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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)

Thursday, June 20, 2019

World War Won: Cross Memorial Stays, Court Rules

World War I Peace Cross honoring fallen soldiers
by Tony Perkins: They were farmers, surgeons, a professor, even the president of the Marine Corps baseball team. One was a man in his 50s, already wounded, who had "no business being on the front lines." They were 49 men with one thing in common: they never came home. Today, most Marylanders couldn't tell you their stories. That's because 100 years after the war ended, we're too busy fighting for what those heroes died to give us: freedom.

It's been 94 years since a grieving mom pulled the flag away from the base of a 40-foot cross, revealing the names of almost 50 soldiers -- mostly boys -- who gave their lives in World War 1. For almost a century, the cross has stood against the sky, one mile from the D.C. line, a fixture against an ever-changing landscape. It's survived a second world war, Korea, the Cuban missile crisis, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, 9/11, and now -- thanks to the Supreme Court -- its biggest battle: radical extremists, bent on tearing the memorial down because it was in the shape of a cross.

Alvergia Guyton is one of the few people left with a personal connection to the cross. "It's been there all my life," she said. Her great uncle had been one of those brave teenagers, marching off to join the Army in an all-African American unit. She's shocked anyone would even think of challenging it. "It's history," she insisted. This morning, seven justices of America's highest court agreed, leaving John Seaburn's sacrifice -- and the sacrifices of Prince George's County's sons intact.

By a 7-2 vote, the justices were clear, "The cross is undoubtedly a Christian symbol, but that fact should not blind us to everything else that the Bladensburg Cross has come to represent. For some, that monument is a symbolic resting place for ancestors who never returned home. For others, it is a place... to gather and honor all veterans and their sacrifices for our Nation. For others still, it is a historical landmark." At its core, they insist, it's "part of the community." In fact, the justices argued, "its removal or radical alteration at this date would be seen by many not as a neutral act but as the manifestation of a hostility toward religion that has no place in our Establishment Clause traditions."

When the American Humanist Association (AHA) argued that the cross was somehow an official endorsement of religion, Justice Samuel Alito couldn't have disagreed more. The whole point of the "religious clauses of the Constitution" are to "foster a society in which people of all beliefs can live together harmoniously...[T]he presence of the Bladensburg Cross on the land where it has stood for so many years is fully consistent with that aim."

Would the activists at the AHA say that California is trying to "convey a religious message" by keeping city names like Los Angeles and San Diego," the justices asked? Of course not. "Much the same is true about monuments to soldiers who sacrificed their lives for this country more than a century ago." If the court struck down this cross, there'd be no end to the absurdity. What about the Red Cross, the justices asked? How could it keep its name? Or the military's medals -- like the Navy Cross and Distinguished Service Cross?

In a concurring opinion, Justice Neil Gorsuch talked about how tired he is of this "I-take-offense" threshold for suing. "In a large and diverse country, offense can be easily found. Really, most every governmental action probably offends somebody. No doubt, too, that offense can be sincere, sometimes well taken, even wise. But recourse for disagreement and offense does not lie in federal litigation. Instead, in a society that holds among its most cherished ambitions mutual respect, tolerance, self-rule, and democratic responsibility, an 'offended viewer' may 'avert his eyes'...or pursue a political solution." In other words, Gorsuch insisted, if secularists are this upset about the memorial, take it up with the legislature! After all, Justice Kavanaugh added, "This court is not the only guardian of individual rights in America."

As grateful as we are for the victory, there are many -- FRC included -- who were hoping the justices would take the opportunity to overhaul the mess our courts have made of the Establishment Clause. Protecting war memorials is important, but these issues will continue to bubble up if the Supreme Court doesn't scrap the "Lemon test" that's driven the attacks on other faith-based monuments and displays. Justice Thomas was certainly more than ready to.
"Nearly half a century after Lemon," Thomas writes, "and, the truth is, no one has any idea about the answers to these questions. As the plurality documents, our 'doctrine [is] in such chaos' that lower courts have been 'free to reach almost any result in almost any case.' Scores of judges have pleaded with us to retire Lemon, scholars of all stripes have criticized the doctrine, and a majority of this Court has long done the same. Today, not a single Member of the Court even tries to defend Lemon against these criticisms -- and they don't because they can't... It is our job to say what the law is, and because the Lemon test is not good law, we ought to say so."As we explained in FRC's amicus brief, religion has a natural, proper, and even essential role in our public life and the life of our military. We're grateful for the result the Supreme Court delivered today -- but we'll continue to push the court to correct the confusion that's been used to scrub religious messages, signs, and symbols from public life.

Travis Weber, FRC's Vice President for Policy spoke with Kelly Shackelford, President and Chief Counsel of First Liberty Institute at the U.S. Supreme Court following today's decision. First Liberty represented The American Legion before the Court in this case.
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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: World War I Peace Cross, honoring fallen soldiers, SCOTUS, agrees, 7-2 decision To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Drone On, Reparations Now, Trump's Pro-Refugee Travel Ban

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Drone On
Iran has shot down a U.S. drone over international waters. This is not one of those drones you gave your husband for Christmas. These babies are filled with significant technology. The cost for each one range in the millions of dollars.

The media this morning are engaged in their usual charade. It goes something like this: “Iran says they shot down a U.S. drone over their territory. The U.S. claims the drone was in international air space. Who to believe?” Let me help them: Believe your country even when you don’t like your president.

The theme of the day is, we are hurtling toward war with Iran. The truth is Iran has been at war with us since its Islamic revolution in 1979. The stated purpose of the regime’s existence is to destroy the “Great Satan” – the U.S. and the “Little Satan” – Israel, followed by Islam conquering the world.

The list of Iranian acts of war against us are too numerous to put in this daily report. Here are a few:
  • The attack on the U.S. Marine Corps Barracks in 1983 that killed 307 Marines while they slept.
  • They tried to stop the flow of oil in 1988, causing President Reagan to authorize our Navy to engage theirs: 6 Iranian ships were sunk.
  • The Pentagon reported a few months ago that Iran is directly responsible for the deaths of at least 600 U.S. soldiers in Iraq.
In spite of all this and much more, when Barack Obama took the reins of power with John Kerry as his secretary of state, they negotiated a sweetheart nuclear deal with Iran. As part of the deal, Iran received tens of billions of U.S. dollars, including more than a billion in cash and gold secretly delivered in the middle of the night. Iran promptly used their windfall to increase their support for terrorism around the world.

Fortunately, Donald Trump got us out of the nuclear deal, but the money was already in Iran’s hands. By the way, this will be a big 2020 issue. Every leading candidate on the progressive side wants us back in the deal.

No one knows what happens next. President Trump is displaying incredible restraint. But if Iran’s provocations force us into war, you can thank Barack Obama’s and John Kerry’s appeasement.

Reparations Now?
Progressives on Capitol Hill yesterday suddenly rediscovered the issue of reparations for slavery. Oddly, when progressives control the White House, the issue never comes up. Ironically, it is only a priority when a president from the party of Lincoln is in charge.

It is hard to imagine a proposal more likely to stoke racial tensions and further divide our country. Polling shows the public overwhelmingly opposes the idea. But it is a great way for the left to get out their votes.

No one who was a slave in America is alive today. No one who owned a slave in America is alive today. The Democrat Party was built in the South on the issue of slavery. The KKK sprang out of the Democrat Party. All the well-known segregationists of the 1950’s were Southern Democrats. Some conservative commentators are sarcastically pointing out that if reparations are going to be paid, the Democrat National Committee should make the payments.

Trump’s Pro-Refugee Travel Ban
One year ago the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold President Trump’s authority to ban travel into the United States from seven nations. Liberal pundits howled at the ruling after doing everything in their power to prevent it. Now we see again how narrow the margin is to prevent terrorist strikes on our shores.

The FBI announced the arrest yesterday of a Syrian refugee, Mustafa Mousad Alowemer, on charges of planning to bomb a Christian church in Pittsburgh. Alowemer had been in contact with FBI agents who he mistakenly thought were ISIS allies as he sought bomb-making supplies, a weapon equipped with a silencer and diagrams he could use to create an escape route from the church, the Legacy International Worship Center. Alowemer, who filmed a selfie-video proclaiming his devotion to ISIS and its leader Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, reportedly targeted the church because of its ties to the Nigerian resistance to ISIS radicals in that country. The blast he plotted was allegedly to be big enough to flatten the church and kill many in the surrounding neighborhood.


Let’s see if the media rush to point out the obvious. Syria is one of the seven countries covered by the Trump Administration’s travel policy. Trump made clear during his campaign for the White House that he intended to limit automatic entry into the United States from countries that could reasonably be seen as hotspots for terrorist infiltration. This wasn’t because of the religious tenets of Islam nor was it meant to be permanent – it was a temporary policy, under the president’s national security powers, until America could shore up its vetting policy in these countries.

The left’s lawyers and progressive groups pounced on the policy and, as they do on almost every issue, denounced it as bigotry. They also delayed it – by a year and a half – until the Supreme Court ruled, by the narrowest of margins, that the president had acted constitutionally. Alowemer entered the United States in 2016, which suggests that whatever our vetting practices were three years ago they were not strong enough to avert the admittance of a man who yearned to become our next mass murderer.

Don’t expect to see any apologies from the ACLU or the various immigrant rights groups that sprang up to defend our porous border policies. Already some of the media reports on Alowemer are suggesting how impotent ISIS has become or how rare such plots have become. Small comfort to you if you are among the dozens of people killed in a “rare” event committed by someone who could have been stopped at a border 6,700 miles away.

Don’t forget this other irony. Alowemer isn’t the only refugee in this story. He meant to include among his victims another group of refugees – African Christians, who, unlike him, had fled to America for safety and religious freedom. When the ACLU tells you they stand for refugees, remind them of the Legacy International Worship Center. And of President Trump’s resolute stand for these refugees in our midst.
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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, Drone On, Reparations Now, Trump's Pro-Refugee Travel Ban To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Replacing The Obama EPA’s Job-Killing Coal Regulation

The Trump Administration Is Doing Away With An Obama EPA Regulation That ‘Would Have Weaponized A Federal Agency To Bury Energy Producers,’ ‘Left Higher Electricity Costs In Its Wake,’ And Cost American Jobs

“The Environmental Protection Agency finalized its replacement for Obama’s signature climate policy on Wednesday with a rule officials say will still reduce greenhouse gas emissions … The Clean Power Plan, which never went into effect, was a signature policy proposed by President Barack Obama to reduce greenhouse gas emissions … The policy would have required states to submit extensive plans on how they would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by requiring power plants to install new technology or switching to more renewable energy sources. But under President Donald Trump, the agency says the Clean Power Plan went too far by trying to shut down coal-fired power plants.” (“EPA Finalizes Power Plant Rules To Replace Obama’s Signature Climate Change Policy,” ABC News, 6/19/2019)
  • “The replacement, called the Affordable Clean Energy rule, would make it easier for the facility to stay open by letting states set their own goals on targets to reduce releases of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. States can choose from a list of EPA-approved options to improve existing coal-fired power plants … Administration officials said the announcement fulfills one of President Donald Trump’s campaign promises to repeal the Clean Power Plan …” (“EPA Finalizes Power Plant Rules To Replace Obama’s Signature Climate Change Policy,” ABC News, 6/19/2019)

EPA ADMINISTRATOR ANDREW WHEELER: “Today, we are delivering on one of President Trump’s core priorities: ensuring the American public has access to affordable, reliable energy in a manner that continues our nation’s environmental progress. Unlike the Clean Power Plan, ACE adheres to the Clean Air Act and gives states the regulatory certainty they need to continue to reduce emissions and provide a dependable, diverse supply of electricity that all Americans can afford. When ACE is fully implemented, we expect to see U.S. power sector CO2 emissions fall by as much as 35 percent below 2005 levels.” (EPA, Press Release, 6/19/2019)

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[I]mplementation of the so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ was frozen by a Supreme Court stay more than three years ago in 2016…. It would have weaponized a federal agency to bury energy producers and all those who depend on them under one-size-fits-all regulations with duplicative mandates and unrealistic timelines. And as production of the most affordable and reliable energy available to American families dried up, it would have left higher electricity costs in its wake. Higher domestic power prices would mean fewer American jobs here at home, with no meaningful effect on global emissions. Any rational observer would have concluded that this regulation was all pain for no gain -- just good American jobs being shipped overseas.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/19/2019)
  • SEN. McCONNELL: “I look forward to the administration rolling out a new policy that upholds the rule of law, keeps the EPA within its statutory role, and encourages American energy reliability and affordability.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/19/2019)
SEN. JOHN BARRASSO (R-WY), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair: “The Affordable Clean Energy rule is good news for Wyoming. The Trump administration’s rule follows the law and lowers emissions. The so-called ‘Clean Power Plan’ would have mandated the shutdown of power plants and increased energy costs for families in Wyoming and across the country. I look forward to working with President Trump, Administrator Wheeler, and the state of Wyoming to implement this common sense replacement to the Clean Power Plan.” (U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Press Release, 6/19/2019)

KENTUCKY COAL ASSOCIATION President Tyler White: “We thank Administrator Wheeler and the EPA for finalizing the ACE rule. For a state like Kentucky which produces nearly 75% of its power from coal, the CPP would have devastated the economic vitality of our state’s ability to produce affordable reliable energy. By replacing the legally flawed CPP with the ACE Rule, we will ensure states have the ability to regulate emissions in an efficient and logical manner. For a state like Kentucky we are able to produce affordable and abundant energy which feeds to the industrial ecosystem and provides affordable electricity for the citizens of the Commonwealth.”

The Replacement Rule Is The Culmination Of Years Of Work By Leader McConnell To Block And Replace The Obama EPA’s Regulations That Would Have Shuttered Coal Plants And Cost Jobs

SEN. McCONNELL: “This was a bad idea that many of us here in the Senate fought tooth and nail. Back in 2013 and 2014, after President Obama’s EPA Administrator refused my request to come meet with Kentuckians, I held hearings in Kentucky about the negative impacts the plan would have. I worked with governors to hold off on implementation. I helped spearhead an amicus brief in the legal proceedings, and led on legislation to overturn the rule.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/19/2019)

Leader McConnell’s ‘Aggressive Campaign To Block’ The Regulations

November 2013: Leader McConnell brings the concerns of Kentucky’s coal country to an EPA hearing on President Obama’s coal regulations in Washington.
  • SEN. McCONNELL: “I have asked the EPA to hold a hearing in Pikeville, Kentucky, to hear the concerns of coal country. But since the EPA hasn’t responded, I decided—on behalf of Kentucky’s coal miners and their families—that I would bring their concerns to you myself. If the EPA won’t come to listen to us, we’ll come here, to the EPA. By now it is clear that [the Obama] administration and [the EPA] have declared a War on Coal. For Kentucky, this means a war on jobs and our state’s economy…. [W]e’re here to remind you that coal keeps the lights on for Kentucky—and the nation.” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 11/07/2013)
December 2013: Leader McConnell holds a hearing on President Obama’s coal regulations in Kentucky coal country because the EPA at the time refused to.
  • SEN. McCONNELL: “I organized this session because the EPA claimed it wanted citizen input on the future carbon regulations it intends to impose on existing power plants. However, its listening sessions were only scheduled for cities like New York, Boston, Seattle, and San Francisco—cities far away from coal country. There were 11 listening sessions in all, but the closest one to eastern Kentucky was all the way in Atlanta, Georgia … I don’t think it’s right that the EPA would consider taking such drastic steps without listening to the people who would be most affected — Kentucky’s coal miners, their families, and the many people throughout the state whose jobs and well-being depend on coal…. So if the EPA will not come to Pikeville to hear your message, I will deliver Pikeville’s message to them. I have called today’s session so that those in the region affected by this administration’s War on Coal will finally have a chance to be heard …” (Sen. McConnell, Press Release, 12/03/2013)
March 2015: Leader McConnell writes “a detailed letter to every governor in the United States” saying states should refrain from implementing a rule of such dubious legality.
  • Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky has begun an aggressive campaign to block President Obama’s climate change agenda in statehouses and courtrooms across the country … The campaign of Mr. McConnell, the Senate majority leader, is aimed at stopping a set of Environmental Protection Agency regulations requiring states to reduce carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants … Once enacted, the rules could shutter hundreds of coal-fired plants … Mr. McConnell, whose home state is one of the nation’s largest coal producers, has vowed to fight the rules…. On Thursday, Mr. McConnell sent a detailed letter to every governor in the United States laying out a carefully researched legal argument as to why states should not comply with Mr. Obama’s regulations. In the letter, Mr. McConnell wrote that the president was ‘allowing the E.P.A. to wrest control of a state’s energy policy.’” (“McConnell Urges States to Help Thwart Obama’s ‘War on Coal,’” The New York Times, 3/19/2015)
November 2015: With a new Republican majority, the Senate passes Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-WV) resolution of disapproval, co-sponsored by Leader McConnell, on the Obama EPA’s coal regulations.
  • “The Senate resolution, which passed 52 to 46, would scuttle a rule that would significantly cut heat-trapping carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants. That Environmental Protection Agency rule, released in August, is the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s efforts to address climate change. A second resolution, which also passed 52 to 46, would strike a related E.P.A. rule intended to freeze construction of future coal-fired power plants.” (“Senate Votes to Block Obama’s Climate Change Rules,” The New York Times, 11/17/2015)
  • “Mr. McConnell, whose home state is one of the nation’s largest coal producers, has led a multifront campaign to block what Republicans call Mr. Obama’s ‘war on coal.’ … Mr. McConnell has urged states not to comply with the rules, and in Tuesday’s Senate vote he invoked a law that is rarely used, the Congressional Review Act of 1996, which allows lawmakers to pass a resolution that would block enactment of new federal regulations within 60 days of their publication.” (“Senate Votes to Block Obama’s Climate Change Rules,” The New York Times, 11/17/2015)
February 2016: The Supreme Court blocks the EPA rule from being implemented, with the justices agreeing there was a ‘fair prospect’ of a lower court striking down the rule.
February 2016: Leader McConnell and over 200 members of Congress write an amicus brief to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, urging them to reject the Obama EPA regulations.
  • “Led by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and House Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), 34 Senators and 171 House Members filed an amicus brief today in the case of State of West Virginia, et al. v. Environmental Protection Agency, et al. The amicus brief is in support of petitions filed by 27 states seeking to overturn the EPA final rule … also known as the ‘Clean Power Plan.’” (U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Press Release, 2/23/2016)
January 2017: Leader McConnell wrote a letter to President Trump at the beginning of his term saying it is “important that we work together to repair some of the damage left in the wake of President Obama’s War on Coal.” Leader McConnell urged the president to rescind the EPA’s Clean Power Plan regulation and “support the actual intent of the Clean Air Act, which was to establish reasonable, adequately demonstrated, and commercially achievable standards …” (Sen. McConnell, Letter to President-elect Donald Trump, 1/04/2017)

March 2017: President Trump signs an executive order directing the EPA to go back to the drawing board and consider American jobs when considering coal emissions from power plants.
August 2018: The Trump administration announces its regulation replacing the Obama administration’s rule, the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, which the EPA has finalized this week.
  • “The Trump administration has moved to formally replace the Clean Power Plan, an environmental regulation that former President Barack Obama once lauded … The long-anticipated proposal, called the Affordable Clean Energy Rule, would give individual states more authority to make their own plans for regulating greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. That is a marked difference from Obama’s plan, which aimed to curb climate change by moving the power sector away from coal … ‘We’re ending the intrusive EPA regulations that kill jobs,’ Trump said in a White House statement. He said that Obama’s regulation would have raised the price of energy.” (“Trump Moves To Let States Regulate Coal Plant Emissions,” NPR, 8/21/2018)

Tags: Replacing, Obama EPA’s, Job-Killing, Coal Regulation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Til “Glacier” Freezes Over

by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: A few years ago, before we left our home state of Montana to move to the sunny South, we decided to make one last visit to Glacier National Park.

“Glacier” as Big Sky natives lovingly call it, is the best Montana has to offer. Yellowstone is nice, but touristy and crowded – I look for Yogi and Boo Boo behind every tree, and it seems the feds have something annoyingly “governmental” pounded into every rock. While Glacier has become more commercialized and politically correct than it was in the good old days, it still is somewhat pristine and remains one of the most beautiful spots in the Rocky Mountains.

We visited Glacier in late June, before all the snow was gone for the summer, but after the Going to the Sun Road was opened up, which was early that year (as of today, 6/20/19, half of the road is still not plowed out). We did not want to miss that spectacular drive from West Glacier to St. Mary on what might be our last visit to Glacier.

We arrived at the St. Mary Lodge and did the tour through the grand old main lodge building, enjoying the history of the place and the high mountain ambiance.

photo courtesy MyItchyTravelFeet.com
George Bird Grinnell, a New Yorker, naturalist and western conservationist, pushed for a national park designation which was signed by President Taft in 1910. Glacier National Park was first “civilized” as part of the westward push of the Great Northern Railway across the northern United States and much of the infrastructure was funded, engineered and built by the railroad under James Hill, who saw a tourism profit opportunity . Most of that privately built infrastructure, including hotels and lodges, trails, tracks, tunnels and roads remains in use today and has held up remarkably well.

And this is key. It was not government influence and “protection” of natural resources that made Glacier National Park and other treasures of the American West great; rather, it was private entrepreneurial drive and inspiration.

After hanging out at the lodge for a while, we decided to hike the Grinnell Glacier Trail that goes past Swiftcurrent Lake and provides a good view of Salamander Glacier. We could not help but notice the grizzly bear warning signs, and having grown up in bear country south of Glacier, I took them seriously. With so many tourists around it was more likely we would see black bear rather than big grizzers. And we actually did see several black bear.

At the trailhead near the lodge there was a big sign explaining how, because of man-caused Global Warming, the glaciers, including Grinnell, were melting fast and would likely be gone by the year 2020. I admit, as native Montanans, we were temporarily taken aback by this “official” government proclamation, until my conservative skepticism kicked back in. This same propaganda was all over the lodge in brochure racks and informational displays.

In 2012 National Geographic produced this work of fiction, (note the obligatory slow, sad PBS victim-style piano music):


Last week it was revealed that the National Park Service was quietly removing all the Global Warming propaganda at Glacier National Park because it has become evident that the glaciers have been growing for some time. Oops. Another embarrassing example of leftists abusing science for political leverage.
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Tom Balek is a fellow conservative activist, blogger, musician and contributes to the ARRA News Service. Tom resides in South Carolina and seeks to educate those too busy with their work and families to notice how close to the precipice our economy has come. He blogs at Rockin' On the Right Side!

Tags: Tom Balek, Rockin' On The Right Side, Til “Glacier” Freezes Over To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Arthur Laffer Revolutionized The World With His Economic Theory

Stephen Moore 
by Stephen Moore: A very strong case could be made that the most influential economist in the world in recent decades has been Arthur Laffer. Ever since the 1970s, Laffer has been at the tip of the spear of the global tax reduction frenzy. He has influenced the economic thinking of great leaders ranging from Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to Jerry Brown and Donald Trump.

The highest income tax rates in nations around the world from Australia and Britain to France and Russia to Sweden and, of course, the United States have fallen from an average of 65 percent to about 40 percent since Laffer had burst onto the policy scene with his ideas in the 1970s. It is no coincidence that growth surged when these tax rates fell. From 1982 to 2007, the global economy grew at one of its fastest rates in history.

In a perfect world, Laffer would win a Nobel Prize in economics but, given the liberal bias of that award committee, it probably will not happen. The good news is that, on Wednesday, President Trump will award Laffer the prestigious Presidential Medal of Freedom for his tax cutting crusades.

The Laffer revolution began around 45 years ago when this young and precocious economist famously drew a graph in the shape of a turtle shell, pointing out the surprising relationship between tax rates and tax revenues, on a cloth napkin at a private dinner in Washington in 1974. That dinner was attended by Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, two top White House advisers to President Ford at the time, along with Wall Street Journal writer Jude Wanniski, who over the next few months and years excitedly editorialized about this profound new economic doctrine.

The idea illustrated by Laffer was disarmingly simple. There are two tax rates that produce no government revenues. These are 0 percent and 100 percent. No one works or invests if they have to fork over every penny to the government. In some instances, as when President Kennedy slashed income tax rates from 90 percent to 70 percent, the lower rates cause the economy to accelerate so much that income taxes paid can actually rise.

The left obsesses about whether tax cuts “pay for themselves” and the answer is sometimes yes but more often no. This is a sideshow to the key insight of the real paradigm shift led by Laffer, who refocused economics back to the role of incentives. When politicians cut the tax or regulatory burden on working, investing, or starting businesses, people respond by working, investing, and starting businesses more. This is called supply side economics because the supply of our goods and services is shifted upward. As Laffer has stated a thousand times, “When you tax something, you get less of it, and when you tax something less, you get more of it.”

President Reagan and Jack Kemp took to the idea. The famous 1981 tax cuts were a product of Laffer economic theory. By the end of the Reagan administration, tax rates were slashed from 70 percent to 28 percent. The economic comeback in the United States from the “stagflationary” 1970s was undeniable, with the surge in output contributing to unemployment, inflation rates falling by half, and economic growth surging to 6 percent and averaging just under 4 percent annually from 1982 to 1989. This was just like adding another California to the economy of the United States.

Laffer became the Pied Piper of lower tax rates around the world. Rates of 60 percent, 70 percent, and even 90 percent were falling and often cut in half. Ireland went down to less than 13 percent on its corporate tax rate, and businesses started to pour in. Sweden even abolished its estate tax.

The most recent disciple of the Laffer curve is Trump. Having worked on a tax plan for Trump, I can attest that Laffer was the most persistent and persuasive voice for cutting the corporate tax rate to 21 percent. While the final verdict of how well this all works remains unknown, the boost in growth and wages in our country, along with the record seven million unfilled jobs, has vindicated the true power of the Laffer model.

Amazingly, the Laffer curve notion that lower tax rates and fewer tax loopholes produce a more efficient way to collect taxes had become so mainstream and bipartisan that a tax bill that chopped the highest tax rate from 50 percent to 28 percent in 1986 was overwhelmingly passed in the Senate with 97 votes in favor, including the votes of Democrats like Al Gore, Bill Bradley, Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy, and Howard Metzenbaum.

Unfortunately, the political consensus that had emerged in the 1980s and 1990s that very high tax rates can cause severe economic damage has splintered. Today, the central message of the Laffer curve is sadly under assault from influential Democrats. Some of them in Congress, like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, favor income tax rates on the rich of 50 percent, 60 percent, and even 70 percent.

This is all being promoted as a way to restore “fairness.” But if history is any judge, those tax rates will only slow the economy and hurt those at the bottom of the income ladder the most. Laffer shrugs when he hears talk of the sky high tax rates of the 1960s. “Some people just do not get it,” he laments. “70 percent of zero is still zero.” He adds, “A good tax system should try to make poor people rich, not rich people poor.”
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Stephen Moore, (@StephenMoore) is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with Freedom Works. He is the co-author of "Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy." Moore encouraged the ARRA News Service editor at SamSphere Chicago 2008 to blog his articles.  His article was originally at The Hill

Tags: Stephen Moore, Arthur Laffer, revolutionized, the world, economic theory To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

EPA Repeal of Clean Power Plan A Step In The Right Direction, But Carbon Endangerment Finding Remains In Place

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco
by Robert Romano: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under President Donald Trump has finally rescinded the Obama era Clean Power Plan that sought to end coal as a form of electricity and puts states in the driver’s seat in terms of regulating carbon emissions rates.

But because Congress has left the 2009 carbon endangerment finding in place the probability is that carbon emissions will once again be regulated nationally as a harmful pollutant under the Clean Air Act as soon as Democrats are back in power.

Per the EPA release on June 19, the Affordable Clean Energy rule “establishes emissions guidelines for states to use when developing plans to limit carbon dioxide (CO2) at their coal-fired power plants. Specifically, ACE identifies heat rate improvements as the best system of emission reduction (BSER) for CO2 from coal-fired power plants, and these improvements can be made at individual facilities. States will have 3 years to submit plans, which is in line with other planning timelines under the Clean Air Act.”

The Clean Power Plan, initially proposed in 2014 and finalized in 2015, was designed to reduce carbon emissions by retrofitting existing coal power plants and making the costs of building new ones so onerous that it nobody would bother investing.

It succeeded, even as the Supreme Court eventually stayed the rules’ implementation in Feb. 2016. The problem for the coal industry was the initial Obama EPA regulations aimed at coal power plants started being proposed in 2011, and surely the 2009 carbon endangerment finding had an impact on industry decisions as well.

Everyone could see which way the wind was blowing and coal plants were taken off-line and replaced with cheaper natural gas, and the new plants built also 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.

Just by getting the process started in 2009, the Obama EPA had signaled a sea change. You’d have to have been crazy to invest in coal electricity generation after that.

To be certain, under the new EPA proposal, the carbon emissions rules have been eliminated, to be certain. The EPA’s new plan will leave it up to states to determine what rates of carbon emissions will be allowed. Presumably, this will allow some states that want to keep their coal power plants to do so. It buys some time.

But the trajectory remains the same.

The law of the land remains the Massachusetts v. EPA Supreme Court decision in 2007 that carbon dioxide could be regulated under the terms of the Clean Air Act even though the law never contemplated doing so. It’s what made the carbon endangerment finding possible and essentially why it would be a speed bump to rescind it. It could just be issued again, consistent with the 2007 ruling.

The Trump EPA was left to do what it could under the existing statutory and regulatory framework, mindful that it is much tougher to rescind regulations than to modify them and have courts uphold it.

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.” That has left 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.

Meaning, the current outcome, which modifies the Obama regulations by relaying decision-making on carbon emissions to the states, may be the best that can be hoped for via regulation under the current law.

All of which underscores the need for Congress to act. 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. Undoubtedly such a move would have been filibustered.

Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning issued this statement in response to the EPA’s action saying, “The EPA action is a step in the right direction but by leaving the carbon endangerment finding in place, the knife is still at the throats of the coal industry. Although the new standards some states will adopt should be technically feasible for coal power plants to still exist, it will remain a risky endeavor to invest when the carbon allowed standard is one national or state election away from becoming technologically impossible again.”

So, if the goal is to help reduce the long-term costs of producing coal-based energy, the Trump EPA approach certainly has afforded time for power plants to continue operating and maybe build a few new ones and has shifted for now the focus to states and what degree of regulation they wish to implement. When Democrats return to power, Federal courts may yet halt future attempts to repeal these new rules, too, so there is something of a firewall.

But to prevent any more attempts to regulate carbon nationally, Congress must reform and amend the Clean Air Act to foreclose the possibility of carbon emissions regulations. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of time and an election cycle or two and the War on Coal will begin again — with the Green New Deal not too far behind.
--------------------
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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Oberlin's Racial Hucksterism Comes Home to Roost

Four Conservative Activists (2011)
David Crow, Michelle Malkin,
Randy Alexander & Dr. Bill Smith
by Michelle Malkin: As a right-wing alumna of far-left Oberlin College, I have four words for the administration in response to last week's ground-breaking $11 million jury verdict in the defaming of humble Gibson's Bakery:

You had it coming.

I have five more words for Oberlin as arrogant college officials continue their obstinate war on the Gibson family even after the much-deserved courtroom defeat:

You still don't get it.

After the college sent out Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary Donica Thomas Varner's June 7 email to alumni disparaging the verdict and lying about the basis for the trial, the jury whacked Oberlin's calumnious crapweasels with an additional $33 million in damages caused by their libel, intentional interference with business and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Ironically, thanks to Big Business GOP-sponsored tort reforms in Ohio 15 years ago, the awards may be greatly reduced to the relief of the radically liberal college, as Legal Insurrection blogger and law professor William Jacobson points out.

Still, the jury's message to administrators who incited hatred against Gibson's is loud and clear: Stop the racial smears.

Because white townies are presumed guilty until proven innocent, minority students and their mentors leaped to protest alleged institutional racism by a bakery that has nobly and peacefully served and employed people of all races and backgrounds since 1885. Social justice agitators attempted to turn three black student shoplifters into Rodney King-style martyrs and the white Gibsons into the Simi Valley police of Lorain County in late 2016. In August 2017, after the SJW noise died down, the trio of grabby-handed students pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges ranging from attempted theft and aggravated trespassing to underage purchase of alcohol. They acknowledged in statements that Gibson was within his right to detain shoplifters and all stated in court that Gibson's actions were not racially motivated.

But those admissions were small consolation to the Gibsons, whom the dean of students attacked publicly in knee-jerk protests immediately after the theft and whom other officials savaged privately in extensive, profanity-laced communications leading up to the bakery's lawsuit and trial. Oberlin Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo put herself in the middle of the maelstrom, complete with bullhorn and flyers declaring Gibson's to be a "RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION." Oberlin VP of communications Ben Jones lambasted the bakers: "F--- em ... they've made their own bed now." And special assistant to the president Tito Reed condemned the Gibsons' "combined audacity and arrogance to assume the position of victim" as the college sought to pressure the family into exempting all student shoplifters from criminal prosecution in exchange for restoring canceled cafeteria contracts.

I received an even more defiant letter from Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar on June 14 vowing that "this is not the final outcome." Ambar warns of a "lengthy and complex legal process." Indeed, I'm now hearing from infuriated Oberlin insiders this week that the college persists in treating the Gibson family horribly and refuses to end the horror show, all while blithely assuring alumni that "we value our relationship with the town and region that are our home."

Bull.

For decades, grievance-mongering Oberlin elites have bullied and defamed innocent white people without consequences in their multicultural Ohio enclave. False racial allegations and toxic identity politics are the bread and butter of Oberlin campus life. I've documented multiple hoaxes, stoked by Oberlin's campus outrage industry, which have exploited fake hate by phantom white bigots to expand the affirmative action empire.

--Back in the 1990s, Asian American students claimed that a mysterious racist had spray-painted anti-Asian racial epithets on a campus landmark rock; they used the incident to clamor for more departmental hiring. The culprit was a warped Asian American student.

--Another Asian American student I knew accused a white library worker of racism after the poor staffer asked the triggered student to lower the blinds where she was studying.

--In spring 1990, two black female students baselessly accused David Gibson of bigotry after he told them they were not allowed to sit at an outside table because they hadn't purchased any food items from his store. The rule applied to everyone. The perpetually aggrieved students demanded an apology to the entire black student population.

--In 2013, hyped by the administration and power-seeking minority groups, Oberlin made international headline news for a "KKK sighting" that turned out to be a person walking around campus wearing a blanket.

Oberlin alum Beth Kontrabecki Walters summed it well for me in her reflections on campus life and the Gibson's verdict: "What was once considered a forward-thinking and prestigious institution has now become the poster child for intolerant, myopic crybabies. Oberlin should not appeal this decision. ... The multimillion-dollar reward to Gibson's is the public's way of sending a message; it's high time these insulated left-wing incubators put an end to the out-of-control politically correct culture. ... They made an example of Oberlin, and while I agree with the jury completely, as an alum, it is extremely embarrassing nonetheless."

Instead of reexamining its fundamental contempt for Midwest family values, entrepreneurship, the presumption of innocence and the truth about its racial hucksterism, however, Oberlin recently announced the appointment of a new "Multicultural Resource Center" director focused on nominating future speakers for the college's segregated Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ students graduation ceremonies and advancing the "advocacy, equity, and belonging for marginalized students."

In other words: More of the same old toxic stew of anti-white activism masquerading as "education" that landed Oberlin in such humiliating legal trouble in the first place. The jury voted. Now it's time for more parents, alumni and donors of ideological insane asylums like Oberlin to vote with their own feet and pocketbooks. De-fund the divisive defamers of American higher education. It's the only way they'll learn.
-----------------
Michelle Malkin is mother, wife, blogger, conservative syndicated columnist, and author. She shares many of her articles and thoughts at MichelleMalkin.com. Article shared by Rasmussen Reports.

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Civil Society

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Anyone looking at charitable giving can see that individuals and voluntary associations are very effective. Don Eberly talks about this in his book. The Rise of Global Civil Society. He points out that during recent disasters around the world, private voluntary organizations had the capacity to raise more funds than government. They were also able to mobilize resources and manpower with a speed and efficiency that matches (if not exceeds) the that best government aid agencies could do.

Private, voluntary associations have always been a part of American society. When Alexis de Tocqueville toured America in the 1840s, he marveled at the “tendency to form or join” voluntary associations of “a thousand kinds.” That is why he was optimistic about the future of this new republic. He saw that such organizations formed the bedrock of civil society. These associations, Tocqueville wrote, “were the things upon which progress toward all the rest depends.”

Don Eberly says that in Tocqueville’s day, there were 27 associations with an international focus. Today there are 40,000 such associations, with a very large number of them based upon a Christian foundation. He also reports that 50 million Americans are continuously engaged as “social networkers” with a person or community outside of the United States.

For years now, my wife and I have sponsored children in Africa and South America through groups like World Vision and Compassion International. You have probably done the same. And your church has no doubt provided you with an opportunity to visit the mission field or engage in short-term missions. These are just some other examples of what Don Eberly is talking about when he says we are building community from the bottom up rather than from a bureaucratic governmental top down. It is exciting to see what is happening in the world.
----------------
Kerby Anderson (@kerbyanderson) is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network (@PointofViewRTS) and is endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service.

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Not Your Mother’s How-To Manual

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: “Want to Dismantle Capitalism?” asks The Nation headline for a recent interview with feminist Sophie Lewis, immediately answering: “Abolish the Family.”

In a world of YouTube videos on how to do almost everything, apparently the progressive publication noticed something missing: There is no reliable guide for going full commie.

Rosemarie Ho prefaces her discussion with Ms. Lewis, author of “Full Surrogacy Now: Feminism Against Family,” by observing that “the most infamous demand of The Communist Manifesto is the ‘abolition of the family.’”

“The family, Marx and Engels noted, was where patriarchy and capitalism worked in tandem to produce willing, alienated workers,” writes Ho, “where women became little more than ‘instruments of production’ for the men who lorded over them.”

Ah, “little more” — how depressingly reductionist.

Ho applauds that Lewis “takes up this forgotten struggle” and “gives us an account of the material conditions — the biological and societal violence — that gestators, or people who are carrying fetuses, have to bear.”

“Mothers nurture,” acknowledges Lewis, “but they also kill and abuse their wards. That’s why it’s so valuable to denaturalize the mother-child bond. To do anything otherwise is to devalue that work. That’s the horizon that I think opens up the space for a revolutionary politics.”

Through 2,000 words of jargon, we learn that “motherhood is a very powerful ideological edifice,” as Lewis attacks “the idea that babies belong to anyone — the idea that the product of gestational labor gets transferred as property to a set of people.” After all, she informs that we should “think about babies as made by many people.”

Gestators of the world unite! We have nothing to lose but our sanity!

Oh . . . and the family.

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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US Holds All The Cards In Showdown With Iran

Secretary of State addressing the Press
over the Gulf of Oman oil tanker attacks.

by Victor Davis Hanson: In May 2018, the Donald Trump administration withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, popularly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

The U.S. then ramped up sanctions on the Iranian theocracy to try to ensure that it stopped nuclear enrichment. The Trump administration also hoped a strapped Iran would become less capable of funding terrorist operations in the Middle East and beyond, proxy wars in the Persian Gulf, and the opportune harassment of ships transiting the Strait of Hormuz.

The sanctions are clearly destroying an already weak Iranian economy. Iran is now suffering from negative economic growth, massive unemployment and record inflation.

A desperate Iranian government is using surrogates to send missiles into Saudi Arabia while its forces attack ships in the Gulf of Oman.

The Iranian theocrats despise the Trump administration. They yearn for the good old days of the Obama administration, when the U.S. agreed to a nuclear deal that all but guaranteed future Iranian nuclear proliferation, ignored Iranian terrorism and sent hundreds of millions of dollars in shakedown payments to the Iranian regime.

Iran believed that the Obama administration saw it as a valuable Shiite counterweight to Israel and the traditionally American-allied Sunni monarchies in the Gulf region. Teheran assumes that an even more left-wing American administration would also endorse Iran-friendly policies, and so it is fishing for ways to see that happen in 2020 with a Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden presidency.

Desperate Iranian officials have already met secretly with former Secretary of State John Kerry and openly with Sen. Diane Feinstein, likely to commiserate over Trump's cancellation of the nuclear deal and to find ways to revive the Obama-era agreement after Trump leaves office.

To that end, the Iranians wish to disrupt world oil traffic while persuading China, Russia and the European Union to pressure the U.S. to back off sanctions.

Iran hopes to provoke and embarrass its nemesis into overreacting -- or not reacting at all. If Trump does nothing, he looks weak to this Jacksonian base of supporters. But do too much, and he appears a neoconservative, globalist nation-builder. Either way, the Iranians think Trump loses.

After all, Iran knows that Trump got elected by flipping the blue-wall states of the Midwest -- in part by promising an end to optional interventions in the Middle East. Accordingly, Iran hopes to embarrass or bog down the U.S. before the 2020 elections. In Teheran's view, the challenge is to provoke Trump into a shooting war that it can survive and that will prove unpopular in the United States, thus losing him the election.

Iran, of course, is not always a rationale actor. A haughty Tehran always magnifies its own importance and discounts the real dangers that it is courting. It harkens back to its role in the 2003-2011 Iraq War, a conflict that proved that U.S. efforts could be subverted, hundreds of American soldiers could be killed, public support for war could be eroded, and a more malleable American government could be transitioned in.

But what worked then may not work now. The U.S. is not only the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas, but soon to become the largest exporter of energy -- and without getting near the Iranian coast. Likewise, American allies in the Middle East such as Israel are energy independent. America's Arab friends enjoy seeing competing Iranian oil all but off the market.

Time, then, is on the Americans' side. But it is certainly not on the side of a bankrupt and impoverished Iran that either must escalate or face ruin.

If Iran starts sinking ships or attacking U.S. assets, Trump can simply replay the ISIS strategy of selective off-and-on bombing. The U.S. did not lose a single pilot to enemy action.

Translated, that would mean disproportionately replying to each Iranian attack on a U.S. asset with a far more punishing air response against an Iranian base or port. The key would be to avoid the use of ground troops and yet not unleash a full-fledged air war. Rather, the U.S. would demonstrate to the world that Iranian aggression determines the degree to which Iran suffers blows from the U.S.

Of course, Tehran may try to stir up trouble with Israel through its Syrian and Palestinian surrogates. Iran may in extremis also stage terrorist attacks in Europe and the U.S. And it may lie that it has already developed enough fissionable material to launch a nuclear missile.

But the truth is that America has all the cards and Iran none in its game of chicken.

Because Iran is losing friends and money, it will have to escalate. But the U.S. can respond without looking weak and without going to war -- and without ensuring the return to power of the political party responsible for giving us the disastrous nuclear deal that had so empowered Iran in the first place.
-------------
Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) is a senior fellow, classicist and historian at the
and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution where many of his articles are found; his focus is classics and military history. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. H/T Jewish World Report


Tags: Victor Davis Hanson, US Holds All The Cards, In Showdown With Iran, Jewish World Report To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Size Does Matter . . .

. . . The Rallies of Joe Biden and the other Democrat presidential candidates just can’t measure up to the historical Trump rallies.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: AF Branco, editorial cartoon, Size Does Matter, Rallies of Joe Biden, Democrat presidential candidates, can’t measure up to, the historical Trump rallies To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

ICE Releases List of Murderers And Rapists Protected Under Sanctuary City Policies

by Jason Hopkins: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a list of criminal illegal aliens who were released from jail due to sanctuary city policies, many of whom went on to commit other crimes.

Washington and Oregon, two states under Democratic Party control, have enacted some of the strongest sanctuary laws in the country that protect illegal immigrants from federal apprehension. Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee signed legislation in May that prohibits local jails and state prisons from honoring ICE detainers, and bars them notifying ICE when a suspected illegal immigrant is about to be released from their custody.

The newly minted law puts Washington on par with Oregon and California in terms of the level of restriction placed against federal immigration authorities. Federal law enforcement officials argue that their job becomes much more difficult with these laws, and communities are put in more danger.

“There is an inherent increase in risk to personnel and bystanders when ICE officers and agents must go out into the community to proactively locate these previously detained criminal aliens,” read a press release from the agency. “ICE commends our local law enforcement colleagues who work to minimize that risk by cooperating with ICE to apprehend criminal aliens at the time of their release from local custody.”

In a bid to show the horrific consequences of sanctuary laws, ICE on Monday released details of some of the criminals in Washington and Oregon custody who went on to evade ICE apprehension.

Rosalio Ramos-Romas, a Honduran national, was deported from the U.S. four times before his arrest in Washington in October 2017. However, after local authorities failed to hand him over to ICE, he was then charged in January 2018 of stabbing his cousin to death, decapitating the body, and then attempting to hide the remains in a dumpster.

A county jail in Kent, Washington, did not honor a January 2014 retainer placed on Jorge Luis Romero-Arriaga, a Honduran living illegally in the U.S., despite being held on a charge of child rape. Local authorities instead released him into the community pending the results of his case. Romero-Arriaga was subsequently convicted in August 2015, according to ICE, and deported from the country.

The list went to describe other examples of illegal immigrants in Washington and Oregon committing murder after local jails ignored an ICE detainer and released them into the public. In another instance, a Washington county jail refused to honor an ICE request, despite that individual already having been convicted of rape in the state.

The agency argues that not cooperating with their agents puts the community at a greater risk of danger.

“When local law enforcement decides to uphold sanctuary policies and release illegal criminal aliens without notifying ICE, it is a decision to protect and release criminals who are preying on victims in our communities. By allowing criminal aliens, particularly those with egregious criminal records, to be released it places everyone in potential danger,” said Bryan Wilcox, an acting field operations director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations.
-----------------------
Jason Hopkins (@thejasonhopkins) is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Tags: Jason Hopkins, ICE, Releases List of Murderers And Rapists, Protected Under, Sanctuary City Policies To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Paranoia Runs Deep Among Iran Supporters

Ken Blackwell
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: There are several truisms about the Iranian regime. It is a deeply intolerant, religiously fanatical regime with a death grip on power through suppression and a corrupt system of bribes, payoffs and family connections.

Tony Soprano has nothing on the mullahs’ regime.

Like any insular group of Mafiosos, the mullahs ruling Tehran are a deeply paranoid bunch. They regularly suspect traitors in their midst and engage in periodic purges that would do Josef Stalin proud; right down to public hangings.

They also desperately manipulate—sometimes clumsily—social media and the Internet in general in a vain attempt to trash opponents and to stifle debate about their abysmal corruption and mismanagement.

Twitter announced last week that it was suspending thousands of accounts engaged in state-backed influence campaigns originating in Iran and Russia.

The action listed over 2,000 new accounts linked to Iran alone and comes on the heels of similar actions by other social media companies, such as Facebook, to remove fake profiles and accounts.

The new data archive created by Twitter includes three sets of accounts, totaling 4,779, from Iran. According to the company, all were associated with or directly backed by the Iranian government. But while the focus of this latest effort centers around supposed efforts by the Iranian regime to influence U.S. elections with an eye on the 2020 campaign, the more pedestrian—and ultimately more important for the mullahs—target has been the online character assassination of any dissenting voices outside of Iran.

One of the more notorious thorns in the Iranian regime’s side has been Heshmat Alavi, a pseudonym used by an Iranian investigative commentator who regularly contributes to media outlets such as Forbes, The Hill and the Daily Caller and has been a harsh critic of the treatment of the Iranian people by the regime. Heshmat Alavi has also been exposing the Iranian lobby that parrots Tehran’s narrative in the West.

He goes by his pen name because he simply doesn’t want to get rubbed out by agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). The MOIS has a dark record of assassinating Iranian dissidents. Most recently, its operatives were caught by European authorities while trying to bomb a mass gathering of Iranian dissidents outside of Paris. They were also caught while planning to explode a truck bomb at the main opposition’s Nowruz (Persian New Year) celebration in Albania. MOIS operatives have been arrested in Washington, DC for targeting opposition officials in Washington, D.C., as part of a capture/kill operation.

The target in all of these plots has been the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), a political coalition whose main component is the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). Starting as a student dissident group in the 1960s, the MEK is now considered to be the most viable democratic alternative to the theocracy.

Supporting or joining the NCRI or MEK is punishable by death in Iran and members and supporters have been targeted in mass killings, bombings, and assassinations over the last three decades.

The most recent attack on dissident Heshmat Alavi included a flurry of tweets and articles by pro-Iran advocates and notorious MOIS operatives, such as Massoud Khodabandeh and his wife Anne Singleton. The couple runs one of the most active blogs dedicated to demonizing the MEK at the behest of the MOIS.

The most appalling attack came from an editorial by Murtaza Mohammad Hussain in The Intercept that even questioned Alavi’s existence as a person. Not surprisingly, pro-regime Iranian and American trolls jumped at the opportunity to question Alavi’s bonafides.

That constant barrage resulted in the temporary suspension of Alavi’s Twitter account before it was reinstated after a hailstorm of protest from human rights activists, journalists and bloggers. Alavi also presented his credentials to Twitter.

In the end, all those who prematurely jumped at the opportunity to silence Heshmat Alavi were deeply disappointed, discredited and disgraced.

The regime remains obsessed with stamping out any trace of dissension no matter where it resides. It relies heavily on fake social media networks and a chain of content generators steadily supplying outlets gullible enough to print their outlandish lies.

The proof of Iran’s nefarious efforts is plainly available for anyone to see in Twitter’s public datasets, as well as the smear campaigns such as the one perpetrated against Alavi.

The fact that the regime and its discredited lobbyists hysterically call for the closing of a single online account that is critical of the regime speaks volumes about their vulnerability and weakening position as well as the growing strength of dissenting voices.

Perhaps the regime and its shills know full well that the end of the theocracy’s 40-year rule is fast approaching.
------------------
Ken Blackwell (@kenblackwell) is a former ambassador to the U.N., a former Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump/Pence Presidential Transition Team, and former Ohio State Treasurer and mayor of Cincinnati who currently serves on the boards of numerous conservative policy organizations. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service

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