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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, August 30, 2019

‘The Bible Stays’: Pence Announces Change to VA Hospital Rules Allowing Religious Decorations, Christmas Trees

by Madison Dibble: Vice President Mike Pence announced that he would be scrapping some of the previous administration’s policies when it comes to religion in Veterans Affairs hospitals.

The vice president spoke before the American Legion National Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Wednesday where he announced that the administration under President Donald Trump would be rolling back some of the policies put into place while President Barack Obama was in the Oval Office.

According to Pence, Obama-era rules prohibited the celebration of religious holidays in VA hospitals, including the display of Christmas trees and Bibles.

Pence promised the veterans in the crowd that those rules were a thing of the past. The Trump administration had overturned those decisions and would be fighting a lawsuit that aims to remove a WWII-era Bible from one VA hospital in New Hampshire.

Watch Pence’s speech:
“As we meet the health care needs of our veterans, let me make you another promise: This administration will always make room for the spiritual needs of our heroes at the VA as well. You might have heard, even today, that there’s a lawsuit to remove a Bible that was carried in World War II from a missing man table at a VA hospital in New Hampshire. There’s a lawsuit underway. It’s really no surprise because, under the last administration, VA hospitals were removing Bibles and even banning Christmas carols in an effort to be politically correct. Let me be clear: Under this administration, VA hospitals will not be religion-free zones.”

Pence added that the Trump administration will “always respect the freedom of religion of every veteran of every faith.”

The vice president told the crowd that he wanted to let those suing the New Hampshire VA for their WWII-era Bible that “the Bible stays.”

President Trump campaigned on ending the “assault” against Christmas festivities in government-owned facilities, such as the VA.
It remains unclear how the New Hampshire VA lawsuit over the Bible will play out. The lawsuit was filed on May 7, 2019.
---------------------------
Madison Dibble writes for IJR.

Tags: Mike Pence, The Bible Stays, Announces Change to VA Hospital Rules, Allowing Religious Decorations, Christmas Trees To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Deja Vu Iran . . .

. . . It looks as though the Iran government would like to try and pull the wool over Trump’s eyes as they did to Obama.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Deja Vu, Iran, Iran government, try and pull. wool over Trump’s eyes, they did to Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Mexican National Convicted Of Illegal Voting In USA

. . . False-documented illegal voted in five federal elections from 2012 to 2016.
Election Voting
by Lloyd Billingsley: Last Friday in Sacramento, a federal jury found Mexican national Gustavo Araujo Lerma guilty of identity theft, passport fraud and five counts of voting by an alien. The case proved unusual in several ways, including the timing

According to the U.S. Attorney, Lerma was born in Mexico in 1955 and in the early 1990s, “acquired and began fraudulently using the identity of a United States citizen named Hiram Velez. Lerma used the Velez identity to unlawfully obtain U.S. passports and to vote in federal elections.” The Diplomatic Security Service of the U.S. State Department uncovered the fraud.

Ripping off the identity of the dead, dramatized in The Day of The Jackal, is a crime that predates the computer age. That was well underway in the 1990s, so legitimate citizens might wonder why it took so long to bag Lerma. Once he had stolen the identity of Hiram Velez, the Mexican compounded the crime.

He remarried his Mexican wife in Los Angeles so she and his children could gain legal resident status. Lerma also voted illegally for the past 20 years, including federal elections from 2012 to 2016.

During the trial, Lerma claimed he didn’t know where and when he was born because he was found on the streets of San Antonio at the age of five. The Mexican national also claimed he was a supporter of President Trump, and contributed to the Republican party. In media accounts the defendant emerged as an “Avowed Trump Supporter,” so the establishment media was willing to accept the Mexican’s testimony as truthful. The jury wasn’t and found the identity thief guilty on all counts.

The Mexican national faces a mandatory two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, a maximum of 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for passport fraud, and a maximum of one year in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of voting by an alien. The voter-fraud charge is of particular interest in California.

By the reckoning of attorney general Xavier Becerra, once on Hillary Clinton’s short list as a running mate, there are more than 10 million “immigrants,” government code for illegals, in California. The state DMV “motor voter” program put one million “new” voters on the rolls by 2018.

According to secretary of state Alex Padilla, there were only six “inadvertently registered” for last year’s midterms and none was guilty of “fraudulently voting or attempting to vote.” After the 2016 election, Padilla refused to release any voter information to a federal voter-fraud probe.

So the number of fraudulent votes, like those of identity thief Gustavo Araujo Lerma, could easily run into the millions. As another federal agency shows, uncovering false documents is not a difficult matter.

In 2017, Mexican nationals calling themselves Hugo Mejia and Rodrigo Nuñez came to work on a hospital at Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield, California. When base security personnel scanned the Mexicans’ ID numbers, “the information came back false.” Travis officials immediately summoned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and both false-documented illegals were taken into custody. In similar style, cross-checking passport applications with birth and death records can now be accomplished swiftly, with good reason.

“Document and benefit fraud poses a severe threat to national security and public safety,” ICE explains, “because it creates a vulnerability that may enable terrorists, criminals and illegal aliens to gain entry to and remain in the United States.” Gustavo Araujo Lerma demonstrates document fraud and benefit fraud is “the misrepresentation or omission of facts on an application to obtain an immigration benefit one is not entitled to, such as U.S. citizenship, political asylum or a valid visa.”

As with Gustavo Araujo, the DOJ needs to confirm how many false-documented illegals are voting in federal, state and local elections. Maybe some illegals are even running for office.

The Mexican Lerma claimed he didn’t know where and when he was born. This recalls the claim of former California senate boss Kevin de Leon, whose name on voter rolls is Kevin Alexander Leon, that his father was a Chinese cook born in Guatemala. The mysterious De Leon, who acknowledges that half his family practiced document fraud, failed in his bid to replace U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein last year.

That makes a case for ironclad candidate identification, as well as voter identification. As Democrats are fond of saying, nobody is above the law.

Meanwhile, on November 26, U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez, an appointee of George H.W. Bush, will pass sentence on convicted identity thief and illegal voter Gustavo Araujo Lerma. Legal immigrants, legal voters, and legitimate citizens across the country have good cause to watch closely.

In 2018, Mendez, ruled against a U.S. Department of Justice request to block Senate Bill 54, California’s sanctuary law. Authored by Kevin de Leon, SB 54 is the measure that has made false-documented illegals like Gustavo Araujo Lerma a privileged, protected class in California.
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Lloyd Billingsley writes for FrontPage Mag and is the author of Barack ‘em Up: A Literary Investigation and, most recently, Sexual Terrorist, about the Golden State Killer. Lloyd’s work has appeared in City Journal, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, California Globe, and many other publications. Bill of Writes: Dispatches from the Political Correctness Battlefield is a collection of his journalism. His crime books include A Shut and Open Case, about a double murder in Davis, California.

Tags: Lloyd Billingsley, FrontPage Mag, Mexican National, Convicted Of, Illegal Voting, In USA To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

2020 and 1972 Part Two: The Power of the Media

by Newt Gingrich: The most amazing thing about Theodore White’s The Making of the President 1972 is his explanation of the emerging hostility of the elite news media and its evolution into an adversarial anti-president propaganda system for left-wing values.

Everything we are used to seeing in what President Trump calls “Fake News” existed by 1972. The parallels are amazing – and are part of why I decided to spend so much time analyzing 1972 and 2020 as similar patterns of conflict.

The current New York Times overt shift from smearing President Trump with Russian collusion (which collapsed) to smearing President Trump with allegations of racism were all foreshadowed by the universal elite media hostility to President Nixon a half century ago. The lockstep hostility of the Times, The Washington Post, and the left-wing TV systems were simply proof that in President Trump they had encountered a leader bent on changing their world and confronting their values.

White combines his extraordinary analysis of the New York Times-Boston Globe-Washington Post system (and the three networks they shaped) with an explanation of the mutation from what he calls “the liberal idea” into “the liberal theology” – and the “movement” which grew out of it. (I will deal with the movement in my next column and its devastatingly destructive impact on cities in part four of this series.) This piece focuses on the adversarial news media and its impact on 1972 and on 2020.

The real opposition to Nixon was not the Democratic Party nor its nominee Senator George McGovern. In White’s analysis, the real opposition to Nixon was the elite news media.

The elite news media hated Nixon more than any major politician before Trump. Despite the rise of talk radio, Twitter, Facebook, and cable news, nothing in White’s core analysis has changed. He draws a sharp distinction between the lesser news media, many of which were for Nixon, and the elite media – which was monolithically, bitterly hostile to President Nixon.

White emphasizes that it was the culture of the New York literati which defined The New York Times and the three networks. It was a generational change from reporters of facts to advocates of ideology which compounded the bitterness and hostility.

Here is White’s analysis:“The power of the press in America is a primordial one. It sets the agenda of public discussion; and this sweeping political power is unrestrained by any law. It determines what people will talk and think about—an authority that in other nations is reserved for tyrants, priests, parties and mandarins. No major act of the American Congress, no foreign adventure, no act of diplomacy, no great social reform can succeed in the United States unless the press prepares the public mind. And when the press seizes a great issue to thrust onto the agenda of talk, it moves action on its own—the cause of the environment, the cause of civil rights, the liquidation of the war in Vietnam, and, as climax, the Watergate affair were all set on the agenda, in first instance, by the press.”The power of the Left grows from the media. Since Nixon, the media has sought to attack presidents it did not deem worthy. As White explained:“These were the adversary press. Its luminaries not only questioned his exercise of power, as all great American journalists have done when examining a President. They questioned his own understanding of America; they questioned not only his actions but the quality of his mind, and his honor as a man. It was a question of who was closest in contact with the mood of the American people—the President or his adversary press? Neither would yield anything of respect to the other—and in Richard Nixon’s first term the traditional bitterness on both sides approached paranoia.”Much like President Trump a generation later Nixon was not intimidated and did not flinch from the fight. Nixon understood that his primary adversary was the press – not his Democratic opponent.

It is vital to understand that the news media and its academic and Hollywood allies are the defenders and imposers of an alternative culture which hates conservatism and particularly hates effective conservatives.

The elite media had its final victory over President Nixon in the Watergate scandal, which drove him from office. The elite media tried this with President Trump in the “Russian collusion” lie and failed.

The Left wants to forget that when the American people weighed the values of President Nixon and the values of The New York Times, Nixon got 61 percent of the vote. The same would happen 12 years later when President Reagan won with 58 percent of the vote.

Do not be shocked if in the 2020 result, President Trump wins by a margin unimaginable today (no one in September 1971 or September 1983 would have predicted gigantic landslides against the Left).
---------------------
Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. This commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, 2020 and 1972 Part Two, Power of the Media To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Biden's Fiction, Comey's Corruption II, The Crackdown Begins

Positions for Next Month's Democrat Candidates Debate
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Biden's Fiction
As you know, former Vice President Joe Biden is legendary for his gaffes. The situation has become so bad that his former brain surgeon was trotted out recently to vouch for his condition.

The damage control isn't working. There is increasing concern on the left that Biden just isn't up to the task. And then yesterday the Washington Post dropped this bombshell:

"Joe Biden painted a vivid scene for the 400 people packed into a college meeting hall. A four-star general had asked the then-vice president to travel to Konar province in Afghanistan . . . to recognize the remarkable heroism of a Navy captain. . .

"Except almost every detail in the story appears to be incorrect. . . it appears as though the former vice president has jumbled elements of at least three actual events into one story of bravery, compassion and regret that never happened. . .

"In the space of three minutes, Biden got the time period, the location, the heroic act, the type of medal, the military branch and the rank of the recipient wrong, as well as his own role in the ceremony."


Biden defended himself by saying, "I was making the point [of] how courageous these people are . . . this generation of warriors. . . I don't know what the problem is."

I wish there were more liberals praising our troops. But it doesn't change the fact that Biden concocted a story that was false. That's the problem, Mr. Biden.

And I would just remind you that Donald Trump has been crucified for lesser incidents than what Biden has done in a seeming attempt to glorify himself.

Can Biden survive this? Sure. He's ahead in the polls by a comfortable margin and there's an obvious path for him to win with more than half a dozen candidates splitting the progressive vote. But I still believe Joe Biden could be 2020's Jeb Bush.

Many progressives rightly felt cheated in 2016 when the Clinton campaign and the Democrat establishment rigged the primary against Bernie Sanders (here and here). All the energy and momentum in the Democrat Party today is with the progressive/AOC wing. Just look at the crowds that Elizabeth Warren is attracting.

It's not over yet, but it's starting to look bad for Biden. Next month's debate, when Biden appears on stage for the first time with Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, will be very telling.

Comey's Corruption II
I share the frustration many people feel about the lack of punishment, as of now, for those in our intelligence and criminal justice agencies who conspired to destroy a duly elected president. But James Comey hasn't been entirely cleared.

He's been called a "leaker" and a "liar," so I expect he'll be hired by CNN or MSNBC in the next 48 hours. Nevertheless, other investigations could still impact Comey, Brennan, Clapper and others.

For example, Jay Sekulow, one of President Trump's attorneys, said yesterday, "We're in the pregame show. This is just the beginning."

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) agreed, saying, "There's another report [on FISA abuse] that's going to come out from the inspector general in a few weeks. And I wouldn't say James Comey is out of the woods." And federal prosecutor John Durham is also conducting a separate investigation of the Russia collusion hoax.

You can read more here from FBI veteran Kevin Brock.

Criminal Sanctuary?
Last month, progressives celebrated when Montgomery County, Maryland, enacted what the Washington Post called "the strongest ban" on cooperation with ICE in the D.C. region.

But in the weeks since that report, Montgomery County leaders have been scrambling to explain why their sanctuary city policies are a good thing. At least six illegal immigrants have been arrested for rape and sexual abuse in recent days.

Sadly, this is nothing new. A report earlier this year noted that such crimes have been "steadily increasing over the last four years." In addition, identity theft "almost doubled" from 2017 to 2018.

It seems that one of the most upscale Washington, D.C., suburbs is rapidly becoming a sanctuary for criminals. How is all that left-wing ideology working out for the residents of Montgomery County?

The Crack Down Begins
Several key leaders of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement were arrested overnight. This development comes as fresh Chinese army troops were rotated into Hong Kong and the police have denied permits for weekend protests.

It also happens to be the fifth anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party severely limiting free elections in Hong Kong. That action triggered the massive protests led by the Umbrella movement in 2014.

One aspect of the Hong Kong protests that is not widely known is that it is led by young Christians like Joshua Wong. Like fellow believers in mainland China, Joshua has been sent to prison in Hong Kong for speaking up for human rights, and he was among the leaders arrested last night.

Please keep Joshua, the people of Hong Kong and all persecuted believers in China in your prayers.

Praying For Florida
Please join us this Labor Day weekend in praying not only for our president and our country, but for all the good folks of Florida in the path of Hurricane Dorian. The hurricane is currently expected to hit the Florida coast in coming days, perhaps as a severe Category 4 storm.
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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

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Rep. Omar On Using Campaign Funds For Adulterous Affair . . .

. . . “Do You Understand What ‘No Comment’ Means?”
Rep. Ilhan Omar
by Daniel Greenfield: "No comment" means I refuse to address that because...

A. I'm guilty as hell

B. Talking about it makes me look bad

Rep. Ilhan Omar is responding the same way to questions about whether she used campaign funds for travel possibly associated with an adulterous affair as she did to whether she had married her brother for immigration fraud purposes.

You've gotta give Omar credit. She does get around.

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar said Wednesday that it was “stupid” for reporters to ask her about allegations that she misused campaign funds to pay the travel expenses of a man with whom she’s accused of having an affair.

They’re stupid questions,” Omar said while dodging reporters after an official appearance at a north Minneapolis grocery store. “Do you understand what ‘no comment’ means?”

Aides for Omar physically blocked reporters from getting close to the congresswoman, who faces a series of controversies that she referred to Wednesday as “shenanigans and rumors.”

Omar has increased the number of events she’s holding in her Minneapolis district this week. She told reporters during her roundtable Wednesday that they could “chase me all you want” but she would not answer questions about her personal life or her campaign.

“It’s always fascinating. These media people say, ‘The congresswoman doesn’t focus on her work,’” Omar told people gathered for the roundtable on food insecurity. “And then you’re here to do work and they will talk to you about some shenanigans and rumors that are online.”
Why does the media keep focusing on...1. Rep. Omar's anti-Semitic comments

2. Allegations that she married her brother

3. Adultery allegations

4. Campaign finance allegations

5. Adultery and campaign finance allegations
The obvious answer is for Rep. Omar to quickly say a bunch of anti-Semitic stuff to change the subject.
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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.

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Why Democratic Candidates Risk Martin O'Malley's Fate

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Anyone heard anything about Martin O'Malley lately? Four years ago, he was busy out in Iowa running for president. After two successful terms as mayor of Baltimore (homicides fell during his years) and as governor of Maryland, he seemed like a plausible candidate. Strumming his guitar and singing Irish songs, he seemed more likable than either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

Yet as a candidate, like most of the Democratic candidates running this year, he got just about zero support. In the Iowa caucuses, he won just 0.54 percent of "state convention delegate equivalents" (the Iowa Democrats' metric); it appears that of the 171,000 Democrats who showed up on caucus night, only about 1,000 voted for him. There just wasn't much demand for a white male non-socialist that year.

At least not one who bridled at identity politics. While other Democratic candidates and officeholders heaped praise on the Black Lives Matter movement, O'Malley was shouted down and forced to apologize when he said, "All lives matter." A statement that most Americans would find anodyne is regarded as heresy in Democratic politics.

What's interesting is that O'Malley was the kind of politician who was most successful in the first decades of the current primary-dominated, Iowa-and-New-Hampshire-vote-first electoral process: a white male officeholder with a generally liberal record but with affinity for traditional middle-class culture. Not every nominee from 1972 to 2004 precisely fit that mold, but it's a fair descriptor of most.

One reason for that is there were many more moderate, and even conservative, voters in Democratic primaries. George Wallace, routinely called a Republican by millennial journalists, was a strong competitor in Democratic primaries in 1972 and 1976.

More important, after Democratic nominees won just 43 and 38 percent of the popular vote in 1968 and 1972, respectively, and as Democrats lost five of six presidential elections up through 1988, even liberal Democratic primary voters were wary of an outspoken liberal's chances. It was assumed, probably correctly, that a woman or a black could not be elected.

The Democratic mindset is different today. Democratic voters know that their party's nominees have won pluralities of the popular vote in six of seven elections since 1992. While many may mutter imprecations about abolishing the Electoral College, as if that were easier than adjusting party stances to appeal more in heartland states, most take it for granted that if a weirdo like Donald Trump can get elected president, so can just about anybody the Democratic Party nominates.

Yet just about every Democratic primary poll this year -- the recent Monmouth survey appears to be an outlier -- shows Joe Biden leading the pack, often with a statistically significant lead. He's the kind of candidate who prevailed in the 1972-2004 period, and his own 1988 candidacy was doing well until it was ended by gaffes and a health problem. But by 2008, he was only running at O'Malley levels, with just 0.9 percent of state convention delegate equivalents in Iowa.

Biden runs best with older Democrats and those classing themselves as moderate, and there's been speculation that when the candidates polling at O'Malley levels pull out, as four already have, their presumably younger and more liberal supporters will go to a Biden rival.

But there aren't that many of them. If you add the average recent poll numbers of the 15 candidates under 2.0 percent, you get just 7.2 percent. That's fewer than the 11.4 percent listed as undecided, and many more seem only loosely attached to their current choice.

On the other hand, if the Biden candidacy implodes -- possible if he underperforms expectations in Iowa and New Hampshire -- then where do his voters go? Presumably not to his closest competitors in current polling, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, whose platforms are headed in a socialist direction Democrats in the old days would have shunned.

Perhaps they would head to incumbent senators like Cory Booker, Michael Bennet or Amy Klobuchar, all currently running at Martin O'Malley levels. Or perhaps elsewhere.

I have long thought that the presidential nomination process is the weakest part of our political system, and it seems to be getting weaker as it attracts more and more candidates -- more than a dozen Republicans last time, two dozen Democrats this time.

Why risk Martin O'Malley's fate in a zero-sum game in which all but one player must lose? Perhaps because in a zero-sum game, however weak the field, one player must win. And that won't be you if you don't run.
----------------------
Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

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Let Them Howl, Boris!

by Patrick Buchanan: Whatever may be said of him, Johnson has shown himself as a man of action, a risk-taker, a doer, like Trump, who has hailed Johnson for the suspension. And leaders like Johnson are today shouldering aside the cookie-cutter politicians to dominate the world stage.

Facing a Parliamentary majority opposed to a hard Brexit — a crashing out of the EU if Britain is not offered a deal she can live with — Boris Johnson took matters into his own hands.

He went to the Queen at Balmoral and got Parliament “prorogued,” suspended, from Sept. 12 to Oct. 14. That’s two weeks before the Oct. 31 deadline Johnson has set for Britain’s departure.

The time his opposition in Parliament has to prevent a crash out of the European Union has just been sliced in half. His adversaries are incensed.

The speaker of the House of Commons called Johnson’s action “a constitutional outrage.” Johnson’s Tory Party leader in Scotland resigned. Labor Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn said Parliament will start legislating Tuesday to block Johnson. There is talk of a no-confidence vote in the Tory government.

One recalls the counsel Benjamin Jowett, Master of Balliol, gave his students: Never retract, never explain, just do it and let them howl! For Johnson has done what he was chosen, and pledged, to do.

Though he lacks a majority for a “no-deal Brexit,” his suspension of Parliament keeps faith with the hardline Tories who put their trust in him — that he would honor his commitment to get done by October’s end what the British people voted to do in 2016.

Whatever may be said of him, Johnson has shown himself as a man of action, a risk-taker, a doer, like Trump, who has hailed Johnson for the suspension. And leaders like Johnson are today shouldering aside the cookie-cutter politicians to dominate the world stage.

Matteo Salvini, interior minister, leader of the League party, and the most popular political figure in Italy, brought down his own government to force new elections he felt he would win. His ambition is to take the leadership not only of Italy but of the European populist right.

Salvini’s boldness backfired when the League’s ex-partner in the government, the leftist Five Star Movement, joined the Democratic Party to form a new government from which the League is excluded.

Yet Salvini, too, is in the mold of Trump and Vladimir Putin, who, when he saw a U.S.-backed coup take down the pro-Russian president in Ukraine, seized Crimea, home port of Russia’s Black Sea fleet since the 18th century.

These leaders are men of action not words. And their countrymen are cheering their decisiveness.

India’s Narendra Modi is in the mold. After reelection, he revoked Article 370 of India’s constitution that guaranteed special rights to the Muslim-majority in Kashmir, a state over which India and Pakistan have fought two wars. To effect the annexation of Kashmir, Modi sent thousands of troops into the disputed territory, imposed a curfew, shut down the internet and arrested political leaders.

When Prime Minister Imran Khan asked Trump to intervene on Pakistan’s behalf, Trump, meeting with Modi at the G-7, called it a matter between the two countries.

While autocrats appear ascendant, there is another phenomenon of our time: popular uprisings and mass demonstrations as shortcuts to political change.

These began to flourish with the Arab Spring in Tunisia and Egypt in 2011, the latter of which brought down President Hosni Mubarak after 30 years in power. The Cairo revolution and subsequent election brought to power Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. This was intolerable to the Egyptian army, which executed a coup that led to new elections and the installation of the present ruler and former general Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

In 2014 came the protests in Maidan Square that led to the ouster of the pro-Russian government in Kiev and loss of Crimea.

This year saw mass demonstrations in Puerto Rico bring down the government in San Juan. In France, the Yellow Vest movement, rebelling against a fuel tax Emmanuel Macron imposed to cut carbon emissions, flooded the streets for months, demonstrating, rioting, even vandalizing the heart of Paris to get it repealed.

Then there is Hong Kong, a city of 7 million claimed by a China of 1.4 billion, where scores of thousands, even millions, have protested, blocked streets, shut down businesses and closed the airport.

The Hong Kong demonstrators are demanding what the 13 colonies demanded: freedom, liberty, independence. But as Xi Jinping is very much an authoritarian autocrat, the protesters are pushing their luck.

What motivates the democratic protesters and what propels the rise and welcome reception of the autocrats, the men of action, is not all that dissimilar.

It is impatience, a sense that the regime is out of touch, that it does not reflect or respond to what people want, that it is torpid and cannot act decisively, that it does not “get things done,” that it is tedious and boring.

Part of Trump’s appeal to his base is that people sense he feels exactly as they do. And they readily understand why Trump would not want to sit down at a G-7 gathering and gas endlessly about climate change.
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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, Let Them Howl, Boris To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

What’s In Your Tank?

. . . Should electric Vehicle owners get a tax credit though most of the electricity is generated by coal-fired power plant?
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon. AF Branco, What’s In Your Tank?, Should electric Vehicle owners, get a tax credit, though most of the electricity, generated by coal-fired power plant To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Google Insiders

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: Executives at Google may claim that they are not biased against conservatives, but information from engineers who worked for Google tell a different story. One of those engineers is Greg Coppola. He went public last month in an interview with Project Veritas. After that interview, he was put on administrative leave.

He explains that the algorithms used by Google “don’t write themselves.” Software programmers “write them to do what we want them to do.” That makes sense to me. I wrote computer programs years ago and don’t claim to have the expertise of those writing programs at Google. But it seems like even machine language and machine learning can be easily manipulated to give biased results.

Another Google engineer that has come forward is Zachary Vorhies. He also leaked documents from Google to Project Veritas. One of those documents provided evidence of what he called “algorithmic unfairness.”

Once Google figured out he was the person who leaked the documents, they took two actions. First, they demanded the material be returned. Then they sent law enforcement officials to his home to perform a “wellness check.” That was a blatant attempt at intimidating him.

The one document he leaked that got my attention was the news blacklist used by Google. Lots of organizations and websites that we use to get information and educate our listeners were on that list. Christian Post, Daily Caller, LifeNews, and American Thinker are just a few of the long list of sites on the Google blacklist.

Another leaked document from Google ranked news sources in the order of their credibility. ABC, CBS, PBS, CNN, and MSNBC were all ranked higher than Fox News.

The investigative report by Project Veritas and the publication of these Google documents from insiders illustrate that there is indeed a bias in the way this company aggregates and displays data.
----------------
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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Slavery Is Not Free-Market Capitalism

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Tarring free-market capitalism and limited government with the brush of slavery is old hat. What is new is that prominent journals and major media figures now shamelessly slop that brush around.

Indeed, the argument is so often made that addressing it from several angles, as I have — twice in the last few outings of Common Sense — is important. Today I make an additional point.

The fact that human beings were treated as property, to be sold and mortgaged and disposed of at will, does not make slavery “free market.” If we legalized and institutionalized the market in stolen goods, that might make those markets legally above board — but not morally.

It is this moral argument against stolen goods that undergirds the case against slavery.

Always has.

For slavery is stealing the rightful property of the people enslaved — their property in their own bodies.

Richard Overton called this “self-propriety” in 1646, and at about the same time John Locke, following Hugo Grotius, wrote of every man having “a property in his own Person.” This is the old liberal way to think about personal freedom when you are dealing with property: self-ownership.

“Free market capitalism” rests on it just as slavery abridges it.

Unfortunately, there has been a successful campaign to muddy up this logic and its history. Teacher Lawrence Ludlow recently informed readers of American Thinker about the results of this indoctrination: today’s students have “somehow ‘learned’” that “slavery was isolated to the United States instead of practiced worldwide for ages” and that “Westerners were the most enthusiastic practitioners of slavery instead of being among the first to abandon it.”

Freedom is not slavery and the truth shall set us free.

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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DOJ Inspector General Releases 'Damning' Report on James Comey. Here’s What We Know

Former FBI Director - Loser James Comey
by Matt Margolis: The Inspector General of the Department of Justice has released its report on former FBI Director James Comey, "Report of Investigation of Former Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey's Disclosure of Sensitive Investigative Information and Handling of Certain Memoranda"

Page 2:
Upon completing our investigation, pursuant to Section 4(d) of the Inspector General Act of 1978, the OIG provided a copy of its factual findings to the Department for a prosecutorial decision regarding Comey's conduct. See 5 U.S.C.A. App. 3 § 4(d) (2016). After reviewing the matter, the Department declined prosecution. Thereafter, we prepared this report to consider whether Comey’s actions violated Department or FBI policy, or the terms of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement. As described in this report, we conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement.
Page 52:
Comey told the OIG that he considered Memos 2 through 7 to be his personal documents, rather than official FBI records. He said he viewed these Memos as “a personal aide-mémoire,” “like [his] diary” or “like [his] notes,” which contained his “recollection[s]” of his conversations with President Trump. Comey further stated that he kept Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 in a personal safe at home because he believed the documents were personal records rather than FBI records.

Comey's characterization of the Memos as personal records finds no support in the law and is wholly incompatible with the plain language of the statutes, regulations, and policies defining Federal records, and the terms of Comey's FBI Employment Agreement.

Page 54:
Comey's actions with respect to the Memos violated Department and FBI policies concerning the retention, handling, and dissemination of FBI records and information, and violated the requirements of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement.

Page 56:
Comey violated FBI policies and the requirements of his FBI Employment Agreement when he sent a copy of Memo 4 to Richman with instructions to provide the contents to a reporter, and when he transmitted copies of Memos 2, 4, 6, and a redacted version of 7 to his three attorneys.

Page 57:
When asked by the OIG whether he considered that disclosure of this information would significantly affect FBI equities, Comey stated that he would “frame it differently.” He said he viewed the issue as one of “incredible importance to the Nation, as a whole” and told us he felt that taking action was “something I [had] to do if I love this country...and I love the Department of Justice, and I love the FBI.” However, Comey’s own, personal conception of what was necessary was not an appropriate basis for ignoring the policies and agreements governing the use of FBI records, especially given the other lawful and appropriate actions he could have taken to achieve his desired end.

Page 58:
By providing Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 to his attorneys without seeking FBI approval, Comey took for himself the “carte blanche authority” expressly denied by the courts, in clear violation of the FBI's Prepublication Review Policy and the requirements of Comey’s FBI Employment Agreement.

Page 59:
The FBI did not learn that Comey had shared any of the Memos with anyone outside the FBI until Comey’s June 8, 2017 congressional testimony. During his testimony, Comey stated that he provided Memo 4 to a friend to share the contents with a reporter.

Page 60:
By not safeguarding sensitive information obtained during the course of his FBI employment, and by using it to create public pressure for official action, Comey set a dangerous example for the over 35,000 current FBI employees—and the many thousands more former FBI employees—who similarly have access to or knowledge of non-public information.

Page 61:
Comey expressed a similar concern to President Trump, according to Memo 4, in discussing leaks of FBI information, telling Trump that the FBI's ability to conduct its work is compromised “if people run around telling the press what we do.” This is no doubt part of the reason why Comey’s closest advisors used the words “surprised,” “stunned,” “shocked,” and “disappointment” to describe their reactions to learning what Comey had done.

Page 61:
We have previously faulted Comey for acting unilaterally and inconsistent with Department policy.103 Comey’s unauthorized disclosure of sensitive law enforcement information about the Flynn investigation merits similar criticism. In a country built on the rule of law, it is of utmost importance that all FBI employees adhere to Department and FBI policies, particularly when confronted by what appear to be extraordinary circumstances or compelling personal convictions. Comey had several other lawful options available to him to advocate for the appointment of a Special Counsel, which he told us was his goal in making the disclosure. What was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.

James Comey claims vindication:
CNN, however, concedes this report is damning for Comey:
Brit Hume mocks Comey:
-------------------------
Matt Margolis  (@MattMargolis) writes for PJMedia. He the co-author of the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama and the author of the book Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy

Tags: Matt Margolis, PJ Media, DOJ Inspector General, Releases 'Damning' Report, on James Comey To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Here’s Why We Aren’t—and Never Should Be—a Pure Democracy

by Jarrett Stepman: Is America a democracy or a republic?

This debate, if you can call it that, was launched on Twitter by two freshmen lawmakers, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas.

Crenshaw noted on Twitter that the Electoral College prevents pure democracy, and that’s a good thing.

Ocasio-Cortez said a few days later that, essentially, the mask has slipped and Republicans and conservatives have revealed that they want to end democracy.
Debating the terminology of how we define ourselves is perhaps less instructive than the larger focus on what institutions actually have made us free and successful.

There is a strange assumption from some that democracy simply means “good things I like.” Therefore, “more” democracy—however that is defined—is inherently better than less.

This leads to absurdities like slapping “democratic” in front of socialism to reframe socialism as something other than the failed ideology that it is.

Slapping “democratic” in front of socialism doesn’t make the reality of socialism any better than putting “democratic” in front of fascism.

Ultimately, socialism and fascism have been mostly democratic expressions of the popular will, or “general will,” as French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau would put it.

But these political ideologies, taken to their logical extent—with the eventual diminishment of individual rights and checks on power—end in tyranny.

Socialism in Venezuela came about democratically, after all.

This isn’t to say that the inclusion of democracy in a political system is inherently bad. After all, a cornerstone of the American system is the idea that the people—not kings or dictators—are sovereign, and that they shall rule.

But for the people to rule effectively, pure democracy must be curtailed.

Democracy can be nimble and responsive to changing circumstances, but also fickle and ruthless—little more than mob rule in its unrestrained form.

Majority rule must be balanced by putting the brakes on majority tyranny. These brakes are apparent all throughout our system.

And this is why the Electoral College—which today is actually fairly democratic—is such an important institution for a vast and diverse country like the United States.

Advocates of abolishing the Electoral College insist that anything other than a measure of the national popular vote is unfair in how we choose presidents. But not a single other office, law, or policy in this country is decided in this way.

Senators represent vastly different numbers of people, based on the state they come from. The House of Representatives is selected on a district-by-district basis. Local politics determine national laws.

The Supreme Court is highly undemocratic, with several layers of distance between any sort of democratic process and appointment of justices by the president and confirmation by the Senate.

The Electoral College’s state-based system ensures that political candidates must appeal to a wide variety of Americans.

Yes, some Democrats get frustrated by the fact that racking up vote totals in some of the largest blue states can’t secure victory in presidential elections, but that is no reason to change an electoral process that has succeeded for over two centuries.

The Founding Fathers had differing views about what level of democracy was exactly right for our large and growing republic. Most held a deep skepticism, however, about implementing any kind of pure democracy without constraints.

Tyranny, whether in the form of one man or millions, is still tyranny, and is the natural result of putting all power in the hands of one man or many.

“It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy,” John Adams wrote to his friend, John Taylor.

Adams continued:
Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation. Individuals have conquered themselves. Nations and large bodies of men, never.Adams here provides a keen insight into human nature. Unchecked power has always been the bane of liberty, whether in the hands of “good” people or “bad.”

The framers of the Constitution wanted American institutions to be stable and enduring; responsive to changing circumstances, yet immune to the wild mood swings of pure democracy that put societies in a state of perpetual revolution.

It doesn’t take long to understand that some of the best parts of our political system—like the First Amendment that protects the freedoms of speech and the press—are deeply anti-democratic.

And these elements of our constitutional republic are rightly celebrated as key components of American success and exceptionalism.

The bottom line is, the U.S. political system is a unique blend of ideas that includes an important, but limited, place for democracy.

Democracy alone doesn’t produce freedom or prosperity, and it is certainly not an unqualified good.
--------------------------
Jarrett Stepman (@JarrettStepman) is an editor of The Daily Signal.

Tags: Jarrett Stepman, The Daily Signal, Here’s Why We Aren’t, and Never Should Be, a Pure Democracy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Media Ignores Climate Alarmist’s Court Loss — It Doesn’t Fit The Warmist Agenda

I & I Editorial Board: Last week, a Canadian court tossed out a lawsuit in which Michael Mann, the researcher who published the idolized hockey stick temperature chart, had sued another researcher for libel. Did the mainstream media run with this story? Of course not. That would ruin the narrative.

Mann became famous for the chart, which showed temperatures running along in a horizontal fashion before spiking at the beginning of the 20th century. It was the “evidence” the global warming alarmists had been waiting for — “science” that showed human activity was overheating Earth. It was included in at least one United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.

Not all were convinced, however. There were questions about the data he used to create the stick, which he wouldn’t release. It has been called “100% fraudulent,” an “artifact of poor mathematics,” and a violation of “of scientific standards.”

Mann has been accused of engaging in “data manipulation,” and “academic and scientific misconduct.”

Some years after the stick was constructed, Canadian statisticians Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick challenged Mann’s work. They argued the “recent paleoclimate reconstruction by Mann et al. does not provide reliable evidence about climate change over the past millennium, because their data are inconsistent and their confidence intervals are wrong.”

Climate researcher Tim Ball even went so deep as to say that Mann “belongs in the state pen, not Penn State,” where Mann conducts research. Ball found out that was the wrong thing to say. Mann sued him in Canada.

Ball, however, beat Mann in court. The case was dismissed Friday. Almost immediately, Ball wrote to Anthony Watts of the wattsupwiththat website, telling him “Mann’s case against me was dismissed this morning by the (British Columbia) Supreme Court and they awarded me (court) costs.” According to John Hinderaker, an attorney and PowerLine blog contributor, the case was thrown out “with prejudice.”

“What happened was that Dr. Ball asserted a truth defense. He argued that the hockey stick was a deliberate fraud, something that could be proved if one had access to the data and calculations, in particular the R2 regression analysis, underlying it,” Hinderaker wrote. “Mann refused to produce these documents. He was ordered to produce them by the court and given a deadline. He still refused to produce them, so the court dismissed his case.”

John O’Sullivan at Principia Scientific International believes the “extraordinary outcome will likely trigger severe legal repercussions for Dr. Mann in the U.S. and may prove fatal to alarmist climate science claims that modern temperatures are ‘unprecedented.'”

Big news, right? Not in the U.S. The media that acts as the climate hysterics’ public relations arm has ignored the case.

So it’s just a Canadian story, then? Not hardly. The U.S. media played the hockey stick as an American/Western/global story. What happens to its author in a courtroom should be U.S. news.

It’s plausible that the media have deserted Mann. Several mainstream outlets sided with the Competitive Enterprise Institute and National Review, which the litigious Mann had sued for defamation. They were concerned that allowing the lawsuit to go forward would be a threat to First Amendment freedoms.

But the lack of coverage would be the same if any climate alarmist had suffered a legal loss. If we might paraphrase the brilliant “Jim Treacher,” journalism today is all about which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect poorly on the global warming narrative. The silence is wholly predictable.
-----------------
Issues & Insights is a new site formed by the seasoned journalists behind the legendary IBD Editorials page.

Tags: I & I Editorial Board, Media Ignores, Climate Alarmist’s Court Loss, It Doesn’t Fit, The Warmist Agenda To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

CAGW Names Rep. John Carter August 2019 Porker of the Month

Rep. John Carter (R-TX)
Porker of the Month
August 2019
 
(Washington, D.C.) – Citizens Against Government Waste named Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) August 2019 Porker of the Month for voting for the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2019 (BBA), which saddles taxpayers with more spending and debt.

The U.S. is currently $22 trillion in debt. The BBA is projected to add approximately $1.7 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years. It will also end the automatic spending cuts established by the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA). The BBA passed the House by a vote of 284 to 149, and the Senate by a vote of 67 to 28. President Trump signed the bill into law on Friday, August 2, 2019.

Rep. Carter was a huge proponent of the budget deal, claiming it “helps everybody.” He justified it politically by saying that the BBA helps “the majority – not having to deal with that at election time.” How convenient for him and sad for taxpayers. Among the many problems with the budget deal, is the suspension of the limit on how much new debt the U.S. will accumulate between now and July 31, 2021. It will raise spending caps by $322 billion over the next two years. Sen. Rand Paul called out supporters of the BBA, like Rep. Carter, for having “no understanding and no sympathy for the burden of debt they are leaving the taxpayers, the young, the next generation, and the future of our country.”


CAGW President Tom Schatz said, “Rep. Carter might think that the Bipartisan Budget Act will somehow help taxpayers get out from under the country’s crushing debt, but the deal would exacerbate the problem. Fiscal conservatives should be outraged at every legislator who voted for this bill. Passing the BBA is disastrous to the nation’s fiscal sovereignty and the taxpayers.
---------------------
Citizens Against Government Waste is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government. For more than two decades, Porker of the Month is a dubious honor given to lawmakers and government officials who have shown a blatant disregard for the interests of taxpayers.

Tags: Citizens Against Government Waste, CAGW, Rep. John Carter, August 2019, Porker of the Month To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump Should End the Capital Gains Inflation Tax

Phil Kerpen
by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: Recent comments by President Trump have thrown some cold water on hopes that he will soon order the IRS to index the capital gains tax, ending the taxation of phantom, inflationary gains.

"I've studied indexing for a long time and I think it will be perceived - if I do it - as somewhat elitist. I don't want to do that," President Trump recently told a gaggle of reporters at the White House.

Does that mean the president now disagrees with his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who has doggedly pursued capital gains indexing for years? Does it mean advocates of the policy change should move on to something else?

Absolutely not.

The president's reluctance is directly related to dishonest headlines from the New York Times and elsewhere that frame indexing as a tax cut for the rich. The president is not concerned about the substance of the policy or his legal authority to implement it but rather the perception – the politics of it.

If there was any doubt that the president is still very much considering this big, beautiful tax cut that Nancy Pelosi can't stop, he put that to rest with a new trial balloon tweet just a week after his public comments. Trump asked if capital gains indexing was "An idea liked by many?," with a retweet of Steve Forbes linking to an article endorsing the idea written by Senator Ted Cruz and Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.

President Trump is conducting a live focus group on the issue. He wants to know whether the media frame about "another tax cut for the rich" prevails among his supporters and the general public.

So we need to engage that argument and defeat it. Fortunately the facts are on our side.

IRS data show 26 million tax returns paid capital gains tax in 2016, 80 percent of whom made less than $200,000 and 56% made less than $100,000. And that understates how widespread the benefits would be because the majority of American households own long-lived assets like homes, mutual funds, and stocks that they will sell someday, representing years and possibly decades of accumulated value. The year they sell they will be "rich" according to income – but only for that one year. Taxing years or decades of inflation because a family looks rich on paper for that one year is wrong.

As Norquist noted in another recent article, the widespread benefits of indexing would be especially beneficial to Trump's base: "The present capital gains tax is particularly brutal to older Americans who bought a home, built a small business or invested in the stock market before the hyperinflation of the late 1970s... Those damaged most? Older voters. Rural voters. Midwest voters. Homeowners. Self-employed small-business men and women. A.k.a.: Trump voters in swing states. Inflation is a larger part of the capital gains taxes they pay."

Democrats are howling at the thought of President Trump bypassing Nancy Pelosi and ending the capital gains inflation tax via executive order – which he has acknowledged he has clear legal authority to do. But Nancy Pelosi voted for capital gains indexing herself in 1992 – as did Maxine Waters, Bernie Sanders, and Chuck Schumer. Was it "for the rich" then?

Schumer even gave a floor speech in support of the idea, saying: "If we really want to increase growth, there are proposals that we can do. I would be for indexing all capital gains."

The bottom line is that taxing inflationary gains is wrong and economically destructive – and President Trump has the power to fix it. He should not be deterred by disingenuous Democrats or their media allies.
------------------
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment. Follow him at (@kerpen) and on Facebook. He is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service.

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