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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, April 12, 2019

How Much Is Heath Care Really Worth? Patients, Not Bureaucrats, Should Decide.

by Newt Gingrich: When I met with several Republican senators this week, it was clear that they recognize Americans’ desire to have practical solutions for the cost of health care. The combination of pressure from constituents and a direct challenge from President Trump is focusing their attention on immediate reforms which could be enacted – even with a Democratic House. Republicans also realize their alternative to “Medicare for All” must be built on a larger, positive vision. It is clear that fixing health care may be the biggest issue in the 2020 election.

Republicans should think of this health care challenge in two boxes.

The first is to provide immediate relief to constituents worried about coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, few choices and high premiums in the individual marketplace, and high out of pocket costs for individuals who need to use their insurance.

The second is to fix the underlying structural problems in the health care system which are at the root of the health inflation problem.

On this latter priority, it is important that we define the problem that must be fixed. In fact, our most fundamental challenge is not that we pay too much for health care – but that we have no idea how much health care is worth.

In a normal marketplace, as Edward Deming wrote, innovators create products and customers define value. An innovator may create something they think is impressive, but it is the customer who gets to decide how much they are willing to pay for it. They make this decision based on how much they value the product over other ways to spend their money. It is this interplay between innovators creating new products and customers defining their value which makes the magic of the marketplace work. It is why in most free markets with sound intellectual property protections, we get a continuing virtuous cycle of innovation which leads to higher quality and lower cost.

Health care, however, is not a normal market.

It is not normal because the consumer of the product, the patient, is not the one purchasing the health care (deductibles, co-insurance, and co-pays notwithstanding). Instead, the purchaser is the insurer, employer, or the government from whom the patient receives health coverage.

So, in health care, who is the customer – the payer or the patient? And who should determine value?

I believe, and I think most Americans would agree, that the patient’s voice should be more important than the payer’s. This is especially true because the patient is usually directly or indirectly the source of money for the payer. Since the patient is the one receiving the health care, we want the patient defining value.

That’s why I advocate eliminating third-party payments in health care as much as possible. The rise of direct primary care practices, for example, is a promising development which liberates doctors to be accountable directly to their patients by replacing third-party payers with direct payment by patients.

Still, the unpredictable nature of life requires some sort of health insurance for unexpected, large medical expenses. This means that for a significant portion of the health marketplace, the third-party payment model is unavoidable.

The question then becomes: How do we make this third-party payment system as accountable as possible to the patients, so they can define value even though a third-party is paying?

The answer is by making that interplay between the patient, payer, and provider as simple and transparent as possible. Establishing this right to know will really begin to improve the value of the system.

Unfortunately, for the past 40 years, most health reforms in Washington have taken the opposite approach. They have led to more middlemen, more opacity, and more complexity in the system. It is no surprise then that as the patient’s ability to determine value was submerged in a mountain of bureaucracy, that the health inflation problem became worse, not better.
So, as we evaluate possible reforms, we need to establish the “Patient Power Test.” It asks a simple question: Does the reform increase or decrease the patient’s power to define value?

I will be returning to this idea several times over the next few months. But for now, let’s apply this test to some of the proposed reforms to lower drug prices.

I have written before about the Trump administration’s proposal in Medicare Part D to require all discounts and rebates provided by drug manufacturers to pharmacy benefit managers be passed directly to patients at the pharmacy counter. There is now legislation in Congress to do the same in the private marketplace.

By making the result of the negotiations between manufacturers and PBMs more visible and responsive to the patient through their out-of-pocket costs, it helps break up the cycle of drug price inflation caused by manufacturers responding to PBMs’ desire to seek bigger discounts and rebates they use to pad their bottom line.

This reform increases the patient’s ability to define value, because his or her out-of-pocket expenses for the drugs are based on the actual price of the drug rather than an inflated list price. It saves patients money and passes the Patient Power Test.

Contrast this reform with two similar efforts to reduce drug spending in Medicare.

One is a proposal being floated by Speaker Pelosi to have a so-called neutral arbiter have the final say on prices in Medicare. Currently, Medicare prices are based on what insurers negotiate with drug manufacturers in the private marketplace. As we’ve discussed, the private marketplace has its issues and needs reform. But since patients often choose their insurance based on the availability of their medications, that private marketplace incorporates some of the patients’ needs into the value of a drug.

Pelosi’s arbitration idea, by contrast, is totally removed from the real-world input of the patient in a marketplace. It has the same problem as Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, which earned the incendiary moniker of a “death panel.” The board was officially repealed on a bipartisan basis in 2018. Americans do not believe that unelected bureaucrats should be the ones to determine whether a drug or medical procedure that could save or dramatically improve their lives is worth the taxpayer money it would cost.

By removing the patient entirely from the process of determining the value of a drug in Medicare Part B, arbitration fails the Patient Power Test.

Another set of somewhat similar proposals that fail this test are those put forth to base Medicare Part B prices on what other countries pay for drugs. I have been very supportive of the steps Secretary Azar and the President have been taking to reform health care, but both the HHS and similar proposals in the Senate miss the mark.

International reference pricing has all the problems of arbitration and IPAB – and then adds the fact that the unelected bureaucrats deciding the value of the therapies are in foreign countries. This model is even further disconnected from the needs of the American patients Medicare Part B is serving.

Health care is extremely complex, and there are many things to consider when trying to enact fundamental reform. However, as Republicans develop their health platform, they should be sure to not let this complexity distract them from basic principles of what works and what doesn’t. The Patient Power Test is a good place to start.
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Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) 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. This commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, How Much Is Heath Care Really Worth, Patients, Not Bureaucrats, Should Decide To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Oregon Senate Bill Turns Gun Owners Into Criminals

. . . Gun sanctuaries likely to EXPLODE around the country
by J. D. Heyes: There’s a Second Amendment revolt coming to America, and soon, if the insane Left-wing faction of the Democrat Party doesn’t stop pushing gun owners — and the Constitution — to their limits.

Oregon, surprisingly, not California, may actually be ground zero.

On Tuesday, the state Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve Senate Bill 978 which contains a cornucopia of new gun control measures that will effectively criminalize the Second Amendment and all gun owners.

As reported by Ammoland:This legislation is an omnibus gun control package that, among other things, would require firearms be kept unavailable for self-defense and would also expand gun free zones where law-abiding individuals would be left defenseless.Specifically, the measure will:

— Legalize age discrimination by allowing firearms dealers to refuse to sell even rifles to anyone under the age of 21, thereby denying legal adults the right to keep and bear arms (since federal law currently prohibits the sale of handguns to anyone under 21 — itself an unconstitutional violation);

— Implement such strict firearms storage requirements as to make guns in the home useless for self-defense;

— Hold gun owners liable for criminal acts committed with their stolen firearms;

— Penalize gun owners who have had their firearms stolen from them if they fail to follow strict reporting requirements;

— Ban home-manufacturing of firearms, which has been an American tradition since before our country’s founding (Oregonians, for example, would likely not be permitted to purchase ‘gun kits’ and assemble them at home, even though firing mechanisms still have to be run through the FBI’s background check system before the purchase goes through);

— Empower local governments to establish wide-ranging, far-reaching “gun-free zones” that criminals will ignore as they shoot up and murder unarmed, defenseless citizens while police arrive minutes too late;

— Boost licensure fees for concealed handgun permits (licenses are also blatantly unconstitutional).

The time to say enough is enough…is now

All of these measures amount to violations of the Second Amendment’s “infringement” clause.

In a separate article, Ammoland noted the urgency in defeating this piece of legislation:

Our backs are against the wall. If Oregon Democrat’s Omnibus gun control bill, SB 978 passes almost all of us are at risk of becoming felons. It is that simple.

SB 978 was created to turn as many Oregon gun owners of us as possible into criminals.

Virtually all Democrats support this bill.


The gun news site recommends one course of action: “The Senate Republicans have to take a courageous stand and WALK OUT” rather than remain in session with Democrats and provide them with a quorum necessary to proceed. (Related: Texas senator files measure to turn entire state into a “gun sanctuary,” nullifying ALL federal gun control laws.)

“If they don’t, your gun rights will be gone, end of story,” the Oregon Firearms Foundation wrote.

The legislation is designed to make it so risky to remain a gun owner that many Oregonians will simply give up their firearms rather than risk being fined or, worse, jailed.

“You will be a criminal if someone steals your gun,” the foundation notes. “You will be a criminal if you don’t lock up your guns. You will be a criminal if you DO lock up your guns. You will be a felon if you drive NEAR a ‘public building’ with a firearm. You can go to prison for 5 years for picking up a friend or family member at an airport.”

The Oregon Senate is preparing to throw down the gauntlet and effectively render the Second Amendment null and void.

Gun groups will sue, but Oregon is covered by the notoriously Left-wing Ninth Circuit, which will no doubt rule in favor of the state’s law. It will most likely be upheld on appeal (which will take months).

And there’s no guarantee the Supreme Court will take the case.

If ever there was a time for more “Second Amendment sanctuaries,” now is the time — not just in Oregon, but throughout the United States.

The Right needs to steal another page from the Left’s playbook: #Resist.

-------------------
J. D. Heyes writes for The National Sentinel.

Tags: J. D. Heyes, The National Sentinel, gun control, gun criminalization, gun sanctuaries, Oregon, Second Amendment, unconstitutional, Ammoland To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Numbers Show Each Illegal Immigrant Costs Taxpayers $70k Per Year

by Ryan Hite: New research find that each illegal immigrant cost U.S. taxpayers over $70,000 per year, says Center for Immigration Studies Director of Research Steven Camarota. These numbers don't even account for these illegal immigrants' U.S.-born children. This financial burden inordinately affects working and middle class Americans.

"The wave of low-skill and low-education immigrants (legal and illegal) coming to the United States is a massive drain on our welfare system and on the working Americans who financially support it," said Phyllis Schlafly Eagles president Ed Martin. "This system is already unsustainable and will quickly collapse at the current levels of immigration that are being allowed.

"Our elected officials must move now to stop illegal immigration. Conservative legal minds like Kris Kobach are suggesting executive changes that President Trump could take immediately to stop the flow of illegal immigrants. Great conservative senators have also worked to bring legislation forward that would address the tide of legal immigrants that drain the system. Their efforts would cut legal immigration levels and seek out better-educated and skilled immigrants (much like Australia's system) that would add to, not burden, American workers and our economy."

We need these reforms now. American working families and the middle class are meeting success with the Trump economy and tax cuts, but that success could be canceled out by an increased flow of foreign workers. Real immigration reform is needed now!

We are calling on the White House and Congress to put leaders in place who will put good policies into practice and put a stop to our broken system.
----------------
Ryan Hite @Ryan_Hite is Communications Director for Phyllis Schlafly Eagles.

Tags: Ryan Hite, Phyllis Schlafly Eagles, Each Illegal Immigrant, Costs Taxpayers, $70k Per Year, America First, Border Security, Immigration, Press Release To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

‘Something Wrong’ When House Must Debate Born-Alive Bill, Lawmaker Says

by Rachel del Guidice: A South Carolina lawmaker says it is unconscionable that legislation to force a House vote on medical care for babies who survive abortion is so controversial.

“Something’s wrong in America when we’re dealing with this and having [to] even debate this,” Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., said on the sixth installment, published Thursday, of a new podcast from the House Freedom Caucus.

Using a procedural tactic know as a discharge petition, House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., and other pro-life lawmakers are trying to force a floor vote on the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

The legislation would require medical professionals to give the same care to a baby who survives an abortion as they would to any other baby of the same age, as well as to take the baby to a hospital.

If an abortion doctor intentionally kills a baby who was born alive, he or she would face fines or up to five years in jail, according to Scalise and Wagner.

“Right now we’re hovering around 200 signatures on that thing,” Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., host of the podcast, said of the petition.

“We’re trying to use this discharge [petition] to put Democrats on record about where they stand on the issue of infanticide and letting babies die after they survive an abortion.”

A discharge petition, which isn’t usually successful, requires gathering at least 218 signatures from House members to oblige the chamber’s Democrat leadership to bring the bill to the floor for debate and a vote.

Republicans hold 197 seats, compared with Democrats’ 235 seats, meaning Republicans have to acquire at least 21 signatures from Democrats to force a floor vote.

Hice said it is “disturbing” to witness how partisan the born-alive legislation has become.

“This is an outright life issue,” the Georgia lawmaker said, adding:Even individuals who are pro-choice understand that when the baby is born alive, this is a whole different issue, and polls I’ve seen indicate something like 77% of people who are even pro-choice don’t believe it’s right to kill a baby after he’s born.

And yet … this is still a partisan issue, which is astounding to me, and it’s disturbing how few Democrats are standing against infanticide.
Norman said the rights of unborn children aren’t being taken into consideration in the discussion surrounding the born-alive bill.

“I’ve heard this said a lot … [that] it’s not about a woman’s right to choose, it’s about a child’s right to live,” he said.

Hice said it’s encouraging, however, to see the sanctity of life back in the limelight after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, signed a bill Jan. 22 legalizing abortion up to the point of birth and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, endorsed similar legislation in his state.

“And there is no question whatsoever that America is swinging towards pro-life like never before,” Hice said. “The younger generation is America as a whole. And I believe the comments from Gov. Northam and what happened in New York, as you talked about, all this is bringing an awareness to the American people.”

Listen to the full podcast here:

-----------------------------
Rachel del Guidice (@LRacheldG)is a reporter for The Daily Signal. She is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, Forge Leadership Network, and The Heritage Foundation’s Young Leaders Program.

Tags: ‘Something Wrong,’ When House Must Debate, Born-Alive Bill, Lawmaker Says, Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Heartbeat Bill is Given Life in Ohio

by Tony Perkins: Yesterday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine made Ohio the 6th state to adopt what is known as the Heartbeat Bill, a measure that prohibits abortion after the detection of a baby's heartbeat. DeWine's signature on the bill comes after the previous Republican governor, John Kasich vetoed similar measures twice, the latest being shortly before Christmas last year.

When Gov. Kasich last vetoed the bill, he dismissively told pro-lifers that "every army needs a rest." So far, the newly elected Governor DeWine hasn't taken Kasich's advice. Yesterday as he signed the bill into law, he was joined by our friends at Citizens for Community Values, Aaron Baer, and FRC's National Director of Ministry Engagement, Pastor JC Church, all of whom participated in the incredible effort that has taken nine years to accomplish.

Not surprisingly, the radical Left can't handle it. Video footage shows protesters holding Planned Parenthood signs outside the Ohio House Chamber as the final vote was happening. The ACLU of Ohio promised to file a lawsuit against this pro-life bill even before Governor DeWine signed it.

The reaction to New York governor Andrew Cuomo's extreme abortion legislation and Virginia governor Ralph Northam's pro-infanticide comments has been swift and decisive. In the 2019 state legislative season, which is still not over, 250 pro-life bills in 41 states have been introduced. As of today, nine states have enacted a pain-capable unborn child protection act, and 11 states have enacted a dismemberment abortion ban. In the 2019 legislative session, 11 states have introduced the former, and eight the latter -- one of which was just signed into law in North Dakota. As I shared last night at an event in Southern California, the nation is on the verge of becoming a predominately pro-life nation, and the political pro-life momentum reflects that reality.

Ohio State Representative Candice Keller, a sponsor of Ohio's newest pro-life law, joined me on Washington Watch yesterday and said that "As Ohio goes, so goes the nation." Long considered the swingiest of swing states, Ohio has voted for the winning presidential candidate in all but four elections since the Civil War. For Ohio to prohibit abortion after six weeks is really a canary in the coal mine for abortion in America.

Rep. Keller, who also runs a pro-life pregnancy clinic, continued, "Enough is enough! It's time to tell the truth." Abortion advocates have largely given up on disputing what an ultrasound so clearly shows: an unborn baby is very much a living human being. Think about it; if the absence of a heartbeat determines the end of life, shouldn't the beginning of a heartbeat determine the start of life? But increasingly, the Left is openly rejecting science whether it is in regard to the presence of life or the reality of gender.

It is time for our country to acknowledge what science and our consciences so clearly tell us and defend the dignity of human life.
---------------------------
Tony Perkins (@tperkins) 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, Heartbeat Bill, Given Life, Ohio To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Barr Should Focus on 2 Questions When Investigating Spying on Trump Campaign

Attorney General William Barr 
by Hans von Spakovsky: Democrats sharply attacked Attorney General William Barr for telling the truth when he acknowledged in Senate testimony Wednesday that federal law enforcement officers had spied on the Trump presidential campaign.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York were the highest ranking congressional Democrats saying they were outraged. Why? Because Barr simply acknowledged reality.

Schumer tweeted that Barr was “peddling conspiracy theories.” Pelosi said “I don’t trust Barr.” And Hoyer told Fox News that Barr is “acting as an employee of the president … to protect the president.

“I think spying did occur,” Barr told a Senate Appropriations Committee subcommittee. “The question is whether it was adequately predicated.”

Whether you’re a Democrat or Republican—whether you support President Donald Trump or can’t stand him—you need to accept the reality that what Barr said is true. As Barr pointed out, the spying took place by both federal informants and secret electronic surveillance authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court.

The question of whether the spying was proper or improper is now what’s up for debate—not whether the spying occurred. And the only way to determine if the spying was proper is to examine how and why the investigation of the Trump campaign began—something Barr told senators he is doing.

Simply ignoring the issue of whether the spying against the Trump campaign was justified would be irresponsible and a dereliction of duty by the attorney general.

Barr has a responsibility to look into the spying, focusing on finding answers to two questions:

First, did the FBI and the Justice Department have evidence to justify opening an investigation and counterintelligence operation looking at the Trump presidential campaign?

And second, did those who authorized the spying meet the requirements of the FISA law to justify electronic surveillance?

“Spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr told senators. It sure is. Everyone, regardless of their politics, should be “concerned about intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane,” Barr said.

Dictatorships spy on political opponents, throwing them in jail or sometimes even executing them. In democracies, governments are not supposed to use their law enforcement powers and massive resources against political opponents. It is vital that we adhere to this distinction and not let Uncle Sam turn into Big Brother.

We have never before had a situation in which law enforcement officials of executive branch agencies spied on a presidential campaign. It’s something that never should happen without substantial evidence of possible wrongdoing.

You’ll recall that the purpose of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was to ascertain whether members of the Trump campaign or others associated with it conspired with the Russian government in efforts to interfere with the 2016 election and elect Trump.

The Mueller investigation found no evidence of any such collusion, raising serious questions about what led to the campaign surveillance in the first place. This is why Barr told senators that he is “reviewing the conduct of the investigation” to fully understand “all of the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted in the summer of 2016.”

Keep in mind that all of this started when the Justice Department and the FBI sought permission from the FISA Court to surveil Carter Page, who acted as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign for several months. Page was never charged with, or indicted for, any violation of federal law by Mueller or the Justice Department.

The FISA Court reviews all applications made by the FBI, Justice Department, and other federal intelligence agencies seeking classified warrants that allow them to engage in electronic surveillance. The court’s proceedings are secret.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires federal law enforcement agencies to provide “a statement of facts and circumstances relied upon” to justify the government’s assertion that the surveillance target is “an agent of a foreign power.”

The act also requires the government to show that the “facilities or places” targeted by the electronic surveillance are being used by the “foreign power or an agent of a foreign power.” Most importantly, the application to authorize surveillance must be submitted “by a Federal officer in writing upon oath or affirmation.”

In other words, the government officials who applied for a surveillance warrant on Page had to swear that the “facts and circumstances” in the application were true.

Yet we now know from various reports, including one released by the House Intelligence Committee in 2018, that the FBI and Justice Department relied almost exclusively on the Steele dossier, a piece of fraudulent opposition research paid for by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

It appears that neither the FBI nor the Justice Department bothered to check the claims in the Steele dossier. Former FBI Director James Comey admitted the claims were “salacious and unverified.”

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified before Congress that no surveillance warrant involving the Trump campaign would have been sought without the dossier information.

And former FBI attorney Lisa Page admitted to Congress that the investigation was opened with a “paucity” of evidence.

There are plenty of additional details here for Barr to investigate. Were the FBI and Justice Department officials who signed the FISA applications less than forthcoming in that application? Did they mislead the FISA judges by failing to reveal that government officials were relying on unverified political opposition research?

If government law enforcement officials abused their power or misled a court, serious consequences must follow—not only to punish wrongdoing, but also to deter future misconduct by government officials.

Barr reminded senators of his “obligation to make sure government power is not abused.”

“I think that’s one of the principal roles of the attorney general,” Barr said. On this, he is absolutely right.
------------------------------
Hans von Spakovsky (@HvonSpakovsky) is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. More ARRA News Service articles by or about Hans von Spakovsky

Tags: Hans von Spakovsky, Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal, Attorney General William Barr, Should Focus on 2 Questions, When Investigating Spying, on Trump Campaign To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Criminal Referrals, Rosenstein Defends Barr, Targeting Kavanaugh, CUFI Washington Summit

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Criminal Referrals
The deep state is in deep trouble. Attorney General William Barr said he believes there was spying on the Trump campaign and he wants to know how and why it happened. Now he's getting some help from Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee.

As you may recall, the House Intelligence Committee, under then-Chairman Nunes, conducted its own investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. And like Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the Senate Intelligence Committee, the House Intelligence Committee also found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

In the course of its work, House investigators took testimony from many witnesses and government officials. In a letter to Attorney General William Barr yesterday, Rep. Nunes said that he is referring eight individuals to the Justice Department for criminal investigations.

Nunes's letter does not identify who is being referred. But the congressman told Fox News that the alleged crimes included conspiracy, leaks, perjury and obstruction.

Rosenstein Defends Barr
One of the great frustrations for many conservatives over the last two years is that we still don't know who the good guys and bad guys are in the bureaucracy. Take Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, for example.

After former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, Rosenstein assumed responsibility for the Russia collusion investigation. It was Rod Rosenstein who wrote the memo justifying the firing of FBI Director James Comey. But it was also Rod Rosenstein who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller after Trump fired Comey.

Rosenstein was reportedly part of the cabal that considered removing Trump under the 25th Amendment. He even suggested he might "wear a wire" to secretly record the president. And when reports emerged that Trump wanted to fire Rosenstein, the left rose up to defend him.

Well, today Rod Rosenstein is defending Attorney General William Barr from the left's latest conspiracy theory that the Justice Department is engaged in a cover-up of the Mueller report. Rosenstein told the Wall Street Journal:

"[Barr's] being as forthcoming as he can, and so this notion that he's trying to mislead people, I think is just completely bizarre. It would be one thing if you put out a letter and said, 'I'm not going to give you the report.'

"What he said is, 'Look, it's going to take a while to process the report. In the meantime, people really want to know what's in it. I'm going to give you the top-line conclusions.' That's all he was trying to do."


Comey's Confusion
Speaking at a cybersecurity convention yesterday, fired FBI Director James Comey objected to Attorney General William Barr's use of the term "spying" to describe what Comey did to Donald Trump's campaign. He said:

"With respect to Barr's comments, I really don't know what he's talking about when he talks about spying on the campaign. It's very concerning because the FBI, the Department of Justice conduct court-ordered electronic surveillance. I have never thought of that as spying."

To help Mr. Comey with his confusion, I've decided to add him to my Christmas list this year. I'm going to send Comey a dictionary. Synonyms for "spying" include: "bugging," "wiretapping" and "surveillance." And that's exactly what happened.

Targeting Kavanaugh
The radical left is going after Brett Kavanaugh again. They know given future events -- the 2020 elections, the health of current Supreme Court justices -- that the left may well be on the verge of losing control of the Supreme Court and they are not going quietly.

Twenty-six radical groups are demanding that House Democrats on the Judiciary and Oversight Committees investigate Kavanaugh, hoping to find something, anything that would justify impeaching him.

Their letter hilariously claims that "Senate Republicans jettisoned all procedural norms and abandoned any sense of fairness" during last year's confirmation hearings. As usual, the left has it exactly backwards!

This latest attack on Kavanaugh is typical of the left, which refuses to accept the results of the election and Trump's right to appoint judges.

And don't think the left will stop at Kavanaugh. They will continue to intimidate Chief Justice John Roberts, who is very sensitive to the court's reputation, by calling it a "right-wing" and "extremist" institution.

Progressives have all kinds of ideas about how they can nullify the election and Kavanaugh's appointment. They want to pack the court with liberal justices, and they suddenly support term limits too.

We will see what the House does. Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler has previously suggested he's open to impeaching Justice Kavanaugh. Sadly, it seems the left is much more likely to condemn one of the three branches of government than it is to condemn an anti-Semite like Ilhan Omar, who hates Israel.

If the left does go down this dangerous path, it should be a wakeup call to Senate Republicans. We are in a war over the kind of country we and our children will live in. If they don't get that, they should retire and allow their constituents to elect real conservatives who will fight for their values!

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
Ambassador Dore Gold
Pastor John Hagee
Dennis Prager
Holocaust Survivor Irving Roth
And many others.
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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, Criminal Referrals, Rosenstein Defends Barr, Targeting Kavanaugh To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Where Trump’s and Bibi’s Interests Clash

Bibi Netanyahu
by Patrick Buchanan: While a U.S. war with Iran may be what Bibi wants, it is not what America wants or needs.

On Monday, President Donald Trump designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, the first time the United States has designated part of another nation’s government as such a threat.

Iran’s Supreme National Security Council responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist group.

With 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq and 2,000 in Syria, often in proximity to Iranian units, this inches America closer to war.

Why did we do it? What benefit did the U.S. derive?

How do we now negotiate with the IRGC on missile tests?

Israel’s Bibi Netanyahu took credit for Trump’s decision, tweeting, “Once again you are keeping the world safe from Iran aggression and terrorism. … Thank you for accepting another important request of mine.”

Previous “requests” to which Trump acceded include moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, declaring Jerusalem Israel’s eternal capital, closing the Palestinian consulate and cutting off aid, and U.S. recognition of the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967, as sovereign Israeli territory.

What Bibi wants, Bibi gets.

One hopes his future requests will not include a demand that we cease dithering and deliver the same “shock and awe” to Iran that George W. Bush delivered to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

With Bibi’s election win Tuesday, his fifth, the secret Mideast peace plan Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been laboring on these last two years is likely to be unveiled.

Yet it is hard to see how Jared’s baby is not stillborn.

Bibi is not going to accept a Palestinian right of return to Israel, or a sharing of the Holy City with a Palestinian state ruled by a successor of Yasser Arafat. And as Bibi fought Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal of the 8,000 Jewish settlers from Gaza, he is not going to order the removal of tens of thousands of Jewish settlers from homes on the West Bank.

Indeed, on the eve of his reelection Tuesday, Bibi promised Israelis he would begin the annexation of Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

As for Trump, he is the most popular man in Israel. And he is not going to force Bibi to do what Bibi does not want to do and thereby imperil his major political gains in the U.S. Jewish community.

Given the indulgence of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party for BDS, the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement, and the divisions among Democrats over Netanyahu’s expansionism, the president’s pro-Israel stance has proven a political winner for the GOP.

But while a U.S. war with Iran may be what Bibi wants, it is not what America wants or needs.

Consider what 20 years of U.S. wars in the Mideast have cost this country, as China has stayed out of the region and pushed its power and influence into Asia, Africa and Europe.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban have regained control of more territory than they have held since 2001, and they are negotiating with the Americans for a withdrawal of our remaining 14,000 troops.

Cost of the Afghan war: 2,400 U.S. dead, 32,000 wounded, $1 trillion sunk, and the U.S. on the precipice of a potential strategic defeat.

So dreadful has become the five-year Yemeni civil war between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the Saudi-backed regime they ousted that the U.S. House and Senate have invoked the War Powers Act and directed Trump to terminate U.S. assistance for the Saudi intervention.

In Libya, where a U.S.-led NATO intervention overthrew Colonel Gadhafi in 2011, a renegade general now controls two-thirds of the country and is mounting an assault on Tripoli. U.S. soldiers and diplomats fled the capital last week.

In Syria, President Bashar Assad, with the support of Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, defeated the U.S. backed-rebels years ago.

The Syrian Kurdish militia we partnered with to crush ISIS have been designated as terrorists by the Turks, who promise to annihilate the Kurds if they try to return to homes along the Turkish border.

As for Turkey itself, President Erdogan says he will take delivery this summer of a Russian-made S-400 air and missile defense system.

Go through with that, says the U.S., and we cancel your order for 100 F-35s. The justified U.S. fear: Russia’s S-400 system will be tested against America’s most advanced fifth-generation fighter, the F-35.

If Turkey does not cancel the S-400, a NATO crisis appears imminent.

In Iraq, where 5,000 U.S. troops remain, the government has both pro-U.S. and pro-Iran elements in Baghdad, and mutual designation of the IRGC and CENT-COM as terrorist organizations can only present hellish problems for America’s soldiers and diplomats still in that country.

Bottom line: Though Bibi and John Bolton may want war with Iran, U.S. national interests, based on the awful experience of two decades, and Trump’s political interests, dictate that he not start any more wars.

Not a single Middle East war this century has gone as we planned or hoped.
--------------------
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.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, Where Trump’s and Bibi’s Interests Clash To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Hunting Of Kirstjen Nielsen

. . . Leftists won’t let Trump White House officials retire in peace.
by Matthew Vadum: Senior Trump administration officials like former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who resigned April 7, need to be ostracized, bankrupted, and made homeless, according to the Trump-deranged Left.

Since the Left won’t be able –knock on wood— to put former Trump officials on trial for crimes against humanity, tormenting those individuals until their dying days is the next best thing. The penalty for serving President Donald Trump, the duly elected 45th president, shall be everlasting infamy.

The day before Nielsen quit, a bunch of leftist groups signed on to a petition asking corporate America to blacklist senior Trump administration officials, including Nielsen, who played a role in the family separation policy used at the border.

“Allowing her to seek refuge in a corporate corner office or a boardroom, university, speaking agency or elsewhere poses a significant reputational risk for those involved,” said professional character assassin Karl Frisch of Restore Public Trust. Frisch is, of course, a former disciple of leftist David Brock, serving under him at the George Soros-funded Media Matters for America, a propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.

George Washington University political scientist Henry Farrell started a petition in which he promised not to “associate myself in any way” with any think tank or university department that employs Nielsen.

Left-libertarian pseudointellectual Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute, who coined the nonsensical expression “epistemic closure,” also wants Nielsen to pay for daring to serve her country.

“It’s frustrating watching people who do evil with official sanction welcomed back into polite society, as though the infliction of suffering is just another fascinating life experience, and the defense of pointless cruelty one more interesting perspective to engage,” Sanchez told Vox.

“If someone caged children as a hobby, they’d rightly be treated like a goddamn pariah by everyone. If you make it a vocation, you can look forward to a [Harvard] Kennedy School chair. It’s diseased, and I don’t want to play along.”

The Washington Post’s erstwhile conservative Jennifer Rubin fully supports harassment of Trump administration officials but she has focused her ire on a different official. The Romney-bot told MSNBC in July 2018 that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders should be hounded for the rest of her days.

“No one is telling them to be violent protesters, but we’re not going to go let these people go through life unscathed,” Rubin said. “Sarah Huckabee has no right to live a life of no fuss, no muss, after lying to the press, after inciting against the press. These people should be made uncomfortable, and I think that is a life sentence.”

In a New York Times op-ed titled, “Cancel Kirstjen Nielsen: Her role in terrorizing children should make her a permanent pariah,” affective leftist Michelle Goldberg argues that ignominy and aggressive shunning should follow the former cabinet member for the rest of her natural life.

In her column, Goldberg wrote:

On Sunday evening, news broke that Kirstjen Nielsen was leaving her job as head of the Department of Homeland Security. The New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman tweeted that according to people close to Nielsen, one reason she hung on as long as she did was because “she was aware how awful life would/will be for her on the outside,” given her role in defending Donald Trump’s policies.

Let’s make it so.

Nielsen did not create Trump’s monstrous policy of separating migrant families, but she should be known forever as the person who carried it out. She put babies in cages, traumatized children for life, and then appears to have lied to Congress about what she had done. She did this evil work with either blithe incompetence or malicious sloppiness, failing to create a system to properly track kids who were ripped from their families. On Friday, the Trump administration said it could take up to two years to identify thousands of separated migrant children.


Except that Trump himself did not create this “monstrous policy of separating migrant families.”

That policy, whose monstrousness is highly arguable, was created by Barack Hussein Obama, and abandoned last year by Trump.

As McClatchy reported:

Leon Fresco, a deputy assistant attorney general under Obama, who defended that administration's use of family detention in court, acknowledged that some fathers were separated from children.

Most fathers and children were released together, often times with an ankle bracelet. Fresco said there were cases where the administration held fathers who were carrying drugs or caught with other contraband who had to be separated from their children.

“ICE could not devise a safe way where men and children could be in detention together in one facility,” Fresco said. “It was deemed too much of a security risk.”


But since the Democrats are going to have a lot of trouble impeaching President Trump, Nielsen will have to suffice as a victim.

For now.

It was a not-too-bright but very loud lawmaker from a bad part of the City of Angels who got the ball rolling on this unusually vicious, vindictive, spit-flying-in-your-face partisanship.

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who now chairs the House Financial Services Committee, started the harassment campaign when she called for fellow left-wingers to get up close and personal with Trump administration employees.

“Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up,” she said in June 2018.

“And if you see anybody from that cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere,” Waters said at the Wilshire Federal Building in Los Angeles.

Nielsen has been one of the Left’s favorite targets in the Trump administration.

Antifa’s cousins in the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) terrorized then-Secretary Nielsen into abandoning her dinner June 19, 2018, at Washington’s MXDC Cocina Mexicana restaurant. The disrupters shouted “shame!” and “end family separation!” at Nielsen, who left the eatery without acknowledging the demonstrators.

In addition to occupying city halls and setting up “Occupy ICE” encampments, the leftists of Antifa have “doxxed” 1,600 ICE employees, publishing their personal information online. WikiLeaks doxxed another 9,000 supposed current and former ICE employees, claiming it did so because it was important for “increasing accountability.”

Trump White House officials associated with immigration policy have been stalked and taunted by left-wingers.

Immigration hardliner Stephen Miller was screamed at last year in the capital city for doing his job. A set of “wanted” posters appeared near his downtown apartment. He famously discarded an $80 box of sushi after a chef heckled him as he left a restaurant (Miller said he feared his food had been spat on).

Presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway was accosted in a supermarket. Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was harassed while he was quietly minding his own business in a bookstore.

Maybe this is the new normal for the Left.
--------------------
Matthew Vadum, formerly senior vice president at the investigative think tank Capital Research Center, is an award-winning investigative reporter and author of the book, "Subversion Inc.: How Obama’s ACORN Red Shirts Are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers."

Tags: The Hunting, Kirstjen Nielsen, Matthew Vadum, Frontpage Mag To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Washington State Considers Strip Gun Rights After Involuntary Detainment

by Tom Knighton: Most states have some version of a law that allows the authorities to detain you for up to 72 hours due to mental health reasons. It’s not a case of being “adjudicated as mentally defective.” It’s a temporary hold designed to keep people from hurting themselves or others.

Yes, the law has all kinds of problems.

Now, Washington state is considering a bill that would have even more issues.

The issues of behavioral health and gun rights collided Wednesday as the Washington state House of Representatives debated and ultimately approved a bill that backers say will help prevent suicides.

The bill imposes a six-month suspension on a person’s right to possess a firearm when that individual is detained under the state Involuntary Treatment Act for up to 72 hours for evaluation and treatment of a mental health or substance abuse disorder, even if he or she is no not subsequently committed.

“We know after these 72-hour holds that the risk of suicide is extraordinarily high,” said Rep. Laurie Jinkins, D-Tacoma. “We also know that a little bit over 50 percent of suicides in Washington state are committed by the use of a firearm. So trying to restrict the use and access to firearms until hopefully someone’s substance use or mental health stabilizes is really the goal of this bill.

“This limited restriction that is automatically lifted after six months will really help us saves lives in the state.”

SB 5181 would allow individuals whose gun rights are suspended to petition a Superior Court to get them restored earlier than six months. The burden of proof would be on the state to establish why the person should not get those rights back. The person’s right to possess a firearm is automatically restored when the six-month suspension ends.
No.

Just no.

If the person is still a danger or becomes one again, there are laws already in place to deal with that, as flawed as they are. Adding a provision to strip people of their Second Amendment rights for six months is too damn far.

“Oh, but you can petition the court to get them back.”

No. That’s not how your rights work. I don’t care that the burden of proof is on the state to show that you shouldn’t get those rights back. You shouldn’t have to beg permission for your freaking rights in the first place. Plus, let’s be honest here. You’re going to need a lawyer. While the burden of proof may supposedly be on the state, in reality, it’ll probably point to the involuntary confinement as ample evidence. The judge may or may not take that as sufficient, but without an attorney to argue your case, you’re in a tough spot.

That means it’ll become very expensive to get your gun rights back early. Expensive enough that most won’t bother, especially if it turns out that it takes five months to get a hearing and another three and a half weeks to argue everything. Yay! You got your rights back three days early, no one’s head is on a pike for stripping you of your rights, and you’re not bankrupt.

Winning.

None of that touches on the fact that while proponents of the bill note that just over 50 percent of Washington’s deaths are suicides, they say nothing about how many of them had been involuntarily confined prior. None of that touches on the fact that just under 50 percent commit suicide with something other than a firearm.

In other words, this bill seeks to solve an issue with something that no one can show will have an impact at all.

Folks, while I am sympathetic to solving the issue of suicide, this isn’t going to do it. It may make the problem worse. How many people are likely to remain quiet because they fear they’ll be confined involuntarily? What about the fear of losing a civil liberty? It may make them clam up more, which isn’t good for dealing with suicidal thoughts. It’ll add another stigma to mental illness, which is something we don’t need.

Washington needs to forget this crap. Somehow, I doubt it will.
---------------
Tom Knighton is a Navy veteran, a former newspaperman, a novelist, and a blogger at Bearing Arms. He lives with his family in Southwest Georgia and also contributes to PJ Media.

Tags: Tom Knighton, Bearing Arms, Washington State, Considers, Strip Gun Rights, After Involuntary Detainment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

What Does History Tell Us About 2020? Not Very Much

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: What does history tell us about the 2020 presidential election? Not as much as we'd like to know. We're an old republic and our two political parties are the oldest and third oldest in the world. But we've only had a limited number of presidential elections.

Three were uncontested (1789, 1792, 1820), and six more were conducted under rules significantly different from our current system (legislatures selecting presidential electors, for example). That leaves just 49 elections, and when I was in the polling business, we wouldn't show any results for subgroups of less than 50 because of the huge statistical margin of error.

And then there is the presidential nominating procedure. There have only been 11 presidential elections in which most national convention delegates have been selected in primaries, and the rules have been different in each election cycle. Plus, the two parties have two different delegate allocation rules, the Republicans tending to favor winner-take-all and the Democrats proportional representation.

The Democratic field looks to be ballooning to at least 18 candidates with some claim to seriousness, more than the Republicans' 17-candidate field last time. Why so many candidates? Social media deserves some of the credit -- or blame. It's easier and much, much quicker than it used to be to locate and rally possible supporters, and particularly, to raise money.

The obverse of this advantage is that your appeal tends to be limited to, or mostly directed at, a category of hyperpolitical people who are not typical of the larger electorate candidates will face in primaries, and the much larger electorate a nominee faces in the general election.

In this era of partisan polarized politics, hyperpolitical Democrats tend to be highly educated and enamored of "intersectional" identity politics. That's the gist of a detailed analysis by The New York Times' Nate Cohn and Kevin Quealy. They conclude that among Democratic primary voters, the Twitter-happy left is outnumbered roughly 2-to-1 by a "more moderate, more diverse and less educated group of Democrats" who may end up nominating "a relatively moderate establishment favorite."

Cohn is the same writer who, in June 2016, argued that non-college-graduate whites were a larger share of the 2012 electorate than indicated in exit polls and other surveys. That analysis and the extensive interviews by current Washington Examiner columnist Salena Zito, more than any other journalism I can recall, presaged Donald Trump's surprise victory that November.

One obvious lesson of the Cohn-Quealy thesis is that Democratic candidates shouldn't be quick to kowtow to the demands of the "woke" Twitterati and take unsustainable positions on the Green New Deal, racial reparations and Supreme Court packing. But most are already busy doing so.

Another lesson is that Joe Biden, who's been busily apologizing for his touchy-feely past, already has a bigger potential constituency of moderates than most analysts think. But it's not nearly as big as it was among Democrats a dozen years ago. And it won't be as easy for a Democrat to win this election the way that Donald Trump won among Republicans in 2016, by winning a plurality of popular votes in primaries.

That's because Republican winner-take-all rules gave Trump a majority of national convention delegates, while Democrats' proportional representation rules split the delegates among multiple candidates. In addition, the Democrats have allowed the nation's largest and second largest states, California and Texas, to vote early in 2020, on March 3.

As The Cook Political Report's David Wasserman points out, that means that at least 36 percent of Democratic delegates will have been allocated by then, and that it's entirely possible that no candidate will be able to win a majority of delegates before the convention.

Which could mean the first second-ballot convention since 1952, at which point the Party's 765 superdelegates -- elected and party officials -- get votes and presumably will choose the nominee, if they haven't already done so behind the scene. Of course, there won't be any protests or sharp words. Er, just kidding.

Democrats have some reason to blame all this on Donald Trump. If multiple candidates with thin credentials are clogging this year's race, each probably feels she or he is more qualified than Trump was.

Whatever your party, it looks like 2020 and 2016 may reinforce my longstanding conviction that the presidential nominating system is the weakest feature of our democratic republican form of government. Sad!
-----------------------
Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, Rasmussen Reports, What Does History Tell Us, About 2020, Not Very Much To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

What the Left Ruins

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Dennis Prager has a phrase that he has been using for some time. He says, “The left ruins everything.” That is the title of a recent Prager U video by him.

It surfaced in a recent commentary by him with the title, “How the left keeps me religious.”

I really questioned his phrase the first few times I heard him say it. Perhaps it was the realization that every generalization has exceptions. But Dennis Prager is a thoughtful person, so I didn’t reject his idea immediately.

It is important to understand that Prager makes a distinction between liberalism and the left. Liberals and conservatives value truth. The left does not. And in his recent commentary he acknowledges that “liberals have done some good,” but he then adds “everything the left has touched it has ruined.”

The most obvious example, he says, is the university. Harvard professor Steven Pinker, a liberal and an atheist, says the left has rendered the university a “laughingstock.” If you have been reading my commentaries for any length of time, you have heard me cite many examples.

Dennis Prager accuses the university of teaching “gullible young students lies, immoral ideas, and foolish doctrines.” He goes on for about six paragraphs with awful examples of what is taught on campus today.

One example from his video that is briefly mentioned in his commentary is what the left has done to the arts. “The God-centered West produced Bach and Michelangelo.” By contrast, the left “had produced mostly junk.” He says, “there is nothing higher to aspire to” because the focus so often is merely to shock, not inspire. In fact, there is a large amount of so-called “art” that is nothing more than “scatological art.”

The Bible and a belief in God were important in the formation of Western culture and in the creation of America. Rejection of those ideas has given us a leftist perspective that seems to be trying to ruin everything.
-----------------
Kerby Anderson (@kerbyanderson) is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service.

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

The Spy Who Hated Me . . .

. . . Democrats say there’s no proof of Obama officials spying on the Trump Campaign, but the proof is the FISA warrants obtained for that very purpose.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: AF Branco, editorial cartoon, Spy Who Hated Me, FISA Warrants To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Tea Party for Trump

by Lloyd Marcus: It is exciting that my patriot brothers and sisters at Tea Party Express have announced the launch of “Tea Party for Trump.” My first tour on Tea Party Express in 2008 led to me speaking and performing my “American Tea Party Anthem” at over 500 rallies on several national bus tours.

The launch of “Tea Party for Trump” feels similar to the Blues Brothers saying: “We’re getting the old band back together again because we’re on a mission from God.” My fellow patriots, “Tea Party for Trump” is our mission from God to reelect our remarkable president.

The Amazing Whistle Stop
Our Tea Party Express rally in Searchlight, Nevada featuring Sarah Palin drew 25,000 people. Our rally in Boston drew 19,000. The most memorable rally for me was not a scheduled rally. After completing a rally, our tour bus headed to the next scheduled rally in Memphis, Tennessee. A staffer received a phone call requesting that we make a brief whistle stop so around 50 people could meet our team of speakers and entertainers.

When our tour bus arrived at the location, state police were directing traffic. Our bus was greeted by over 500 people enthusiastically cheering while waving American flags. As our team exited the bus, the crowd acted as if we were rock stars. The truck hauling our staging and sound system was on its way to Memphis.

Our team used the back of a pickup truck for a stage. Someone handed us a megaphone. After each team member addressed the crowd, we all joined in singing “God Bless America” a cappella. Several people cried. No fancy staging. No powerful P.A. system. Just Americans, all of one accord, sharing in their love for our country. It was awesome. We were showered with gratitude, homemade baked goods, small gifts, and requests to take pictures with us. Once our team was back on the tour bus, the mood was quiet. We were blown away.

Despicably, Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Andre Carson said the Tea Party wants to see blacks hanging from a tree. No one tried to lynch me.

For decades, we have allowed leftists to dominate public education. Consequently, we have a generation of youths who are clueless regarding this extraordinary, unique, and successful experiment we call America. Far too many young voters are willing to surrender their constitutional freedom and throw away every principle and value that has made America great for the promise of government handouts.

Founding father Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

For years, I sought funding to bring “Reach Your Dreams” rallies to black neighborhoods and black colleges. I believe that if blacks heard black conservative Republicans tell their stories, common sense would lead blacks to abandon the repressive, insulting Democratic party. The GOP’s response to my proposal was, “Why bother? Blacks will never break their loyalty to Democrats.”

My buddy, Wild Bill for America, called me. He said the dumbest place in America is college campuses. Bill wants to schedule Tea Party rallies on college campuses. I think that is a great idea.

In essence, we are talking about taking the truth about Trump and our great country directly to low-info voters, bypassing the lies and distortions of fake news media.

“Tea Party for Trump” is the righteous resistance to Democrats’ deranged, lawless resistance to Trump. Please support the Tea Party Express effort to keep President Trump in the White House, keeping America great.

Since 2008 at Tea Party Express rallies, I’ve performed wearing my trademark black hat and black leather vest. Thanks to my KETO diet, the vest still fits. See y’all at a rally.
-----------------------
Lloyd Marcus (@LloydMarcus) is an "Unhyphenated American" and an internationally renowned conservative columnist, singer/songwriter and author. He is Chairman of the Conservative Campaign Committee Political Action Committee. He is a prominent voice of the American Tea Party movement and the singer/songwriter of the ”American Tea Party Anthem.” Marcus has been on Fox News, CNN, PJTV and more.

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New ‘Medicare for All’ Bill Would Kick 181 Million Off Private Insurance

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., introduced the
Medicare for All Act of 2019 on April 9, 2019.
 
by Robert Moffit: Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a self-described “socialist,” is doubling down on his efforts to give federal officials total control over Americans’ health care.

The senator has just unveiled the Medicare for All Act of 2019 with 13 leading Senate Democrats, including fellow contenders for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination: Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Kamala Harris of California, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Americans should find this bill chilling. If passed, it would essentially abolish all private health coverage in America, regardless of whether Americans like their current plans.

Here are the specifics.

Outlawing Current Coverage
This bill, title by title and section by section, is almost identical in substance to the Medicare for All Act of 2017 (S.1804) introduced last Congress.

Under Title I, the bill would create a new national health insurance plan to provide universal coverage to all U.S. residents, regardless of their legal status. This new program would be phased in over a four-year period.

Under Section 107, the bill would outlaw private health coverage, including employer-sponsored coverage, that “duplicates” the coverage provided under the government health plan. Approximately 181 million Americans would lose their existing private coverage.

Like the earlier version, the new Senate bill would also abolish other federal health programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Tricare, and the popular and successful Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. The tens of millions of Americans currently covered by these programs would also be involuntarily absorbed into the new government health program.

Under Title II, the bill would provide 13 categories of health benefits, including a new long-term care benefit. This is a richer benefit package than that contained in the earlier Sanders bill, which listed 10 categories of benefits. Also like the earlier bill, taxpayers would be compelled to fund abortion, and the bill would override current law that ensures conscience protections for medical professionals.

The new bill would also eliminate virtually all cost sharing, except for a limited out-of-pocket obligation for prescription drugs. This provision, of course, would induce increased demand for medical services and thus increase the overall costs of the program.

Under Title II, the bill would set forth detailed terms and conditions for the participation of doctors and other medical professionals in the government system, including the limiting conditions governing private contracts.

Under Section 303 of the new Senate bill, private contracts between doctors and patients would be discouraged. Doctors who choose to take private payment from patients outside the system would face a stiff penalty.

Under Section 303, the physician would have to sign an affidavit that he engaged in such a contract, submit it to the secretary of health and human services, and then forego all reimbursement from all other patients enrolled in the new federal entitlement for a period of one year. Few doctors, of course, would be able to do such a thing.

This is essentially the same policy embodied in the previous version of the Sanders legislation, and an even more restrictive version is embodied in the House bill (H.R. 1384).

This, along with the abolition of all insurance alternatives, would come as a striking restriction on patients’ personal liberty. Interactions with physicians are sometimes focused on highly sensitive matters, and patients might desire confidentiality and prefer not to submit a claim either to a government agency or even a private insurance company.

Then, of course, there is also the problem of getting access to specialized services. If the government plan, operating as a monopoly, does not or cannot offer you what you want or need, you would have no viable alternative under this legislation.

The Likely Consequences
If the Senate bill—or some version of it, such as the House Democratic bill—were to become law, ordinary Americans could surely expect three major consequences.

1. Slower care.
With a single government health program designed as an entitlement for 327 million Americans—providing services “free” at the point of service—utilization would explode. Americans would face long waiting lists, delays, and even denials of medical care. It would be unavoidable.

The experience of “single payer” countries, like Britain and Canada, shows that waiting lists for medical treatment are common, especially for hospitalization and specialized medical services.

2. Even fewer doctors available.
Today’s doctor shortage, fueled by accelerated retirements and physician burnout, would surely worsen. Beyond imposing Medicare’s huge regulatory regime and its paperwork burden on the entire nation, the Senate bill would impose Medicare payment rates (rates lower than private insurance) as the means to reduce reimbursement for all doctors, hospitals, and medical professionals. Former Medicare Trustee Charles Blahous estimates that this would translate into a stunning 40% decline in medical reimbursement.

While leftist ideologues might vigorously applaud such a radical reduction in physician payment as a major source of health care “savings,” the negative impact on patient access and quality of care would be incalculable.

3. Massive new taxation.
Curiously, the new Senate bill, like its predecessor, has no financing provisions. Instead, as with the last version, Sanders has offered a list of financing options that could be used to pay for this massive enterprise, including a 4% income-based premium, a 7.5% payroll tax, the elimination of all tax breaks for existing health insurance, and a series of taxes on wealthy citizens.

Independent analysts have concluded that such “options” would fall far short of covering the true costs of such a program, meaning that individuals and families would pay much higher taxes than the senator’s revenue proposals anticipate. Both the liberal Urban Institute and the conservative Mercatus Center projected that the earlier version of the Sanders’ plan would cost approximately $32 trillion over 10 years.

Those earlier projections are obsolete, because the senator has now added a costly long-term care program to the bill’s mandatory benefits package.

This is not a realistic way forward. Socialism is the wrong prescription for Americans who want quality, affordable health care.
------------------
Robert E. Moffit, a seasoned veteran of more than three decades in Washington policymaking, is a senior fellow in The Heritage Foundation's Center for Health Policy Studies. H/T The Daily Signal.

Tags: Robert E. Moffit, The Heritage Foundation, The Daily Signal, Bernie Sanders, Medicare for All, would kick off, private insurance, 181 Million people To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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