to be that there were calls from the left to institute universal background checks (which would change nothing) or close the “gun show loophole” (doesn’t exist). Now that they have seen one country strip firearms rights away from their citizens they have begun to ask, why not the United States?

As we are all probably aware, there was a horrific mass shooting late last week in a New Zealand mosque. This is a terrible tragedy.

Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that effectively immediately, New Zealand would be banning all semi-automatic firearms, including assault rifles, and high capacity magazines. Once again, no good policy comes when emotions are still running high.

This is exactly the kind of action that anti-gun activists want implemented here in the United States. Two of our favorite socialists, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, have noted the response in New Zealand and now believe that the right thing to do is to ban all semi-automatic firearms, Constitution and firearm knowledge be damned.

Due to federal law, almost every firearm sold in the United States is semi-automatic. There is no definition for an “assault rifle” because it is a term Democrats made up. What the left continues to desire is the removal of all firearms from every citizen.

AOC and Bernie may believe that New Zealand is demonstrating great leadership in this move but the Founders of this country held the belief that the citizenry should have the “right to keep and bear arms” and that this right shall not be infringed upon. The word infringed does not appear in any other Amendment in the Bill of Rights. This should clue Bernie and AOC into the importance of the 2nd Amendment. But then again, when were they concerned about the Constitution?
---------------
Joseph Sacco is nine year Navy veteran, degree in Homeland Security and contributes to The Resurgent.

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  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
  • 1/1/17 - 1/8/17
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