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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, July 26, 2019

A Big Wednesday for 'Populists' on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Boris Johnson & Donald Trump
by Michael Barone: Power shifted Wednesday, on both sides of the Atlantic.

In Washington, the dim performance of Robert Mueller, in the hearings House Democrats insisted on, took the last air out of the Collusiongate balloon. The notion that Donald Trump would be hounded out of office has been revealed as the fantasy it always was.

In London, Boris Johnson met with the queen and left Buckingham Palace as her 14th prime minister. He proceeded to No. 10 Downing Street and reiterated his promise to deliver Brexit -- British exit from the European Union -- by the statutory deadline of Oct. 31.

Some observers will depict these two events as steps forward for populist politics, personified in the two exotically coifed Anglopshere leaders. President Trump has been saying nice things about Johnson for more than a year now, and Johnson has been praising Trump (and conveniently forgetting disparaging comments he made years ago).

But they're not really clones. Trump was a real estate developer and a reality TV show host. Johnson worked as a journalist, as editor of the weekly London Spectator at age 35 and as a highly paid columnist for the Telegraph till last Monday. Trump famously doesn't read books. Johnson has written over 10 of them, including a novel and a biography of Winston Churchill.

Many Johnson critics regard him as a buffoon who wisecracks his way through serious difficulties and masquerades as a P.G. Wodehouse-style befuddled aristocrat. My sense is that he cultivates this persona, complete with references to ancient Greek philosophy, to make what might otherwise be pedestrian politicking distinctive and memorable.

It also bears remembering that Johnson was elected mayor of London in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, as a Conservative in a city that has usually voted Labour; and that the city prospered -- and crime dropped -- during his years in office. For all his fusty oratory, he supports metropolitan values like gay rights and celebrates the metropolis' rapidly increasing ethnic diversity.

All of which he considers consistent with his support for Brexit, in the campaign running up to the June 2016 referendum and today. More British citizens voted in that clearly worded referendum than in any other election in the nation's history, and they approved of leaving the European Union by a solid 52 to 48 percent margin.

As I noted in 2017, Brexit in Britain, like Donald Trump in the United States, sparked a political realignment, with the capital pitted against the countryside; the elites ensconced in the very largest metropolitan areas versus small-town traditionalists and their former partisan opponents in beleaguered mining and manufacturing centers. London (and Scotland) voted 60 percent against Brexit, the rest of England 57 percent in favor.

By endorsing Brexit, the Eton and Oxford graduate Johnson opted for the countryside, just as Trump did, even when riding down an escalator on Fifth Avenue. Globalist elites responded with scorn -- until the votes were counted. Then, far from taking defeat in sportsmanlike stride -- as Richard Nixon did in 1960, to take just one example -- they went to work trying to undermine the legitimacy of the result and reverse it by fair or foul means.

The voters on the winning side were racists, they claimed, voting to suppress people of color, manipulated by crafty Russians, old people resisting the future. In America, they bogged down the Trump administration by blocking appointments and promoting lengthy investigations of far-fetched charges. In Britain, the unelected civil servants on whom Prime Minister Theresa May relied worked with unelected European Union leaders to block Brexit from ever happening.

Some establishment types may really believe that Trump is Hitler and that Brexit will plunge Britain into another Great Depression. Most of them drip with contempt for ordinary citizens and, astonishingly, seem to think it entirely healthy and consistent with democracy to overturn the decision of the voters. They're sure they're better than ordinary people.

Those attitudes are unjustified. Johnson's three top Cabinet appointees are of Muslim, Hindu and Jewish ancestry: Nationalism doesn't mean white supremacy. He's looking for advice not from unelected civil servants but, reportedly, from Dominic Commings, mastermind of the 2016 Leave campaign, who has repeatedly outstrategized them.

Politically, Johnson's in no position to break his promise to deliver Brexit by Oct. 31, with or without an EU agreement. He brushes aside establishment predictions of economic disaster (all wrong so far) and talks of what his "amazing country" will do once freed of undemocratic EU ukases, like its member states' ban on genetically modified crops. Power is shifting. How far, we shall see.
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Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, Rasmussen Reports, A Big Wednesday, for 'Populists, Both Sides of the Atlantic, Boris Johnson, Donald Trump To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

After Mueller Debacle, Where Do Democrats Go?

by Patrick Buchanan: The Democrats who were looking to cast Robert Mueller as the star in a TV special, “The Impeachment of Donald Trump,” can probably tear up the script. They’re gonna be needing a new one.

For six hours Wednesday, as three cable news networks and ABC, CBS and NBC all carried live the hearings of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, the Mueller report was thoroughly trashed.

The special counsel stood by his findings. His investigation was not a “hoax” or “witch hunt,” he said. He admitted that he had found no Trump-Russia conspiracy. He denied he exonerated Trump of obstruction of justice.

All this we knew, and all of it we have heard for months.

What was new, what was dramatic, what was compelling was how the House Republicans arrived with their war paint on and ripped Mueller and his investigation to such shreds that viewers were feeling sorry for the special counsel at the end of his six hours of grilling.

The Republicans exposed him as only vaguely conversant with his own report. They revealed that he had probably not written his own statement challenging the depiction of his findings by Attorney General Bill Barr.

Mueller’s staff of lawyers, Republicans showed, reads like a donors list for Hillary Clinton. The FBI contingent that started the investigation was a cabal so hateful of Trump that some had to be fired.

Republicans raised questions about the origins of the investigation, tracing it back to early 2016 when Maltese intelligence agent Joseph Mifsud leaked to a staffer of the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, that Russia had Clinton’s emails. That and subsequent meetings have all the marks of an intel agency set-up.

Repeatedly, Republicans brought up the dossier written by British spy Christopher Steele, who fed Russian-sourced disinformation to Clinton campaign-financed intel firm, Fusion GPS, who passed it on to the FBI, which used it as evidence to justify warrants to spy on Trump’s campaign.

To many in the TV audience, this was fresh and startling stuff.

Yet Mueller’s response to all such allegations was that they were outside his purview and that other agencies were looking into them.

Wednesday’s hearings often proved painful to watch.

Mueller, a 74-year-old decorated Marine veteran of Vietnam and a former director of the FBI, sat mumbling his dissents as one charge after another was fired at him, his associates and his investigation.

For this disaster, the Democrats are alone to blame.

Mueller had wanted to file his report and leave it to the attorney general and Congress to act, or not act, on its contents. His job was done, and he did not want to testify publicly.

Democrats, desperate for impeachment hearings, wanted him to recite for the TV cameras every charge against the president.

What Democrats hoped would be a recital of Trump’s sins, Republicans turned into an adversarial proceeding that ended Mueller’s public career in a humiliating spectacle lasting a full day.

Where do Democrats go from here?

Their goal from the outset has been to persuade the nation that Trump colluded with Putin’s Russia to steal the 2016 election, and that the progressives are the true patriots in seeking to impeach and remove an illegitimate president and prosecute him for acts of treason.

The Republican position is that, for all his flaws and failings, Trump won the 2016 election fairly and squarely. He is our president, and the drive to impeach and remove him is an attempted constitutional coup d’etat by a “deep state” terrified that it cannot win against him in 2020.

The rival narratives are irreconcilable.

The Republican message of Wednesday: Proceed with hearings to impeach and there will be blood on the floor.

Democrats are in a hellish bind.

Should they proceed with hearings on impeachment, they will divide their party, force their presidential candidates to cease talking health care and start talking impeachment, and probably fail.

Impeachment hearings would fire up the Republican base and energize the GOP minority to prepare for combat in a Judiciary Committee where they are already celebrating having eviscerated the prosecution’s star witness.

If Democrats vote impeachment in committee, they will have to take it to the House floor, where their moderates, who won in swing districts, will be forced to vote on it, splitting their own bases in the run-up to the 2020 election.

If Democrats lose the impeachment vote on the House floor, it would be a huge setback. But if they vote impeachment in the House, the trial takes place in a Senate run by Mitch McConnell.

Trump would go into the 2020 battle against a Democratic Party that failed to overthrow the president in a radical coup that it attempted because it was afraid to fight it out with the president in a free and fair election.
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Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) is currently a blogger, 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.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, After Mueller Debacle, Where Do Democrats Go? To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Pelosi Pushes Impeachment, Securing Our Rights, Barr Demands Justice

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Pelosi Pushes Impeachment
If you thought the "Impeachment Express" was derailed by Robert Mueller's bizarre performance Wednesday, you had better think again.

A short time ago, Speaker Nancy Pelosi held her Friday press briefing. She made it absolutely clear that she favors impeaching President Trump. Pelosi indicated that she "will proceed when we have what we need."

She also said that the clamoring of progressives for impeachment "only gives me leverage," adding, "I have no complaint with what they are doing." (By the way, earlier today Pelosi met with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.)

The media narrative that Pelosi was holding the line against a small fraction of her caucus has just been exposed as false. Polling shows that nearly 70% of self-identified Democrats want the president impeached . . . for the "crime" of having been elected.

The battle continues, and we must be ready to fight the radical left.

CWF stands with President Trump!

Securing Our Unalienable Rights
It was an honor yesterday for me, Pastor John Hagee and his daughter, Sandy Hagee Parker, to visit with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. We discussed many issues related to human rights and religious liberty that I know all of you care about.

The secretary of state is juggling many balls that make headlines, but he has also found time, as we have previously reported, to form a commission charged with producing a report on unalienable rights and why they are so important. Of course, this is a reference to, in my view, the most important section of the Declaration of Independence, which says:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. . ."

From my time as under secretary of education to my presidential campaign to today, I have been deeply disturbed by the fact that our educational establishment no longer teaches these words -- America's mission statement -- to our children. They don't because they don't believe those words.

You can't get more than three words into the paragraph before you hit a fundamental roadblock -- "truths." Sadly, truth is under constant assault from the left.

Yet, those words are the foundation of all human rights. We have these rights because they come from God, not any government.

So Secretary Pompeo has done something very important in announcing this commission. But this is Washington, D.C., and no good deed goes unpunished. He is being attacked by every leftwing group imaginable. Democrats in Congress are threatening to withhold funding for the commission.

The reaction to this idea is a stark reminder of the culture war we are in and that the division in our country was not caused by Donald Trump. A big part of the progressive movement no longer believes in our founding values, let alone the founding fathers.

Barr Demands Justice
Attorney General William Barr has ordered the federal government to resume executions of prisoners convicted under federal death penalty charges. Enforcement of the federal death penalty has been suspended since 2003. In a statement, Barr declared:

"Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the people's representatives in both houses of Congress and signed by the president. Under Administrations of both parties, the Department of Justice has sought the death penalty against the worst criminals. . .

"The Justice Department upholds the rule of law and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system."


Five convicted murders in federal custody are scheduled to be executed in December and January. Their crimes are truly horrific. They were found guilty of murdering at least 13 people, including six children. The youngest victim was just two years old.

Incredibly, but predictably, a number of the 2020 presidential wannabes condemned Barr's decision and the death penalty as "cruel," "immoral" and "racist." Progressive Squad member Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) immediately introduced legislation to repeal the federal death penalty. Left-wing groups, including the ACLU, are vowing to fight Barr's order.

On this issue, like so many others, the American people overwhelmingly side with Attorney General Barr and the Trump Administration. A November 2018 Rasmussen poll found that 61% of Americans support capital punishment, while just 23% oppose it.

Values Voter Summit
Join me in our nation's capital, October 11th - 13th, for the 2019 Values Voter Summit.

Vice President Mike Pence said, "The Values Voter Summit [is] the greatest gathering of conservative pro-family Americans in the nation." And he is absolutely right!

That's why American Values, my non-profit public policy organization, has been a proud sponsor of the Summit every year.

As always, this year's Summit will feature an incredible lineup of top government officials, opinion makers and faith leaders. There will be educational and informative breakout sessions, as well as events honoring those who have made significant contributions to the conservative movement.

American Values will be hosting a special luncheon Saturday, October 12th.

Register now at valuesvotersummit.org.

I look forward to seeing you there.
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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, Pelosi Pushes Impeachment, Securing Our Rights, Barr Demands Justice To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Is the Constitution of the USA Still Valid? Are the Bill of Rights Still Honored?

by Patrick L. Booth, Contributing Author: The Heller vs DC opinion held all Americans have the right to own arms as preserved in the 2nd amendment. Owning arms and being able to use them to protect one’s self, family, property, and home has long been a contentious right. However, ALL of the current 2020 Democrat candidates for President are campaigning on restricting gun rights in some fashion or another. It is a fact that the last time a so-called Assault Weapon ban was instituted (1994), there was no discernible change in crime statistics (cite: several DOJ published studies). Several other studies on gun ownership and usage have shown dramatic decreases in crime when and where concealed carry laws have passed. Texas and Florida are notable but definitely not alone.

England, Australia, Canada, and now New Zealand have strict gun control laws. They have removed thousands of weapons from their citizens. Venezuela confiscated nearly all the public's’ weapons leaving only the police and Army with firearms. Now the public wants to remove their Communist dictator and install the legally elected President. However, since only the police and military have weapons and actively using them upon the public, there is no physical recourse for ending their unpopular and criminal Communist government.

Statistics for strict gun control countries show NO decreases in violent crimes. We also know from the comments and publicly stated policies of Dem candidates that they favor socialism and/or communism which they have promised to push upon the US public if elected. This is the single greatest reason to never vote democrat for any public office. Some Democrats & Socialists have stated they would take executive actions to ban gun imports and begin confiscations of their definitions of assault weapons if Congress did not pass their ideas as legislation.

The starting point for the Dem 2020 candidates is a ban on commonly owned semi-automatic firearms and magazines very similar to the now obsolete and totally discredited assault weapons ban of 1994. It is a fact that Al Gore’s call for severe restrictions also greatly affected his run for office as did the Clinton gun-control policies hurt the Harridan’s campaign. So, why are all the current crop of Democrats calling for gun control measures?

There is a present statute that allows the AG (and BATF) to bar importation of firearms not “particularly suitable for or readily adaptable to sporting purposes…” Such keeps full automatic and so-called machine guns from being imported but not being owned by citizens who are specially licensed.

The Democrats / Socialists second most popular idea is to begin a federal registry and gun-owner licensing which would require finger printing, background information, completion of a special Federal gun safety course, limiting licenses to from 3-6 years, and requiring renewal for any firearm ownership. The fact is that most states already have similar laws on their books for concealed carry licenses, and ALL new weapons sold require a Federal background check.

Some would add restrictions on private sales and transfers between individuals (even criminalizing individual transfers) with required background checks and only allowing transfers through federally licensed firearm dealers. Some have said they favor confiscations of privately owned firearms from anyone who would not register even their antique weapons or take extensive background checks for a license to own any weapons at all.

Many seem unaware or interested in the facts that several states allow open carry of weapons, some concealed carry of weapons, and some states have allowed ownership, carry, and usage without licenses (though requiring some restrictions in liquor selling bars and restaurants) for many decades without adverse violent effects.

If gun violence were the only fear of the socialists then they would pay close attention to the various cities in which gun ownership and concealed carry is severely restricted such as DC, Baltimore, Chicago, LA, etc. They would note that those liberally restricted areas are also the centers of gun violence in the USA. It isn’t gun ownership that is at the root of violence.

If it were then those states and cities where the highest percentage of citizens owned weapons would also have the highest percentages of violence. Anchorage, Alaska, Billings and Great Falls, MT, Rapid City, SD, Sheridan and Casper, WY would all be over run and completely captive to widespread violence. None of them are! In fact they lead as areas of low firearms violence and crimes. Perhaps this is because nearly everyone owns a weapon or two or more.

I fervently believe the socialist/communist fear of weapons is reflected by Venezuela which was overcome by communism and now the people have no ability to throw off their dictator and to restore a legally elected administration. Many of our democrats are in fact our new communist party. They want nothing less than total power over every aspect of our lives in the USA which is run by themselves to their benefit.

The 2020 election is about a lot more than democrats seeking more gun control. It is about the differences between the desires of the American public and the growth of communists within the democratic party.
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Patrick "PL" Booth is a constitutional conservative who blogs in Blue Eye, MO at the The Blue Eye View and is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Patrick Booth, The Blue Eye View, Second Amendment, The Constitution, Still Valid To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Hate-Felt . . .

. . . Rashida Tlaib seems to be on the same side as Louis Farrakhan and David Duke when it comes to Israel.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Hate-Felt, Rashida Tlaib, Louis Farrakhan, David Duke, anti-Israel, Israel To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Democrats Just Won’t Give up Their Impeachment Bone

David Limbaugh
by David Limbaugh: Many war-torn Democrats and their media cohorts are in mourning over special counsel Robert Mueller’s stunningly bad performance before Congress, and it is a wonderful thing to behold.

Take, for example, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who, upon watching Republicans take Mueller apart in cross-examination, asked God for forgiveness for ever having been a Republican.

So Joe, do you mean to say you are ashamed for having associated with Republicans because they asked tough questions of the man who diverted the nation’s attention for two years with a partisan hoax of gargantuan proportions? You are more comfortable lying in bed with mean-spirited Democrats, progressives, liberals and leftists who delight every day in savaging President Trump and his supporters. We understand that you are sorry you were ever a Republican, and we’re sorry, too, but could you please come up with a better reason — one that might convince more than a sliver of credulous people?

MSNBC proudly tweeted a video clip of Mourning Joe ranting against Democrats for failing to fight back against President Trump. The written portion of the tweet reads, “If you want to stop Donald Trump, it is time to … roll up your sleeves and go after him and do whatever it takes to win. If you don’t do that, you’ll have (him) for four more years.”

Well, Joe, you outdid yourself on this. With such trenchant analysis, one wonders whether MSNBC is lamenting that it ever hired you. Well, not really. You fit in perfectly there, as evidenced by the nodding heads of your co-host and guests as you were spewing forth your inanity.

In the video clip, GI Joe boasts that if he had been one of the other 16 GOP presidential candidates who Trump insulted during the primary campaign, Trump would never have been elected because he would have made it his singular mission to destroy Trump. Quite the tough guy.

Sorry, Joe, but you think you can sit there perched in your host seat and convince us that you could have done what no other Trump opponent could do? Granted, some of them lacked energy, but others brought their A-game and fought Trump toe-to-toe and still came up short. This is not to discredit Trump’s opponents, but it is to say that Smoking Joe is inhaling if he thinks he — an obviously inauthentic Republican from the jump — could have been more successful.

But the larger point is not about Scarborough’s faux machismo. It is about his obvious blindness to reality. Not only did his Republican competitors give it their best shot but Democrats have also been attacking Trump relentlessly for years now. That’s all they’ve done, to the point of abandoning any semblance of a policy agenda. To call them one-trick ponies is an insult to small horses.

Scarborough is simply throwing a tantrum — in total frustration that his now beloved Democrats are powerless to change the results of the 2016 presidential election after three years of trying. Like his fellow Democrats, Scarborough doesn’t understand that you can’t beat Trump on his own turf — the octagon. He is a UFC warrior, and they are barking Chihuahuas, as I’ve said before. It’s not just that Trump fights back; he does so more effectively than any other Republican leader since Ronald Reagan.
More and more Americans are coming to understand that Democrats have no constructive policy ideas, or if they do, they don’t respect voters enough to share them. Especially considering the president’s remarkably successful record to date, it is amazing that Democrats think riding the Trump-hatred train is all they need to regain power.

But that is indeed what we’re learning. Despite Republicans’ interception of Democrats’ Hail Mary pass to Robert Mueller, Democrats, like scentless hound dogs, are even more determined to pursue impeachment against Trump based on their false allegations that he stole an election they’ve been trying to steal for three years. They are possessed and seem to have no prospects of liberating themselves from the bonds of their self-inflicted poison.

In the meantime, President Trump will continue to pursue pro-growth, pro-life and pro-liberty policies, and those that will protect our borders and promote America’s interests on the national stage. People are starting to pay attention, as the polls show. 2020 is looking better all the time.
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David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter& @davidlimbaugh and his website at davidlimbaugh.com.

Tags: David Limbaugh, Democrats, Won’t Give up, Impeachment Bone To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

AG Barr To Start Executing Child Murderers And The Left Freaks Out

by Daniel Greenfield: The Left's war on the criminal justice system has largely been successful.

Republicans, who were once tough on crime, have been co-opted into supporting "criminal justice reform". Meanwhile police departments around the country have been terrorized with the Ferguson Effect. And the death penalty has become precarious because of a sustained effort to cut off access to the medications needed for lethal injection.

And now comes an unexpected announcement from Attorney General Barr.
Attorney General William P. Barr has directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) to adopt a proposed Addendum to the Federal Execution Protocol—clearing the way for the federal government to resume capital punishment after a nearly two decade lapse, and bringing justice to victims of the most horrific crimes. The Attorney General has further directed the Acting Director of the BOP, Hugh Hurwitz, to schedule the executions of five death-row inmates convicted of murdering, and in some cases torturing and raping, the most vulnerable in our society—children and the elderly.

“Congress has expressly authorized the death penalty through legislation adopted by the people’s representatives in both houses of Congress and signed by the President,” Attorney General Barr said. “Under Administrations of both parties, the Department of Justice has sought the death penalty against the worst criminals, including these five murderers, each of whom was convicted by a jury of his peers after a full and fair proceeding. The Justice Department upholds the rule of law—and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.”
The details are horrifying. And the timing is important.

Governor Newsom in California decided to give monsters that were just as bad a pass. The Trump administration won't.

Here are some of the promising candidates.
Daniel Lewis Lee, a member of a white supremacist group, murdered a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl. After robbing and shooting the victims with a stun gun, Lee covered their heads with plastic bags, sealed the bags with duct tape, weighed down each victim with rocks, and threw the family of three into the Illinois bayou.

Wesley Ira Purkey violently raped and murdered a 16-year-old girl, and then dismembered, burned, and dumped the young girl’s body in a septic pond. He also was convicted in state court for using a claw hammer to bludgeon to death an 80-year-old woman who suffered from polio and walked with a cane.

Lezmond Mitchell stabbed to death a 63-year-old grandmother and forced her nine-year-old granddaughter to sit beside her lifeless body for a 30 to 40-mile drive. Mitchell then slit the girl’s throat twice, crushed her head with 20-pound rocks, and severed and buried both victims’ heads and hands.

Dustin Lee Honken shot and killed five people—two men who planned to testify against him and a single, working mother and her ten-year-old and six-year-old daughters.
The Brennan Center is freaking out right on schedule.

"Trump Cranks up America’s “Machinery of Death,” To No One’s Surprise," the leftist pro-crime group, which some conservatives have unfortunately chosen to collaborate with, writes.

"It doesn’t matter to Trump, or to Barr, that violent crime rates are down in America and at generational lows in many jurisdictions. It doesn’t matter that, as more states abolish the death penalty, executions are down across the country and that the imposition of death sentences in murder cases also is waning for good and practical reasons. It does not matter to this administration that conservative opposition to capital punishment has grown significantly over the past decade or so," one of the Brennan Center's hacks shrieks.

But it does matter. That's the whole point.

The pro-crime movement has made great gains. It's time to put the issue in front of Americans. And to make it clear that conservatives believing in putting down monsters who murder children while leftists sympathize with them.
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Daniel Greenfield (@Sultanknish) is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an investigative journalist and writer focusing on radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Tags: Daniel Greenfield, FrontPage Mag, AG Barr, To Start, Executing Child Murderers, The Left Freaks Out To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Economic Good Things

by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: Yesterday Congress passed yet another drunken-sailor budget, which would suspend the debt ceiling for another two years and result in an additional $322 billion in spending, ballooning the deficit to $22 trillion dollars.
Not long ago my conservative friends and I took to the streets protesting the unfathomable $16 trillion debt that the federal government had foisted upon our children and grandchildren. Then we got steamrolled by Obama, not exactly a top-drawer economist. Even holding both houses was not enough to stop the spending tsunami, and before you could blink, the Democrat socialist revolution had overtaken Congress.

In an effort to extinguish my “hair on fire” I set out looking for some little rays of economic sunshine among the dark clouds. Here’s what I found:
  • DEREGULATION is driving the economy at an unexpectedly brisk pace. All around I see businesses starting and expanding, construction projects popping up like popcorn, opportunities for workers of all types at premium wage rates, and consumer spending and optimism going through the roof.
  • FOREIGN TRADE POLICIES, TARIFFS AND ALLIANCES – President Trump clearly understands the “art of the deal”, and his push-back against China is bringing positive change. Protests in Hong Kong might drive regime change, or at least policy change. And Trump’s outsized influence on Brexit, Iran, Russia and North Korea all have economic implications. While international trade is not a “zero sum” game, other nations are finally feeling the heat of dealing with an “A-team” on the economic playing field.
  • ENERGY INDEPENDENCE – For a very long time, the USA economy was like many American families – one paycheck away from bankruptcy. At any time a Middle Eastern mullah could shut off the supply of oil, plunging our economy into chaos. That threat is now extinguished.
  • AGENCY REORGANIZATION – Russ Vought and Mick Mulvaney of the OMB are tightening the noose on agency leadership, getting more bang for the taxpayer buck, down-sizing and decentralizing, and updating personnel and procurement procedures. Every day they are changing the government culture to more closely operate like private business.
When Mulvaney was my congressman, we had several discussions about federal spending, with me venting my frustration that the debt was exploding and nobody cares. Mulvaney, always the pragmatist, said, “We can’t fix the deficit and debt by reducing spending. It’s way too late for that. We will have to outgrow it.”

At the time, Mick’s message was not what I wanted to hear. And I still would like to see a more mixed approach: cut spending while the economy is healthy and growing. But the appetite for restraint is just not there. Not with the Democrats and many weak-kneed Republicans in Congress who win re-election by giving away free candy. Not with the president, who had to adopt the same stance to guarantee re-election and time to complete his mission. And frankly, not with the under-informed spoiled-brat public, most of whom pay no federal taxes and whose ranks are swelling every day with immigrants from nations who have never participated in a consumer-driven supply-and-demand economy.

Can our debt keep expanding without consequences? Probably not. But all you can do is all you can do.

I used to employ a business strategy that seemed to work pretty darn well. Every business is segmented into products, or markets, or divisions. Too many executives and managers put all of their energy and focus into the underperforming segments of their businesses, ignoring the segments that are smoking hot and growing. I always promoted the strategy of putting maximum effort and resources into what’s doing well instead of beating your head against the wall trying to fix the losers.

So yes, we had a bad budget deal. Boogers. But if we look closer, there are a lot of “good things” going on.
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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

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Trump, Barr Set Sights On Big Tech Over Antitrust Concerns

by Robert Romano: The Antitrust Division of the Justice Department is setting its sights on big tech firms like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon in announcing a review of potentially anticompetitive activities that could be limiting consumer choices, hurting small businesses and some say even engaging in censorship.

The review will determine “whether and how market-leading online platforms have achieved market power and are engaging in practices that have reduced competition, stifled innovation, or otherwise harmed consumers,” according to a Justice Department press release on July 23.

The focus on “market power” will undoubtedly hold tremendous implications affecting most adult Americans. A Pew report found 68 percent of adult Americans use Facebook, or over 170 million. 24 percent use Twitter, or about 61 million. A separate Pew report found 73 percent, or 185 million, use broadband internet. Statista reports that Google’s family of sites are the most popular in America, with 255 million unique U.S. visitors in March 2019 alone.

The press release added, “The Department’s review will consider the widespread concerns that consumers, businesses, and entrepreneurs have expressed about search, social media, and some retail services online. The Department’s Antitrust Division is conferring with and seeking information from the public, including industry participants who have direct insight into competition in online platforms, as well as others.”

Similar concerns have been raised on a bipartisan basis. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) wants to go as far as to break the companies up. In a recent statement, she said, “As these companies have grown larger and more powerful, they have used their resources and control over the way we use the internet to squash small businesses and innovation, and substitute their own financial interests for the broader interests of the American people. To restore the balance of power in our democracy, to promote competition, and to ensure that the next generation of technology innovation is as vibrant as the last, it’s time to break up our biggest tech companies.”

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) is suing Google for $50 million for suspending her ads account immediately following the Democratic debate.

According to the complaint: “At the height of Gabbard’s popularity among Internet searchers in the immediate hours after the debate ended, and in the thick of the critical post-debate period (when television viewers, radio listeners, newspaper read-ers, and millions of other Americans are discussing and searching for presidential candidates), Google suspended Tulsi’s Google Ads account without warning. For hours, as millions of Americans searched Google for information about Tulsi, and as Tulsi was trying, through Google, to speak to them, her Google Ads account was arbitrarily and forcibly taken offline. Throughout this period, the Campaign worked frantically to gather more information about the suspension; to get through to someone at Google who could get the Account back online; and to understand and remedy the restraint that had been placed on Tulsi’s speech—at precisely the moment when everyone wanted to hear from her.”

The implications are clear, Gabbard argues: “Google could unilaterally and decisively end a presidential candidate’s bid for office if it chose to, for example by tweaking its search algorithm to disfavor the candidate; or blocking the candidate from its ad platforms; or keeping the candidate’s communications from getting to interested voters who use Gmail for email communications.”

This is the heart of any potential antitrust suit. With money changing hands, whether for political campaigns, non-profits or news sites, social media companies that arbitrarily suspend accounts and engage in deplatforming are interfering in commerce.

That doesn’t mean the extent of the problems fall under antitrust. Other alternatives that have been proposed, including by this author, might be for Congress to narrowly expand the franchise of protected groups under civil rights law to include politics, excluding employment hiring for exclusive organizations like political parties and organizations, and defining interactive computer services, banking, DNS resolution, web hosting and email services as public accommodations so that services cannot be denied on the basis of politics.

The push by the Justice Department comes on the heels of the White House Social Media Summit where President Donald Trump cited censorship on social media as a major concern of his administration. “Big tech must not censor the voices of the American people,” Trump declared, adding, “I’m directing my administration to explore all regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech and the free-speech rights of all Americans.”

The President noted the removal of tweets by Twitter of actor James Woods as an example of the type of censorship taking place, saying, “James Woods. I don’t know James, but he’s an interesting guy and he’s a conservative guy. And he is a straight shooter. He’s tough. But when they want to take him off — and other people like him; many in this room, some in this room — it’s a very, very bad — it’s a very bad thing.”

Other recent examples of deplatforming include Stephen Crowder who has been demonetized on Youtube (owned by Google) and Candace Owens was temporarily suspended on Facebook before the company did a reversal and declared it “an error.”

To follow up the summit, Trump promised that there would be a meeting with “representatives of the major social media platforms” to have “a real conversation” about the issue.

Now, given the Antitrust Division’s threat of legal action including its statement that “If violations of law are identified, the Department will proceed appropriately to seek redress,” those meetings may have become a whole lot more interesting. Perhaps a deal can be struck that avoids a confrontation.

In the meantime, the Trump administration is wise to step up antitrust enforcement in this area, keeping its constitutional Article II, Sec. 3 obligation that the President “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed…” Prior administrations have sidestepped robust antitrust enforcement in an environment when media consolidation could be threatening the possibility of a push to one-party style systems that stifle dissent and silence opponents.

Some well-intentioned but foolish (in this author’s estimation) thinkers would have the administration simply ignore what could be rampant violations of antitrust by big tech firms engaging in anticompetitive cartel behavior. But limited government means that officials cannot act arbitrarily when they make decisions but are guided and limited by laws. Ignoring antitrust and other laws designed to promote free markets, commerce and civil rights have brought us to this point. This should be handled carefully, and if the laws are not being followed, the Justice Department should take action. That’s what it is there for.

Antitrust is a broad tool, but given Congress’ own lack of action in this area, and the reluctance of prior administrations to enforce the laws while big tech firms keep getting bigger, it may be the only one in the administration’s wheelhouse that has any teeth.
----------------
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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Shocker . . .

. . . In an effort to revive the Russia-Trump collusion, Nadler and the Democrats get a big shocker and end up hurting themselves.

Editorial Caroon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Facts Are On The Side Of School Choice

Erika Donalds
by Erika Donalds: Opponents of school choice are loud, persistent and well funded.

But in Florida, they are not winning.

The reason is simple: The arguments for school choice are compelling.

Let’s begin with the issue of social justice. Affluent parents always have enjoyed the ability to pick their children’s schools. They can move into neighborhoods with high-quality public schools. They can afford the tuition for top private schools.

Their right to control their children’s education is unquestioned, as is their ability to make informed decisions for their children.

The proponents of public education, including the school districts, teachers unions and the politicians beholden to them, have never objected to these parents exercising their right to choose. In fact, the system has responded by providing excellent public schools in more affluent neighborhoods. That’s what happens when parents have the power to opt out.

Competition works for more affluent families.

The controversy over school choice only erupted when lower-income parents suddenly were granted a semblance of the same right to choose. They gained access to charter schools, virtual schools and private schools through state-sponsored scholarship programs.

These families had been captives of school districts, assigned to district schools with no say in the matter. Their presence in classrooms was taken for granted, as was the state funding that accompanied them. Their lack of power gave bureaucracies no incentive to cater to them. Often the schools in their neighborhoods underperformed academically and contained less qualified teachers and leadership.

That didn’t matter to the districts. These families weren’t going anywhere. If you don’t believe this is true, look at the state of public education prior to education reform, when 60 percent of disadvantaged Florida fourth graders couldn’t even read at a basic level, with a correspondingly dismal graduation rate.

Extending school choice to these parents has been a game-changer. Their power to leave means their schools begin to matter as well.

Choice has been a key strategy in forcing school districts to pay attention to low-income schools.

Opponents say competition drains resources from public education. This is far from the truth.

The fact is, thanks in large part to competition, public schools are performing at an all-time high. Over the past 20 years, as choice expanded, Florida became a national leader in making academic gains and closing the achievement gap. Our graduation rate and our test scores are at all-time highs.

By any measuring stick, choice is working. Find more facts that debunk common myths at Schoolchoicemovement.org.

Opponents of choice would have these parents surrender this power and once again put themselves at the mercy of bureaucracies. Incredibly enough, some have argued that these parents aren’t capable of picking the right school for their child.

The only problem with school choice is that it remains too restricted. Demand exceeds supply of seats in charter schools. About 14,000 parents are on a waiting list for Florida Tax Scholarships. This past legislative session, Florida lawmakers agreed children must not be put on a waiting list for opportunity.

We hope that with the addition of the Family Empowerment Scholarship Program, Florida student success will continue on its path upward.
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Erika Donalds (@ErikaDonalds) is the School Choice Movement’s chairman of the board, a mother of three boys and a former Collier County School Board Member.

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The Trump of the Will!

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: It’s over — our long national nightmare is over.

Or is it?

Congress’s “movie” version of Robert Mueller’s book-length report on Trump-Russia collusion flopped. That is, Wednesday’s hearings were an “optics . . . disaster.”

The Democrats and their media cheerleaders had put so much stock in the event, hoping it would be a Triumph of the Will spurring the much-longed-for Trump impeachment, an inspiration to move the masses on to victory.

It turned out to be more an industrial film on early stage dementia, with Robert Mueller the befuddled protagonist, demonstrating that he was either slipping, or had not really been in charge of the report bearing his name.

Now, we sympathize with dementia patients.

But should we sympathize with congressional Democrats? And the Republicans, too?

They are as pathetic and evil and foolish and craven as they seem for reasons. We live in a time of crisis. They have politicked themselves into their respective corners; they now feel trapped.

Their desperation has given us Trump — The Antichrist to most Democrats and The Savior to most Republicans. I am pretty sure neither is true.

Trump is a sign of the times.

Maybe, in the smoldering ruins of the Mueller hearing conflagration, the case for impeachment — and for Trump as Russian Agent — will completely disappear. Democrats can regain their senses, and Republicans can go back to their theme of responsibility (as epitomized in their long-lost cause of balanced budgets and limited government).

But I won’t hold my breath.

The nightmare may be over, but Washington’s dementia is harder to recover from.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.
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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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Christian Persecution: China Orders Towns to Count How Many Citizens Believe in God and Monitor Them

Chinese  attend a Christmas Eve mass
 at a Catholic church in Beijing in 2018.

by Zoe Papadakis: China's central government is putting pressure on officials to track the number of Christians living in their towns, and threatening repercussions if the figures do not add up, according to a report.

The CCP (Communist Party of China) has been cracking down on religion in recent months and has now intensified its measures by ordering local governments to closely supervise an and monitor its residents who believe in God, ChristianHeadlines.com noted.

Town officials are expected to report back to government on a regular basis. The consequences are severe if the numbers appear to have been doctored.

"The government is taking the matter of religion very seriously now," one unidentified local official from the central province of Henan told Bitter Winter. "Every day, they ask us how many people in our village believe in God. If we say there aren't any believers, they claim that we're concealing what we know and failing to report it. If it is determined that we didn't report the situation truthfully, we will be punished."

Local officials are expected to report back to the township government twice a day and fill out a form in the evening with further information.

"It's like our lives are being threatened," another local official told Bitter Winter, which serves as a watchdog for religious freedom in China. "After reporting someone, we have to restrict their movements and report their situation every day."

Failing to do so could come with severe consequences, residents from Henan's Yongcheng city said.

Earlier this year three local government officials were suspended from their duties after discrepancies in their reports were discovered. They were later reinstated after pleading leniency.

An official in the southeastern province of Jiangxi said that government was taking things so seriously it had even resorted to using messaging platform WeChat to share information and supervise campaigns targeting Christians.

"Government officials have a WeChat group," the unnamed official told Bitter Winter. "Everything is sent to it: the latest orders from higher authorities, the status of regular inspections of religious venues, photos of believers and their movements during religious holidays, activities in closed down meeting venues."
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Zoe Papadakis writes for NewsMax.

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After Trump’s ‘Racist’ Tweets, Dems Demand ‘Civility,’ But When Have They Practiced It?

aka “the Squad” 
by Larry Elder: President Donald Trump, in a series of tweets, offered four freshman Democratic congresswomen a suggestion. Given their complaints about America and about Israel, tweeted Trump, the four, aka “the Squad” should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

Of the four, only Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., is foreign-born. How dare Trump, critics cried, tell these American-born citizens, all of whom are “people of color,” to go back to where they came from! Racism! Never mind that in 2015, one of the four, then-citizen and now Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., angrily tweeted about candidate Trump’s criticism of immigration from Muslim countries. She wrote: “Deport this a–hole!” Did Tlaib tell an American, born in New York, to go back home?

Still, Trump’s “racist” tweets provided Democrats their latest opportunity to pronounce Trump “racist” and to again urge a “restoration of civility.” After all, Democrats and “civility” go hand in hand:

“The stench of fascism is in the air.” — California Democratic Gov. Pat Brown, 1964, when Barry Goldwater accepted the Republican nomination.

“I am scared that if Ronald Reagan gets into office, we are going to see more of the Ku Klux Klan and a resurgence of the Nazi Party.” — Coretta Scott King, 1980.

Ronald Reagan is “trying to replace the Bill of Rights with fascist precepts lifted verbatim from ‘Mein Kampf.'” — Rep. William Clay Sr., D-Mo., 1983.

“I believe (George H.W. Bush) is a racist for many, many reasons. … (He’s) a mean-spirited man who has no care or concern about what happens to the African American community. … I truly believe that.” — Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., 1992.

“It’s not ‘spic’ or ‘n—–‘ anymore. (Republicans) say, ‘Let’s cut taxes.'” — Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., 1994.

The new Republican-controlled House is like “the Duma and the Reichstag,” (referring to the legislature set up by Czar Nicholas II of Russia and the parliament of the German Weimar Republic that brought Hitler to power). — Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., 1995.

The GOP is “coming for our children. They’re coming for the poor … for the sick, the elderly and the disabled.” — Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., 1995.

The GOP has a “white boy attitude, (which means) ‘I must exclude, denigrate and leave behind.’ They don’t see it or think about it. It’s a culture.” — Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s presidential campaign manager, 1999.

“The Republicans bring out Colin Powell and J.C. Watts because they have no program, no policy. … They’d rather take pictures with black children than feed them.” — Brazile, 2000.

“We are in danger. The extreme right-wing has seized the government. … So look out. … The right-wing media, the FBI — they are targeting our leadership.” — Rev. Jesse Jackson, 2001.

“You mean Uncle Tom-types.” — Gloria Allred, on radio, referring to Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, 2001.

“What we are dealing with right now in this country is whether we are having a kind of bloodless, silent coup. … President (George W. Bush) is trying to bring to himself all the power to become an emperor — to create Empire America.” — Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., 2002.

“George (W.) Bush is our Bull Connor.” — Rep. Rangel, referring to the Birmingham, Alabama, Democrat segregationist superintendent of public safety who sicced dogs and turned firehouses on civil rights workers, 2005.

“Every day, (those in George W. Bush’s administration) unleash squadrons of digital brownshirts to harass and hector any journalist who is critical of the President.” — Al Gore, 2005.

Democrats vs. Republicans is “a struggle between good and evil. And we’re the good.” — Gov. Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, 2005.

George W. Bush has “improve(d) on the techniques used by the Nazi and communist propaganda machines.” — George Soros, 2006.

George W. Bush “let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black.” — Senate candidate Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., 2006.

George W. Bush’s administration engaged in “ethnic cleansing by inaction. … So by simply not doing anything to alleviate this … they let the hurricane do the ethnic cleansing, and their hands are clean.” — Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., about Bush’s allegedly sluggish response to Hurricane Katrina’s destruction in New Orleans, 2006.

“The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side.” — Julian Bond, NAACP, 2006.

“The House of Representatives … has been run like a plantation.” — Hillary Clinton, 2006.

The GOP is “the white party.” — Howard Dean, DNC chair, 2008.

“Republicans … want to literally drag us all the way back to Jim Crow laws.” — Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC chair, 2011.

Mitt Romney’s “gonna put y’all back in chains.” — Vice President Joe Biden to a predominately black audience, 2012.

“Some (Republicans) believe that slavery isn’t over, and they think they won the Civil War.” — Rep. Rangel, 2014.

So, as to Democrats’ demand for a restoration of “civility,” a simple question: When have (SET ITAL)they(END ITAL) practiced it?
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Larry Elder (@larryelder) is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host, an American lawyer, writer and radio and television personality who is also known as the "Sage From South Central." To find out more about Larry Elder. Visit his website at LarryElder.com for list of other articles.

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Here’s a Promising Plan to Finally Get a Grip on Federal Spending

by Romina Boccia & Benjamin Paris: The massive spending deal, negotiated by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and agreed to by the president, looks poised to kill off the Budget Control Act of 2011—the law that was meant to restrain federal spending.

With that law on the way out, the question arises: Where can fiscal conservatives turn to exert real and lasting fiscal discipline?

Thankfully, two members of Congress have introduced a bill to do just that.

The Maximizing America’s Prosperity Act—or MAP Act—is a bill proposed by Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., that would limit federal spending to a fixed portion of the economy, adjusted for economic conditions.

The bill would enforce that spending limit by triggering automatic spending cuts when Congress fails to abide by the cap. The spending cap would then be slowly lowered year by year to achieve budget balance.

The end goal of this bill is to get federal spending back down to the level of federal revenue. This would bring the country leaps and bounds closer to the lean federal budget we need and toward finally stabilizing the debt.

The MAP Act builds off the best parts of the 2011 Budget Control Act and would correct some of its shortcomings, such as broadening the scope of spending that can be cut and doing away with the defense/nondefense bifurcation.

The Budget Control Act was limited by the fact that its spending caps only applied to about one-third of the federal budget—discretionary spending—while nondiscretionary (or mandatory) spending was allowed to continue growing unabated. In addition, it placed separate caps on defense and nondefense spending, creating incentives to lift the caps on both sides.

Spending on mandatory programs like health care and retirement are the real drivers of growth in our deficits and debt. By largely exempting these programs from spending limits and cuts, the Budget Control Act failed to address a structural defect that continues to plague our budget.

The MAP Act takes a better approach. It would fold all spending that isn’t interest on the debt under a single spending cap.

This would address both problems with the Budget Control Act. By making all programs subject to cuts, it would increase the likelihood of Congress agreeing on a savings package even though it may contain some things different lawmakers may not like.

In addition, the MAP Act would take important steps to account for the laws or provisions that require private actors, states, or local governments to spend their own money to carry out federal programs.

The MAP Act would subtract these unfunded mandates from the spending caps, preventing politicians from pushing spending binges off the federal balance sheet onto other entities, like states.

The MAP Act is not perfect. Like the Budget Control Act, it would exempt certain programs from its automatic spending cuts or sequestration—mostly mandatory spending programs like Social Security and other designated benefit and welfare programs.

Additionally, the MAP Act would limit required spending cuts to a maximum of 5% of the overall budgets of affected programs, even though some programs may need more severe cuts.

Nonetheless, the MAP Act would be a strong and needed step forward. Congress needs fiscal rules to restrain and reduce its spending and the federal debt. Without effective fiscal restraints as part of the budget process, lawmakers are prone to support bloated programs and unsustainable spending increases like the one we’re witnessing now.

Effective rules restrain the tendency of democracies to spend more than they can afford, and in the long term help preserve limited government.

Such rules, however, only work if we agree to follow them.

While the MAP Act represents an important step toward recovering America’s fiscal health, it will only be effective if Congress commits to the actual goal of the bill: to restrain spending based on the principles of limited government as guided by the Constitution.

The MAP Act’s budget rules could help rein in high deficits and wasteful spending, but such rules only work if lawmakers agree to abide by them—and they only abide by them if the public makes it an issue.

America’s chronic federal deficits are not the result of a rogue conspiracy against the public. Rather, they are the direct result of the failure of the body politic to demand sustainable spending levels.

At the end of the day, our federal spending habits embody the corruption of our republic’s fiscal and moral order. We must be better.
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Romina Boccia  (@RominaBoccia) focuses on federal spending and the national debt the deputy director of Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies and the Grover M. Hermann fellow in federal budgetary affairs at The Heritage Foundation: The Daily Signal. Benjamin Paris is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Tags: Romina Boccia, Benjamin Paris, The Daily Signal, Promising Plan, Grip on, Federal Spending, MAP Act, Maximizing America’s Prosperity Act, Fiscal Restraint, Budget Process To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Opioids: Bad Science, Bad Policy, Bad Outcomes

Henry I. Miller and Josh Bloom: There’s an old joke about the drunk who’s hunting for his lost keys under the lamppost, not because he thinks they’re there, but because the light is good. Well, that’s what the feds and state governments are doing to try to quell the epidemic of opioid addiction and overdoses.

The problem is quite real, but legislators and regulators are making incorrect assumptions and adopting flawed strategies. And then, there are some flawed clinical studies and statements by the U.S. surgeon general that conspire to create misunderstanding of the landscape.

For a start, the problem isn’t currently prescribed opioids, such as fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone, and hydrocodone. A study published earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine found that from 2012 to 2017, a time when the overdose death rate was markedly accelerating, the rate of opioid prescriptions in patients who had not previously used opioids fell 54%, a decline driven by a decreasing number of prescribers.

More evidence was provided by a February article in the journal JAMA, which concluded that “under current conditions, the opioid overdose crisis is expected to worsen — with the annual number of opioid overdose deaths projected to reach nearly 82,000 by 2025, resulting in approximately 700,000 deaths from 2016 to 2025.” But here’s the rub: In the predictive model, preventing prescription opioid misuse alone would have only a modest effect — a few percent — on lowering overall opioid overdose deaths in the near future.

In spite of such findings indicating that the crux of the problem is not physician-prescribed opioids but illicit fentanyl and its analogs smuggled from abroad, like the drunk in the parable the feds and state governments are looking in the wrong place.

The extant problem has been exacerbated by the law of unintended consequences and the law of supply and demand. As a result of federal policies, some of our most important and potent analgesics, including fentanyl, morphine, and hydromorphone, which are commonly used in patients with advanced cancer and for pain control after surgery, are now in shortage, according to the FDA. All of these drugs had their manufacturing quotas reduced by the DEA, as if, in any case, it’s the government’s business to tell companies what and what not to manufacture.

The feds misunderstand the role of opioids in providing relief from significant pain — such as from kidney stones, sciatica, cancer, or broken bones, which can be excruciating — but they are not entirely to blame. Academics have also contributed — for example, a 2017 article in JAMA Network by Chang, et al. The study is so poorly designed that we can only conclude that the investigators intended to get a desired, albeit inaccurate, result — namely, that acetaminophen (brand name: Tylenol) and ibuprofen (brand name: Advil) are as effective pain relievers as opioids alone or opioids in combination with acetaminophen.

If they were real, these findings would be hugely important, because opioids could be supplanted by widely used, over-the-counter analgesics. For that reason, it is worth enumerating the flaws — or, more precisely, tricks — in the study.

. . . If you read this far Click to read the rest of the article!

The evidence continues to accumulate that the government’s opioid policies — and pronouncements — need adult supervision. We are not optimistic that it will materialize.
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Henry I. Miller, a physician and molecular biologist, is a senior fellow at the Pacific Research Institute. He was the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology. Josh Bloom is the director of chemical and pharmaceutical science at the American Council on Science and Health. He has a Ph.D. in chemistry. Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page.

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The Economy, Father of Us All

Victor Davis Hanson
by Dr. Victor Davis Hanson: Good times immunize a president and make his over-the-top domestic enemies look irrelevant.

Each week we are warned of a recession. And each week the economic news “unexpectedly” and “surprisingly” improves or stays steady — in ways well aside from the staples of continued near-record-low peacetime unemployment (3.8 percent), near-record-low minority unemployment, booming annualized GDP (3.1 percent), and a record-high stock market.

In June, retail sales increased for the fourth straight month. The rate of Hispanic home ownership continues to increase. A quarter-million new jobs were created in June, with strong growth in construction and manufacturing. Record oil and gas production seems only to keep increasing. Strong wage growth of 3.4 percent continues.

The point is not so much “It’s the economy, stupid,” but rather that the economy is the font of all contemporary politics, and it adjudicates the parameters of presidential prerogatives.

In the standoff between the “Squad” and Donald Trump, near-record peacetime unemployment in general and in particular historic-low minority unemployment argue against the idea that Trump is racist.

Polls suggest that Donald Trump may well win a greater share of the minority vote than moderates John McCain and Mitt Romney — largely because of a raise in middle-class wages in a tight labor market, and new leverage of entry-level workers over labor-hungry employers. Do working-class blacks and Hispanics suffer then from false consciousness, and do they need tutorials from progressive grandees so they won’t be so incorrect as to appreciate having more jobs at better pay? Racists do not craft economic policies that empower African Americans far more so than those promoted by the first African-American president.

Ditto the entire failure of the destroy-Trump agenda, whether exemplified by the Mueller exoneration and the absurd appeals to the Logan Act, the emoluments clause, and 25th Amendment. What saved Bill Clinton from conviction after impeachment in 1998 was the lockstep voting of Democratic senators in the minority, which prevented a two-third conviction vote in the Senate and the consequent removal from office of the overseer of a booming economy. The reason Benjamin Netanyahu is the longest-serving Israeli prime minister and has survived every sort of personal and ideological attack is that he reengineered the Israeli economy and offered unprecedented prosperity to his constituents. Such shared bounty short-circuited his critics.

The subtext of the failure of all the Trump impeachment hysterias was not merely that they were based on emotional narratives rather than evidence and facts — empiricism has never been the forte of congressional frenzies — but that the public believed either that the removal of a successful president would stall the economic expansion or that it might show ingratitude for a domestic job well done. Democrats seems to have forgotten that voters are most interested in the economy — along with illegal immigration — and least concerned with their obsessions with climate change and the Green New Deal.

Booming times provide Trump the latitude to tweet incessantly, and to editorialize on contemporary dramas, from Colin Kaepernick’s take-a-knee movement to the so-called Squad of incoming hard-left congressional representatives. Had we suffered zero growth and high unemployment, Trump’s enemies would have had some traction in their demands that he quiet down and focus on the economy. Successful economies are like successful wars: Everyone wants ownership, much as defeats and recessions are orphans.

If the U.S. was in a 1–2 percent GDP growth cycle, as in the prior decade, then calling out China for technological appropriation, patent and copyright infringement, dumping, mercantilism, and currency manipulation, well aside from human-rights abuses, might be little more than the usual, shrill hectoring, coupled with corporate indifference to the vast Chinese trade surplus. Only strong economic growth, energy security, and low employment allow the U.S. to square off against Chinese reckless behavior — a fact well known to Beijing, which enjoyed exemption from presidential criticism given that the decade-long anemic U.S. economy never reached 3 percent annualized growth.

If the U.S. was not the world’s largest producer of gas and oil, and soon to be its largest exporter, then we might never have dared to vacate the Iran deal, or might have panicked in fear of world oil prices skyrocketing after each cycle of Iran’s scripted braggadocio.

The same calculus holds true of squabbles with NATO friends in arrears, and with enemies such as an unhinged North Korea. The U.S. can jawbone for symmetry because it currently enjoys the most well-rounded economy in the world and therefore assumes that it is finally in a strong position to redress long-standing paradoxes. These include our closest allies’ reluctance to pay for their collective defense against enemies far nearer to their borders than to ours, and the absurdity that a premodern society found the capital and expertise to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles with nuclear payloads.

The point is again not to reduce all politics to the status of the economy. Rather, the chance to have a good job, good wages, economic growth, low inflation, low interest, a strong stock market, plentiful and reasonably priced gas, and the opportunity to save money are the stuff of life and are what voters most care about. In comparison, what AOC or Ilhan Omar says is mostly irrelevant, as is the most recent bombast abroad from an Iranian theocrat, a Russian functionary, or a Maoist in China. George W. Bush was recovering somewhat after the successful surge in Iraq until the September 2008 financial meltdown destroyed his presidency and ensured a Democratic successor. The beloved Obama was wiped out in two midterm elections and nearly defeated in 2012 largely because the natural recovery from the 2008 collapse turned out to be not much of a recovery at all.

About the only events that overshadow a good economy and threaten to destroy a reelection bid or a second term in boom times are unpopular wars such as Vietnam or the second Iraq War, or a major scandal (well beyond Iran-Contra or Benghazi) that leads to real convictions, as in Watergate.

In Trump’s case, there is little likelihood he is going to start an optional war such as Afghanistan, Iraq, or Libya, or face a second round of the collusion/obstruction Mueller onslaught. Indeed, the more likely narrative for 2020 is that Trump will stay reactive, not become preemptive, if tensions with Iran or North Korea lead to violence.

Likewise, any federal indictments are far more apt to focus on the probable illegal behavior of James Comey, James Clapper, Andrew McCabe, and John Brennan — as well as functionaries that Hillary Clinton/the DNC/the Perkins-Coie law firm, and Glenn Simpson’s Fusion GPS hired to subvert the 2016 Trump campaign effort.

Just as good times immunize a president, so too bad recessions infect him. One reason AOC’s Green New Deal is rightly acknowledged as unhinged is that Trump’s conventional economy is robust. If it were not, then her anti-Trump oppositional nonsense might fool millions into thinking she made sense — as in the first year of the Obama administration, when silly Solyndra “green” agendas were pushed through in the aftermath of the 2008 disaster and billed as a new way out of the doldrums.

Finally, few question whether it’s right or wrong to credit a president for booms, and blame him for busts. Instead, by acclamation, he just is held culpable for everything on his watch. The Iron Rule of American politics is that the president, from his first day to his last in office, takes the credit or blame — even for larger economic trends, blunders, and unforeseen disasters rooted in events outside the reach of his own tenure. Poor Herbert Hoover was sworn into office on March 4, 1929, and yet was blamed for Black Friday, October 24, 1929 — the proverbial beginning of a ten-year depression ended only by rearmament for a looming world war — as if Hoover had time in just seven months to do much of anything.

In sum, if Trump continues the good times, his tweets are irrelevant. If he does not, these electronic riffs suddenly will be said to be windows into his supposedly dark soul.

Contrarily, the more the economy hums along, the more ridiculous the obsessive “Get Trump” fixations become. But if recession looms before 2020, then suddenly the weirder the progressive obsessions with destroying Trump, the more likely they will resonate.

For now, Democratic charges that Trump is supposedly like no other president in his callousness are ignored because Trump’s booming economy is factually like no other recent president’s in its vigor.
------------------
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 National Review.


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