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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, September 06, 2019

2020 and 1972 Part 4: The Price of Failure

President Johnson's "War on Poverty"
by Newt Gingrich: When I reread Theodore White’s Making of the President 1972, the biggest surprise was not political, it was in policy.

To a degree, I wasn’t ready for how White captures the absolute failure of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and the amount of damage it was doing to our cities. It is hard to believe, but by 1972, only seven years after the peak of the Great Society legislative tsunami, White saw clearly that liberal government policies were already destroying the poor and the urban neighborhoods which had before been vibrant.

Not since Marvin Olasky’s The Tragedy of American Compassion had I read such an extraordinarily insightful understanding of why billions and billions in urban investment had failed and were doomed to fail no matter how much money we poured in to the wrong policies. And White was writing 20 years before Olasky, so his perception and insights are even more remarkable.

When you read this analysis, you will understand how big the problem urban America is facing really is. It is deeply entrenched in the wrong ideology and defended by bureaucracies of failure.

Since the passage of the Great Society, the federal government has spent $27.8 trillion dollars (2016 dollars) on the War on Poverty. By contrast, all of America’s wars have cost $8 trillion and World War II, our biggest war, cost $4.3 trillion.

So, for three and a half times the cost of all our wars – or six and a half times the cost of World War II – what has the federal government accomplished? As a share of GDP, means-tested welfare and aid to the poor was 1.11 percent in the 1950s, 1.68 percent in the 1960s, and since then it has blossomed to 5.91 percent. Measured by violence in poor neighborhoods, absence of local jobs in poor communities, and collapsing educational achievement in schools in poor communities, the War on Poverty has been an expensive failure that has made things worse.

Could anyone seriously suggest that Baltimore or Southside Chicago or East St. Louis represent a “Great Society”?

The problem is clearly not money. Baltimore City already spends $16,184 per pupil – the third highest per student out of the 100 largest school districts in the nation, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

As Sanford Horn wrote for The Federalist:“Project Baltimore reported that in 13 of 39 city high schools, zero students were proficient in math. Zero. Let that sink in for a minute. In six more Baltimore high schools, only 1 percent tested proficient. In roughly half the schools, 3,804 students attempted the exam, with a mere 14 proficient in math. Not 14 percent, 14 actual students. It’s no wonder the poverty rate in Baltimore is 22 percent.

“Incompetent so-called leaders and teachers’ unions have corrupted the public school system. They hide behind tenure while indoctrinating students instead of educating them, condemning the next generation to the consequences of the corrupt and broken system they created. It’s not all their fault, though: the children they teach have largely grown up in chaotic homes that do not value learning.”
The Left will argue that all this spending is necessary to fight the legacy of slavery and discrimination. But it is clearly failing to do so.

As Jason Riley wrote for The Wall Street Journal, only 28 percent of black students passed the math exam in the latest New York City tests (by comparison, 74 percent of Asian students, 67 percent of white students, and 33 percent of Hispanic students passed). “On the English exam, the passage rates were 68 percent for Asians, 67 percent for whites, 37 percent for Hispanics, and 35 percent for blacks,” according to Riley.

This failure of policy and bureaucracy was foreseen by White nearly 50 years ago. As he wrote:“By the early 1970’s it was clear that the Liberal-inspired programs of the Great Society had failed in the cities; they had been based on a political misreading of how those cities functioned, and what communities in those cities required for community survival. What had actually happened in the great cities of America in the 1960’s, and was continuing to happen as America entered the seventies, mocked all the billions of dollars spent on programs to ‘save’ them. If the decade of the 1960’s can appropriately be called the Decade That Gave Goodwill A Bad Name, it is not because of the Vietnam war—it is because of what distant goodwill has done to life in the big cities. All the programs had been advanced by Democratic thinkers practicing the best doctrine of the day; but theologians put doctrine above experience. The Movement insisted on more of the same for the seventies—and in the big cities, where the Democrats get their core votes, more-of-the-same frightened too many of the communities who were being driven from their neighborhoods.”Not a single Democratic candidate for president can be honest about the collapse of big city schools; the culture of poverty and unemployment; and the widespread corruption, drugs, and violence which are the legacy of the Great Society’s failed principles and failed institutions.

Even on the Republican side, no one has yet had the courage to tell the truth: More money will simply lead to more expensive failures.

The failed ideas must be replaced.

The failed institutions must be uprooted and replaced.

The corruption must be uprooted and called what it is.

The answer on the Left will be to scream racism while the Liberal Theology and teachers’ union bureaucracy continue to destroy children.

The answer on the Left will be to attack the police while more and more poor neighborhoods suffer from unchallenged violence and barbarism.

The amazing thing is how much of this White analyzed in 1972 – and how little has changed since.
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 4, The Price of Failure To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

‘The Great Scattering’: How Identity Panic Took Root in the Void Once Occupied by Family Life

by Mary Eberstadt: Of all the issues that divide us, none seems as inimical to reasoned discussion as identity politics. Conservatives excoriate such politics as politically opportunistic theater, the acting out of coddled “snowflake” students. Liberals and progressives put forth an opposing grievance-first narrative, arguing that identity politics emanates from authentic wounds.

But what if both contenders have a piece of the truth? What if many identity-firsters today are claiming to be victims because they and their societies are victims—only not so much of the abstract “isms” they denounce, but of something else that till now has eluded description?

Let’s try a new theory: Our macro-politics have become a mania about identity because our micropolitics are no longer familial. This, above all, is what happened during the decades in which identity politics went from being a phrase in an obscure quasi-radical document to a way of being that has gone on to transform academia, law, media, culture and government.

Yes, racism, sexism and other forms of cruelty exist, and are always to be deplored and countered. At the same time, the timeline of identity politics suggest another source. Up until the middle of the twentieth century (and barring the frequent foreshortening of life by disease or nature) human expectations remained largely the same throughout the ages: that one would grow up to have children and a family; that parents and siblings and extended family would remain one’s primal community; and that, conversely, it was a tragedy not to be part of a family. The post-1960s order of sexual consumerism has upended every one of these expectations.

Who am I? is a universal human question. It becomes harder to answer if other basic questions are problematic or out of reach. Who is my brother? Who is my father? Where, if anywhere, are my cousins, grandparents, nieces, nephews and the rest of the organic connections through which humanity up until now channeled everyday existence? Every one of the assumptions that our forebears could take for granted is now negotiable.

The panic over identity, in short, is being driven by the fact that the human animal has been selected for familial forms of socialization that for many people no longer exist. Let’s test this theory, here dubbed the “Great Scattering,” via some evidence from social science, anthropology and pop culture.

Just how attenuated have family ties become? Consider a few examples.

When sociologists first began mapping the post-revolutionary empirical world beginning a little over half a century ago, they looked first, naturally enough, to the terrain that was easiest to see and measure: fatherlessness and its correlates. In his 1965 report, The Negro Family: The Case for National Action, future U.S. senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan argued that black poverty was tied fundamentally to the implosion of the black family, and worried over the rate of out-of-wedlock births—which was then around 25 percent, much higher than that of whites. That rate would continue to rise for both whites and blacks during the decades to come, and academics began connecting dots to show what was happening to children and adolescents in the new social order.

In 1997, one of the most eminent social scientists of the twentieth century, James Q. Wilson, summarized many of these findings succinctly in a speech that was later published as an essay. He identified the root of America’s fracturing in the dissolution of the family, and described what he called “the two nations” of America. The dividing line between these cleft territories was no longer one of income or social class, he argued. Instead, it had become all about the hearth.

“It is not money,” Wilson documented, “but the family that is the foundation of public life. As it has become weaker, every structure built upon that foundation has become weaker.” He pointed to the library that social science had been building for decades, filled with books and studies about the correlations between crumbling family structure and various adverse results. Kinship composition, as Wilson’s work among others demonstrated, had become more important to positive outcomes than race, income, or one’s station at birth.

Absent fathers have been only the most visible and measurable of the new family lacunae. In a landmark 2000 book called Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce, Elizabeth Marquardt, working with sociologist Norval Glenn, reported on a study into the long-term effects of parental breakup into adulthood. She administered a lengthy questionnaire to 1,500 young adults, half of whose parents had split up by the time the children turned fourteen, and documented differences between children of divorce, and those who came from intact families.

At times, the two groups exhibited starkly opposed concepts of identity. For example, children of divorce were almost three times as likely to “strongly agree” with the statement, “I felt like a different person with each of my parents.” They were also twice as likely to “strongly agree” with the statement, “I always felt like an adult, even when I was a little kid”—a particularly poignant expression of confusion about the question “Who am I?” Almost two-thirds of the respondents of divorced homes also “agreed” with the following statement, which similarly expresses the division of oneself: “I felt like I had two families.”

This is evocative evidence, again, of the unsteady sense of self that many people, adult and child alike, now experience as the givens of life. It expresses the division of one into more than one—of selves torn, as in the book’s title, between worlds. And though these researchers limited their study to children of divorce only, their findings would also appear to apply to any home where two parents play a role in a child’s life from different locations.

Pop culture weighs in, too. In a 2004 Policy Review essay called Eminem Is Right, I documented how family rupture, family anarchy and family breakup had become the signature themes of Generation-X and Generation-Y pop. If yesterday’s rock was the music of abandon, today’s is that of abandonment. The odd truth about contemporary teenage music—the characteristic that most separates it from what has gone before—is its compulsive insistence on the damage wrought by broken homes, family dysfunction, checked-out parents, and (especially) absent fathers. Papa Roach, Everclear, Blink-182, Good Charlotte, Snoop Doggy Dogg—these and others have their own generational answer to what ails the modern teenager. That answer is: dysfunctional childhood. During the same years in which progressive-minded and politically correct adults have been excoriating Ozzie and Harriet as artifacts of 1950s-style oppression, millions of American teenagers have enshrined a new generation of music idols whose shared signature in song after song is to rage about what not having had a nuclear family had done to them.

In 2004, identity politics was not the omnipresent headline subject it is today. Even so, the effect of family decline on the sense of self already was appearing writ large across popular music. Tupac Shakur rapped about life with a single mother and no male parent, including in his 1993 Papa’z Song, about a boy who has to play catch by himself. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, both towering figures in 1990s rock, were children of divorce, and both referred back to that event repeatedly in their songs and interviews.

Above all, there is the fiery emotional connection that generations of teenagers have found in rap superstar Eminem. It exists not only on account of his extraordinary facility with language, but also, surely, for his signature themes: absent father, inattentive mother, protectiveness toward a sibling, and rage. Eminem is the Greek chorus of family dysfunction. And long before today’s brand of identity panics, a lot of young America already was stumbling over how to answer the question “Who am I?” Just listening to what they were driving up the charts proved the point.

Another demographic factor of note has been the shrinkage of most Western families, whether split or intact—one of whose consequences has been the diminishing number of people who grow up with siblings. It is now much more common for American mothers to have one or two children, rather than three or more, as was the case in the early 1960s. Singleton children have become the norm across much of Europe and parts of Asia, and the numbers are increasing in the United States. Many contemporary children and adolescents not only lack a parent—typically, a male parent. Many also have no siblings, or no sibling of either the same or the opposite sex.

Why might this matter? Because diverse findings show that being accompanied through early life by non-parental contemporaneous others (i.e., siblings) gives children and teenagers a leg up on socialization—in other words, knowing who they are in the social order.

A Canadian study published in 2018 suggests that siblings learn empathy from one another, independent of birth order. Another study has found that the likelihood of divorce later in life can be predicted by the number of siblings one has; the higher that number, the lower the likelihood of divorce. As with other analyses of the benefits of having brothers and sisters, the authors conjecture that the necessity of sharing resources prepares siblings for essential social skills later in life, such as bargaining and taking turns. One more study that made headlines recently showed that growing up with an opposite-sex sibling makes teenagers and young adults more confident and successful in the romance market, because they have had the opportunity to observe and interact at close range with a contemporaneous member of the opposite sex.

Such findings also are consonant with similar observations made from inquiries into animal behavior. One paper reviewing research into a variety of primates, including rhesus monkeys, baboons and macaques, concludes: “The bulk of the available evidence suggests that during childhood the nonhuman primates who grow up in the presence of siblings (or maternal half-sibs) will develop childhood social relationships with others in their social group earlier; and that these relationships will be of a more extensive nature than those formed by infants who grow up in the absence of siblings (or maternal half-sibs).”

Finally, another body of evidence that also speaks to our familial dislocation and isolation can be found in one of sociology’s hottest and fastest-growing stocks: loneliness studies.

Substantial numbers of men and women are suffering from what social scientists and medical professionals in their stricken societies call an “epidemic” of loneliness. Over half a century after the embrace of the sexual revolution, the paradox emerges that the materially better-off countries of the planet are also the most emotionally impoverished for many citizens, particularly though not only the elderly. Google any Western European or other advanced country followed by “loneliness,” and the same results appear: an outpouring of research on the new isolation.

This loneliness is a unique form of human poverty, abounding in societies awash in material wealth—places where, by the 1970s, divorce rates were rising, marriage rates were falling, and cradles were rapidly emptying.

Loneliness is no mere adolescent affectation. Social isolation on the scale found throughout the countries of the West is now exacting serious health costs that can be expected to rise as the Baby Boom generation enters its final years. Yet while senior citizens are the most visible objects of concern, they are not the only people so affected. One national survey conducted by health-service company Cigna, whose results were released in May, 2018, found that nearly half of all Americans report “sometimes or always” feeling alone, and that Generation Z—born between 1995 and 2010—is the loneliest generation of all.

Big Health takes an interest in social atomization for sound reasons. In their 2008 book, Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection, scientists John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick summarized evidence linking atomization to health risks, including a literature review in Science indicating that social isolation is a risk factor for illness and death whose effects are comparable to other, more familiar ones: high blood pressure, obesity, lack of exercise and smoking.

Wherever one stands in matters of the “culture wars” is immaterial. The plain fact is that the relative stability of yesterday’s familial identity could not help but answer the question at the heart of identity politics—Who am I?—in ways that now eludes many. The diminution and rupture of the family and the rise of identity politics cannot be understood apart from one another.

Anthropological evidence from every culture and era verifies that human beings, by their nature, live in families—just as coyotes and elephants and other mammals live in families, not just in random collections of individuals of the same species. Apart from the outlier that is the contemporary West, family has been an integral, unbidden demand of our kind, everywhere that human beings have been found. Its relational structure has provided the default ways of answering the question, Who am I? And now many people, deprived of a robust family life by post-1960s trends, can no longer figure out how to answer that question.

No wonder the flight to collective identities based on gender, ethnicity, and all the rest has become so impassioned. For more and more people, Narcissus can no longer find himself anywhere else.
Mary Eberstadt is a senior research fellow at the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, D.C., and author of the newly published Primal Screams: How the Sexual Revolution Created Identity Politics. This essay is adapted from Chapter Two, titled “The Great Scattering.”  H/T Intercollegiate Review (IR) who shared this article with the editor. IR is published by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) and is dedicated to advancing the principles that make America free, virtuous, and prosperous.

Tags: Mary Eberstadt, senior research fellow, author, Primal Screams, How the Sexual Revolution, created identity politics, Intercollegiate Review, Intercollegiate, Studies Institute To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

It’s Lights Out for Obama-Era Bulb Ban That Would Have Curbed Consumer Choice

by Nicolas Loris: The Department of Energy announced this week that it’s withdrawing the Obama administration’s energy-rationing mandate for certain lightbulbs.

Opponents criticized the rule change, arguing that the move would be bad for consumers and the climate. The reality, however, is that families and businesses will be better off, and the change will have a negligible impact on the environment.

The Energy Department’s decision to withdraw energy-efficiency standards for candle-shaped, globe-shaped, three-way and reflector lightbulbs is a victory for consumer choice.

Whether it’s buying a lightbulb or a new car, families have different preferences and needs. They consider the various trade-offs in products and face different budget constraints.

When Washington forces energy-rationing mandates on consumers, the federal government takes those choices away or at the very least overrides their preferences.

Critics of the Department of Energy’s action argue that continuing to use energy-inefficient lights will cost households $100 annually in higher energy costs.

But here’s the good news: There’s no mandate forcing families or businesses to use inefficient lighting. Consumers can voluntarily replace inefficient bulbs with more efficient ones if they so choose.

The practices of being resourceful and saving money are intuitive, which means that the economy does not need mandates or rebate programs to nudge families into making decisions the government thinks are best for consumers.

In fact, many families and businesses are switching over to LED bulbs because of the cost savings.

According to the National Manufacturing Electric Association, “The general service LED bulb now accounts for approximately 70 percent of the shipments in the general service lamp category.

“Because of their longer life, it is estimated that by the end of 2019, 80-84 percent of the general service lamp sockets will be occupied by LED and [compact fluorescent lamps], while the halogen incandescent bulb is estimated to be in 16-20 percent of these sockets,” the industry association says.

While proponents of energy-rationing regulations may attribute this transition to the Energy Department’s standard, consumers are also increasingly buying more efficient bulbs that aren’t covered by any standard.

Other appliances covered by the Energy Department’s mandates, such as refrigerators, also had energy-efficiency improvements before the standards took hold.

In a competitive market, manufacturers provide consumers with better products at lower costs, leading to dramatic improvements in energy efficiency. Thanks to entrepreneurs, technological advances, and consumer desires, Americans have become nearly 60 percent more energy efficient over the past half century.

Domestically and globally, energy intensity is in decline and will likely continue down that path.

Competition in lighting technology could very well phase out the traditional incandescent lightbulb, but the federal government shouldn’t be telling Americans how or when.

However, consumers should still have the option of paying smaller upfront costs for a bulb. Or, if households prefer the lighting that an incandescent bulb gives off compared with an LED bulb or compact florescent lights, they should have the ability to do so.

Choosing to buy a bulb with a cheaper sticker price does not mean that families fail to recognize that they will pay a little extra for electricity. It does not mean that consumers, as Obama-era Energy Secretary Steven Chu said, “aren’t acting in a way that they should act.”

It simply gives them additional flexibility to manage a real-world family budget. Some households may value having more money in their pocket now, rather than value the energy savings later.

The decision may rest on buying a cheaper bulb and feeding their family versus buying a more expensive bulb and forgoing some other necessity the family needs.

The upfront costs of a more expensive lightbulb or appliance may not heavily affect a wealthy or middle-income family’s budget, but there are real-world implications of regulations that increase energy costs.

Empowering families with more choice and flexibility is a good thing.

Regardless of one’s stance on the need to address climate change, energy-efficiency regulations are an inefficient, ineffective way of doing so.

In fact, the Energy Department’s projected environmental benefits to Americans from reducing greenhouse-gas emissions total a measly 1 percent of all benefits projected from efficiency regulations.

The majority of calculated benefits are private benefits that a consumer derives from saving energy (which could be overestimated, depending on future energy prices and the reliability of the appliance).

In other words, not only do these regulations not meet a public need or create benefits to the general public health, but the Energy Department essentially is trying to protect people from themselves and make “better” decisions for them.

Furthermore, the abated warming and sea-level rise from reduced greenhouse-gas emissions because of energy-efficiency mandates would be practically too small to even measure. The changes would be indistinguishable from natural climate variability.

Lightbulb mandates merely scratch the surface of government’s intrusion into consumer choice for energy and environmental purposes.

Just look at much of the content from CNN’s seven-hour “climate crisis” town hall on Wednesday night. Much of the discussion centered on what type of energy you should use, what kind of car you should drive, which appliances you should buy, and how you should eat less meat and use fewer plastic straws.

Voluntarily, all of these options are fine. When forced upon the public by the federal government, these regulations drive prices higher, impede innovation, and restrict consumer freedom—all for an insignificant impact on climate.
Nicolas Loris (NiconomistLoris), an economist, focuses on energy, environmental and regulatory issues as the Herbert and Joyce Morgan fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

Tags: Nicolas Loris, The Daily Signal, It’s Lights Out, for Obama-Era Bulb Ban, That Would Have Curbed, Consumer Choice To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Strengthening the US-Israel Alliance

by Caroline Glick: Should Israel and the US sign a mutual defense treaty? Every few years, this question is raised. And every few years, it is set aside.

In 2000 then prime minister Ehud Barak made signing a mutual defense treaty with the US a central component of his national security strategy. That year, as Barak sought to sell the public his plan to give the Temple Mount to Yassir Arafat and Judea and Samaria to Arafat’s terror armies, he presented the option of signing a mutual defense pact with the US as a reasonable payoff for Israel’s sacrifice for peace.

Barak’s thinking was clear.

True, if the PLO boss had accepted Barak’s peace offer Israel would have been left without its capital and without defensible borders. But there was no reason to worry. The Marines would protect us. At the heart of Barak’s vision of a mutual defense treaty stood his unwillingness to bear the burdens of freedom, power and sovereignty.

The present round of chatter about the prospect of achieving a US-Israel defense treaty was initiated by Republican Senator Lindsay Graham. In opposition to the view of the majority of Israelis and of the 2016 Republican party platform, Graham insists on maintaining allegiance to the so-called “two state solution,” despite its hundred-year record of continuous failure.

Still Graham is no foe of Israeli sovereignty and military might. To the contrary. Graham played a decisive role in convincing President Donald Trump to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. So it is inconceivable that Graham shares Barak’s post-Zionist vision of a defenseless Israel protected by Uncle Sam.

Moreover, according to media reports, ahead of the September 17 elections Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is making an effort to convince President Trump to make a statement in favor of a new US-Israel defense treaty. Since Netanyahu’s diplomatic policies and his strategic vision of Israel are diametrically opposed to those Barak advanced, it is impossible to imagine that Netanyahu shares Barak’s vision of the purpose of a defense treaty.

What then could be the purpose of a defense treaty? What sort of rearrangement of Israel’s defense ties with the US would advance those ties to both countries’ mutual advantage?

Israel has two strategic interests that could be significantly advanced by changes in its security ties with the US. Neither necessitates signing a formal agreement. At most, they could be included in some form of presidential memorandum or summary of a bilateral meeting between Trump and Netanyahu.

Israel’s first interest is to provide a formal expression and operating framework for Israel’s now intimate working relations and strategic cooperation with the Sunni Arab states.

These burgeoning ties were the unintended but salutary consequence of the Obama administration’s radical Middle East policy.

During his tenure in office, Barack Obama sought to realign the US away from Israel and from America’s longstanding Sunni Arab allies and towards the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran. As Obama’s actions became more damaging, and his intentions unmistakable, Netanyahu reached out to the Saudis, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

Working under the principle that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, Netanyahu’s intuition paid off. The Sunnis recognized that working with Israel would help them to survive Obama’s treachery and responded positively to his overtures.

The first visible consequence of the new partnership came in 2014 during Operation Protective Edge. As Obama sought to coerce Israel into accepting Hamas’s ceasefire terms, (presented as a a mediated settlement by Hamas’s state sponsors Turkey and Qatar), the Saudis, the UAE and Egypt stood with Israel in rejecting them. The three Sunni Arab states insisted that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah a-Sisi rather than the Turks or Qataris serve as the mediator between Israel and Hamas. And Sisi demanded that Hamas accept Israel’s ceasefire conditions.

Blindsided, Obama was compelled to stand down.

Obama rightly viewed Israel’s cooperative relationship with the Sunnis as a hostile bloc that stymied his efforts to realign the US away from them and towards Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood.

As for Trump, from his earliest moments in office, Trump embraced the newfound partnership Netanyahu had forged of necessity, and made it the centerpiece of his Middle East policy.

For more than two years, Israel and the US have discussed ways to bring Israel’s relations with the Arabs out of the closet. Signing a peace treaty is out of the question. Popular hatred of Israel in the Arab world is ubiquitous. To appease the street, the Arab regimes would be compelled to demand that Israel make massive concessions to the Palestinians in exchange for a peace deal that would do nothing more than formalize the relations that Israel and the Arabs have already forged. Israel would be foolish to pay for what it already achieved.

A different framework is required. And as it happens, the US military has one at the ready.

The US military’s Central Command is responsible for the Middle East. To appease the Arabs, the US military refused to include Israel in Central Command’s area of responsibility and placed Israel instead under the aegis of its European Command.

Central Command’s reputation for hostility to Israel is doubtlessly rooted in this anomaly. How can Central Command officers recognize the value of a state that their Arab interlocutors attack? How can they recognize Israel’s role as a stabilizing force in the Middle East when the Arabs criticize the US incessantly for its friendship with Israel?

Transferring responsibility for Israel to the Central Command would kill two birds with one stone. First, American commanders responsible for military operations in the Middle East would be able to work directly with the US’s most powerful ally in the region. Israel would be in a position to present its views to the relevant US military regional commanders on operational issues that affect its security in real time.

And second, including Israel in Central Command would provide Israel and its Arab partners with an appropriate framework for open cooperation. Under the umbrella of the US military, the parties would be able to maintain normal ties and develop their relations openly and free of political constraints and pressure.

The second interest that Israel should use a revision of its strategic relations with the US to advance is its interest in discrediting the widely held assessment that it is a drag on US national security rather than an asset and an ally. This goal can be achieved by intensifying US-Israel technological cooperation in weapons systems development generally and hypersonic weapons development specifically.

Hypersonic weapons are the central component of the new arms race in the emerging cold war between the US on the one side and China and Russia on the other. Today, the US is dangerously trailing both Russia and China in this arms race.

Hypersonic speeds are speeds of 5-mach or 6,000 km per hour and above. There are two types of hypersonic weapons: hypersonic glide vehicles, which are launched from a rocket or a ballistic missile before gliding to a target; and hypersonic cruise missiles which are powered by high-speed, air breathing engines or “scramjets” after acquiring their target.

Hypersonic weapons travel at low altitudes and are guided by internal electro-optics systems that enable them to maneuver and change direction during flight while locked on a target. Their atmospheric altitude makes them difficult for satellite-based missile defense systems to track. Their high speed makes them difficult for ground-based anti-missile systems to detect. In Congressional testimony, US Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Griffin stated that the US has no defense against hypersonic weapons.

According to a report on hypersonic weapons published by the Congressional Research Service in July, Russia and China are expected to field hypersonic glide vehicles as early as 2020. Last year Griffin told defense industry executives that developing hypersonic systems is the Pentagon’s top priority.

According to the CRS report the US is unlikely to field a hypersonic system before 2022, and that likely is an optimistic projection. Congress appropriated $2.6 billion to hypersonic projects for 2020. A mere five percent of the sum is allocated to hypersonic defense programs.

This brings us to Israel, the US ally so many view as a burdensome client.

On July 28, Israel and the US conducted a successful test of the Arrow-3 ballistic missile defense system in Alaska. The Arrow is a joint program developed by Israel Aircraft Industries and Boeing. During the course of the test the Arrow successfully intercepted a ballistic missile flying at what Netanyahu referred to as “unprecedented altitudes and speed.”

Less than a month later, the Pentagon announced that it was cancelling a similar program by Boeing. The proximity of the cancellation of Boeing’s Redesigned Kill Vehicle to the successful Arrow-3 test raises the likelihood that the two events are connected.

As it demonstrated with the Arrow-3 test, Israel has proven capabilities in a number of areas that are relevant to the development of hypersonic weapons. Israel is a world leader for instance in the fields of electronic warfare and electro optics, both critical components of hypersonic systems. With proper funding, Israel could make a significant contribution to US efforts to step up development of hypersonic defensive systems and elements of offensive hypersonic weapons for the benefit of both countries.

This then brings back to the issue of an upgraded defense relationship between Israel and the US.

The specter of a Democratic administration casts a pall over Israel’s current intimate ties with the US. With the rise of radical forces in the Democratic party, the positions of its leaders are becoming increasingly hostile to Israel. How can Israel-US ties be altered to survive and even prosper under a hostile administration in the future?

Regardless of his or her own positions on Israel and those of his or her party, a future a Democratic president faced with a reality in which Israeli officials cooperate openly with their Sunni Arab counterparts under the aegis of the US Central Command, and in which Israel serves as a key partner in the development of offensive and defensive systems that are critical to the US will not rush to abandon the US alliance with Israel.

Thanks to Netanyahu’s interest-based foreign policy, Israel has managed to develop strong bilateral relationships based on common interests rather than ideology with a long list of foreign governments. By placing interests ahead of politics, Netanyahu was able to significantly reduce the salience of anti-Semitism as a political force in the international arena.

If Israel and the US are interested in making significant alterations to their strategic ties, it is important that the changes be expressed in the same manner, for the benefit of both countries.
Caroline B. Glick is a senior columnist at Breitbart News and the senior contributing and chief columnist for The Jerusalem Post. She shares article on

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The Intolerant Left, More Left-wing Nonsense, Values Voter Summit

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: The Intolerant Left
Famed New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is under attack by the radical left and its media allies. Why is Brees suddenly the subject of so much attention?

Did he protest the national anthem? No. Did he tweet something nasty about Donald Trump? No. For those things, he would be applauded by our cultural elites.

No, Brees's sin was recording a brief video encouraging kids to take their Bibles to school, encouraging them to "live out your faith . . . and share God's love with friends." Oh, the horror!

The video was produced by our friends at Focus on the Family. And for that Brees is being accused of promoting hate and being "anti-LGBT." Nothing could be further from the truth -- about either Drew Brees or Focus on the Family.

I still look back fondly on my years with Focus on the Family and my relationship with Dr. James Dobson. It was Dr. Dobson who appointed me as president of the Family Research Council after I left the Reagan Administration.

The overwhelming majority of Focus's work is helping to keep marriages and families intact because that is what we know is best for children. Unlike the left, Focus isn't trying to force its values on anyone else. They don't force anyone to follow their advice. They offer it freely to anyone who seeks it.

The attack on Brees is just the latest indication of the left's growing intolerance for men and women of faith. It is a reminder of what is at stake in the culture war raging over the values we will pass on to our children and grandchildren.

More Left-wing Nonsense
  • The Real Salt Lake soccer team, part of Major League Soccer and the United States Soccer Federation, recently told two fans to stop waving the Betsy Ross flag or they would be ejected from the game. The team claimed the flag was a "symbol for hate groups." Well, somebody should have told Barack Obama that.
  • Harris tweeted this yesterday: "A society is judged based on how it treats children." This is coming from a politician who supports abortion on demand and whose healthcare scheme will force you to subsidize abortions.
  • Mayor Pete Buttigeig told Stephen Colbert last night that climate change was a moral issue. Yes, environmental stewardship is a moral issue. But so too is the sanctity of life. Get that right first and then come talk to me about the environment. (The Bible also has a lot to say about marriage, but the Supreme Court thinks it knows better.)
  • As this week's news made clear, the left is obsessed with climate change. What's the left's other great obsession? Russia. Well, guess what? They're linked. Russia (and China too) would love to see the U.S. adopt policies that destroy our energy industry and cripple our military. It seems many on the left may be colluding with Russia. Perhaps another special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate climate change collusion.
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

I look forward to seeing you there!
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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Record 157,878,000 Employed in August; Record Low Unemployment Rate for Blacks

Susan Jones
by Susan Jones: The number of people employed in the United States hit a record 157,878,000 in August, the 21st record set under President Donald Trump, according to the employment report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That's an increase of 590,000 from the record 157,228,000 employed in July.

The unemployment rate held steady at 3.7 percent. For blacks, the unemployment rate dropped to a record low of 5.5 percent last month. And for Hispanics, the unemployment rate was 4.2 percent in August, which ties the record low set earlier this year.

In August, the civilian noninstitutional population in the United States was 259,432,000. That included all people 16 and older who did not live in an institution (such as a prison, nursing home or long-term care hospital). Of that civilian noninstutional population, 163,922,000 were in the labor force, meaning that they either had a job or were actively seeking one during the last month.

That boosted the labor force participation rate to 63.2 percent, which matches the Trump-era high set this past January and February. That's a 0.2 percent gain from the 63.0 percent in July.

Of the 163,922,000 who were in the labor force, 6,044,000 were unemployed, which put the unemployment rate at 3.7 percent for a third straight month.

Among the major worker groups, BLS said, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.4 percent), adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (12.6 percent), Whites (3.4 percent), Blacks (5.5 percent), Asians (2.8 percent), and Hispanics (4.2 percent) showed little or no change in August, although -- as noted above -- it's never been better for blacks and Hispanics.

The economy added 130,000 jobs in August, boosted by employment gains in the federal government, largely reflecting the hiring of temporary workers for the 2020 Census, BLS said. Notable job gains also occurred in health care and financial activities.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for June was revised down by 15,000 to +178,000, and the change for July was revised down by 5,000 to +159,000. With these revisions, employment gains in June and July combined were 20,000 less than previously reported.

After revisions, job gains have averaged 156,000 per month over the last 3 months.

According to an August 21 update from the Congressional Budget Office:
Strong demand for goods and services over the past several years boosted the demand for labor and caused labor market conditions to strengthen steadily.

The labor market carried momentum from 2018 into the first half of 2019 and is expected to continue to grow at a healthy, albeit slower, pace over the next several years.

In CBO’s projections, the unemployment rate averages 3.7 percent in 2019 and 2020 and then steadily rises to 4.6 percent by the end of 2023 as output growth slows. Employment rose above its potential, or maximum sustainable, level in 2018 and is expected to remain above its potential level over the entire 2019–2023 period.

The labor force participation rate among prime-age workers (those between the ages of 25 and 54) has rebounded since 2015, adding about 1.5 million workers to the labor force and offsetting downward pressure on labor force participation from the retirement of baby boomers (those born between 1945 and 1960). The labor force participation rate is projected to remain stable through 2020 before falling gradually toward its long-run trend.

Wage growth has accelerated and become increasingly broad-based in recent years, with low-wage earners experiencing particularly robust gains in their hourly wages. In CBO’s projections, wage growth picks up further before slowing in 2021.
Susan Jones (@SJonesCNS) writes for CNSNews a division of the Media Research Center, a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) organization.

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Free Falling . . .

. . . Elements of the Democrat party have gone so far left that they are pulling the entire party over the edge.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Can Joe Biden Run This Marathon?

Joe Biden
by Patrick Buchanan: Given months of campaigning in which the principal feature has been his gaffes, why is Joe still the front-runner?

Thursday, Sept. 14, looks to be a fateful day in the half-century-long political career of Joe Biden.

That night, a three-hour debate will be held, a marathon in politics.

Biden will be on stage, taking incoming missiles for 180 minutes from nine rivals, each of whom is hungry for the Democratic nomination and has a huge investment in seeing him stumble and fall.

A solid showing by Biden that night, marked by wit and a mastery of the issues, would cause a storm surge of relief in the Democratic Party.

It would provide desperately needed reassurance to millions of Democrats who have a gnawing fear Biden’s time has come and gone, that he is losing it, that his memory is failing, and that, at any moment, from some egregious gaffe, his campaign could crater and crash.

If he stumbles that night, misremembers or misspeaks repeatedly in the three hours, the apprehension about his nomination, already widespread among the party elite, could turn into panic.

Why is the Democratic Party apprehensive about Joe Biden?

Though every poll has him running well ahead of his competitors, the Biden campaign has ranged from dull to embarrassing.

Biden began by speaking nostalgically of his days as a young senator and the warm friendships he formed with segregationist senators Herman Talmadge and Jim Eastland, the latter a Mississippi pillar of “massive resistance” to civil rights legislation.

In the first debate, Biden was skewered by Sen. Kamala Harris for having boasted of opposing the court-ordered busing that, Harris claims, enabled her to get an integrated education in California.

Asked, in Keene, New Hampshire, how it felt to be in the lovely town, Biden volunteered, “Look, what’s not to like about Vermont.”

Biden spoke of meeting in his vice president’s office with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, the scene of a horrific school shooting. Only the Parkland massacre did not occur until after he left the vice presidency.

Speaking in the aftermath of shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Biden talked of the recent “tragic events in Houston and also in Michigan the day before.” After the shootings in Odessa, Texas, done with an assault rifle, an outraged Joe said it was “absolutely mindless” not to ban all firearm magazines that carry more than a single bullet.

“We choose unity over division. We choose science over fiction. We choose truth over facts,” Biden thundered in Des Moines.

Given months of campaigning in which the principal feature has been his gaffes, why is Joe still the front-runner?

Because he has been around so long as a senator and vice president, from 1973 to 2017, is well-known and well-liked, is the most acceptable of the candidates to moderates fearful of the rising radicalism in the party — and, above all, because every poll shows Biden has the best shot at beating Donald Trump.

Biden has undeniable assets. He was Barack Obama’s loyal subaltern. He is seen, even by opponents, as a nice guy, a politician without malice and a pragmatist unencumbered by principle who can slide leftward at the same speed as his party on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

Biden is a believer in the maxim of Sen. Henry Ashurst of Arizona that the “clammy hand of consistency should never rest for long upon the shoulder of a statesman.”

Also, Biden’s rivals have proven unimpressive, with the exception of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has steadily plodded upward to challenge the socialist Bernie Sanders for the second position.

Biden’s crowds are anemic compared to Warren’s. His speeches range from the unexciting to the boring. He has no enticing policy agenda, no inspiring message, no captivating slogan. As a political athlete, he is not even in the same league as Obama or JFK.

He does not excite the Democratic youth. And if he won in 2020, he would be, at 78, our oldest president. Jill Biden, his wife, made the case for Joe well: “You may like another candidate better, but you have to look at who’s going to win… Joe is that person.”

Like Warren Harding a century ago, Biden holds out to the nation the promise of a “return to normalcy.”

In his days in the Senate, he was famous for his tough-on-crime stand and his vote to authorize the war in Iraq — a blunder of historic proportions.

If elected, at the end of his first term, Biden would be 82. If he sought and served the two terms every president seems to seek, he would, in 2028, be 86 years old on leaving office.

Does the Joe Biden of the summer of 2019 look like he could be, a decade from now, the dynamic leader America could rely on to face down the successors to China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin?

Prediction: At some point in this campaign, Joe Biden will declare that, if elected, he will only serve one term.
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.

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Snow Jobbing Social Security

by Bill Bergman: With winter looming over many of us, consider snow jobs and Social Security.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “snow job” as “an intensive effort at persuasion or deception.” Lexico defines it as “A deception or concealment of one's real motive in an attempt to flatter or persuade.” The Urban Dictionary calls it “An effort to deceive, overwhelm, or persuade with insincere talk, especially flattery.”

Another version comes from The Cambridge Dictionary, which refers to a “snow job” as “an attempt to persuade someone to do something, or to persuade someone that something is good or true, when it is not.”

I’ve been putting together a public finance glossary, and various references to Social Security were what sparked this mission seeking out what people mean by the term “snow job.” That last definition from The Cambridge Dictionary seems to ring loud and true, when thinking about how the government frames Social Security spending.

The federal government puts spending in two categories. One category is called “Mandatory Spending,” and the other is called “Discretionary Spending.” Where do you think Social Security lies?

Social Security, also called an “entitlement” program, is included in “Mandatory Spending.” That sounds like something the government has to do, right? As opposed to discretionary spending, which seems to be subject to government discretion?

Trouble is, the government also chooses to exclude the massive unfunded obligation ($15 trillion+) for Social Security from the debts it reports on its balance sheet. The rationale for this discretionary choice? The government has stated that those are obligations under current law and policy, which the government can change at any time.

Does that sound like mandatory or discretionary spending to you?
Bill Bergman is Director of Research at Truth in Accounting. He is responsible for identifying, collecting and managing State Data Lab's database. This database provides healthy context for understanding state and local government financial conditions. Bergman has over twenty years of financial market experience, including thirteen years as an economist and policy analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

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Elites Abandon Norms and Show Contempt for Voters on Both Sides of the Atlantic

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Wars by the elites on the people are flaring in English-speaking nations on both sides of the Atlantic. It's being waged fiercely in the Palace of Westminster House of Commons and in the House of Lords. And in the newsrooms and greenrooms of American journalism.

There's much that can be said about it. You could argue it's the subject, open or veiled, or almost all recent British and American opinion journalism. But what I find most interesting is that the same elites who proclaim themselves the guardian of accepted mores and norms of civility have been freely, and self-righteously, abandoning those mores and norms without a hint of embarrassment.

Consider what's been happening in Westminster. Some 21 MPs elected as Conservatives voted against Prime Minister Boris Johnson and effectively placed control of the agenda in the hands of the leftist, anti-Semitic Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn. That goes against the long-established norm of voting with your party.

They were able to do so only because the House speaker, John Bercow, has abandoned longstanding precedent to allow such a vote, making it clear he did so to undermine Johnson's policy on Brexit. That goes against the long-established norm that the British speaker (unlike the speaker here) is politically neutral and follows precedent whatever the political effect.

The issue that divides Johnson and the large majority of Conservative MPs from the party rebels and the speaker (who was originally elected to Parliament as a Conservative) is, of course, Brexit.

British voters in June 2016, more than three years ago, voted to Leave rather than Remain in the European Union. Turnout was huge; discussion was thorough and dominated by the pro-Remain leaders of all parties and the pro-Remain BBC. Nonetheless, some 52 percent of British voters voted for Leave -- a larger number than has ever voted for any party in the nation's history.

Yet Britain hasn't left yet, for reasons set out by Christopher Caldwell in the Claremont Review of Books. Johnson's feckless predecessor, Theresa May, made unilateral concessions to EU negotiators, guided by pro-Remain career civil servants. The Commons rejected her agreements three times by nearly 2-1 margins. She effectively abandoned the alternative that Britain would Leave without a deal, reverting to World Trade Organization trade rules.

Johnson has said he'll negotiate with the EU but, absent an agreement, will Leave on the Oct. 31 date Parliament voted for and revise the parliamentary schedule to facilitate that.

Remainers in Parliament and the press attacked his determination to carry out voters' solemn verdict as "undemocratic." Some called for a "unity" government, as if a position rejected by voters could forge unity. They routinely dismissed Leave voters as ignorant, bigoted or manipulated by campaign trickery. The two lead editorials in the pro-Remain Economist lament voters' cynicism and urge overturning voters' Brexit verdict.

Contempt for voters as ignorant and bigoted unites English-speaking elites on both sides of the Atlantic. Here it is apparent, or lightly disguised, in New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet's remarks at a newsroom meeting of reporters and editors last month.

The precipitating event seems to have been a Times headline reading, "Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism." This accurate description of a presidential speech inspired Twitter rage from readers and Democratic politicians and was dropped for one with an anti-Trump hit, "Assailing Hate but Not Guns." So much for the norm of journalistic objectivity.

Baquet also reflected on The Times' coverage of the Trump presidency. He said, according to Slate: "Chapter 1 of the story of Donald Trump, not only for our newsroom but, frankly, for our readers, was: Did Donald Trump have untoward relationships with the Russians, and was there obstruction of justice?" But then he went on to say, "The day Bob Mueller walked off that witness stand, two things happened. Our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, 'Holy (expletive), Bob Mueller is not going to do it.'"

One of the hallmarks of a great journalist is an instinct for stories that are going to pan out. By his own account, Baquet and The Times lacked it for two years. So what's the paper's new No. 1 story? "(T)o write more deeply about the country, race, and other divisions," Baquet says, according to Slate. Hence The Times' 1619 Project. The news hook is the arrival of slaves in Virginia 400 years ago, with articles repeatedly asserting the centrality of racism in America ever since, in everything from the lack of universal health care, to the routes of the freeways in Atlanta.

In other words, having failed to oust Trump on Russia, The Times will try to discredit the elected president, his policies and his voters as racists. Contempt.
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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Gingrich: Obama Surely Knew FBI Was Spying On Trump

President Barack Obama meets with Attorney General
Loretta Lynch in the Oval Office, April 27, 2015.
Free Press International News Service: President Barack Obama and his attorney general, Loretta Lynch, almost certainly knew the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign but, because “the fix is in,” they will likely never be held to account, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said.

It is not “conceivable” that Obama and Lynch were unaware of the FBI’s operations during the 2016 presidential campaign, Gingrich said in a Sept. 1 interview on New York AM 970 radio’s “The Cats Roundtable” with host John Catsimatidis.

“With everything we’re learning from the inspector general's report, how is it conceivable that the attorney general and the president didn’t know about it?” asked Gingrich.

“So, part 1 is to go back and look at 2015, 2016, and ask, given what a hands-on and dynamic president that Barack Obama was, do you really believe all these things happened and the attorney general and the president didn’t know it?”

Gingrich continued, “Part 2 … there’s a story that the woman who tried to bribe her son into a university, that she and her husband got caught, that they’re now facing 40 years in jail. Now, how can we not prosecute Comey? How can we not prosecute McCabe? How can we say that they’ve done all the terrible things that the inspector general said they did, but they’re somehow above the law?

“People are not going to have any faith in the system until people who are guilty are prosecuted and are treated like everybody else. People are not going to have any faith in the system. … It’s clear that no matter how bad they were, the fix is in and they’re not going to be prosecuted.”

Meanwhile, a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee predicted that the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation into alleged abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the DOJ and FBI will result in indictments.

In an interview on Fox News' Sunday Morning Futures, Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona said Horowit’z report on FISA abuse would be more devastating than the IG’s report last week on ex-FBI Director James Comey’s mishandling and leaking of memos on conversations he’d had with President Trump.

“I anticipate that we will see some very stark revelations of manipulation of the whole system for political purposes,” Biggs said. “When you see that happen, that's when I think you're going to see references or referrals for indictments, and I think you are going to see some indictments.”

Biggs said he anticipated the FISA report will be released “probably mid-September.”

The Arizona lawmaker also pointed to the ongoing investigation by Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.

“I think you are going to see some accountability there,” Biggs said.
Free Press International News Service aka: Free Pressers (@FreePressers)

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by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: The 911 call released last weekend is . . . hard to forget. It is the one where, as The New York Times reports, “The dispatcher, Donna Reneau, repeatedly told a sobbing Ms. [Debbie] Stevens to calm down.”

With a tone — condescending and worse.

As television station KATV informs, the 911 operator “was working her last shift after previously resigning,” when she “answered Stevens’ call for help” and “can be heard yelling at her.”

Delivering newspapers at 4 am in Fort Smith, Arkansas, Stevens was caught up in rapidly rising flood waters and washed off the road.

The water is “all the way up to my neck,” Stevens desperately told dispatcher Reneau. “I’m the only one in the vehicle with all of my papers floating around me. Please help me. I don’t want to die.”

“You’re not going to die,” the dispatcher replied. “I don’t know why you’re freaking out.”

“This will teach you next time,” she lectured, “don’t drive in the water.”

Indeed, Ms. Stevens will never again “drive in the water.”

She died.

In fact, she had not driven into the water, but drowned in the rising flood water that overtook her SUV nonetheless.

Following release of audio from the 911 call, the Ft. Smith police acknowledged that the dispatcher sounded “calloused and uncaring at times.”

Dispatcher Reneau’s behavior wasn’t criminal, however, says her supervisor. And having already quit, she cannot be fired.

Perhaps there is a lesson: More often than we know it folks don’t so much need a tongue-lashing or an eye-roll or a dismissive tone as much as they need some help.

Especially important if you work for 911.

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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Congress Should Reject Lamar Alexander’s Plan To Federalize Health Data

by Rick Manning: Terrible ideas come in all partisan packages and this seems to be particularly true when it comes to federalizing your health care.

One Republican, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) who once vociferously opposed federalized health care plans like Obamacare, is now embracing a federal government role in health insurance markets as an offset to the Democrat’s Medicare for All push.

Lamar Alexander’s really bad idea stems from his quest to make Obamacare work better and be more affordable genre is called the All Payers Claims Database.

It is hard to imagine a more obtuse idea in this era where our federal government has been weaponized against our individual liberties, but here is how the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality defines state All Payers Claims Databases:
“All-payer claims databases (APCDs) are large State databases that include medical claims, pharmacy claims, dental claims, and eligibility and provider files collected from private and public payers.

“APCD data are reported directly by insurers to States, usually as part of a State mandate.”
Eighteen states currently have implemented the APCD, and the federal government website cited above claims that one of the major advantages of this federalization of your health care information is that it is much more comprehensive including, “information on care for patients across care sites, rather than just hospitalizations and emergency department visits reported as part of discharge data systems maintained by most States through State governments or hospital associations. They also include large sample sizes, geographic representation, and capture of longitudinal information on a wide range of individual patients.”

What could go wrong when every person in America’s doctor visits, prescriptions, and health concerns are tracked in a federal database? Obamacare already required doctors to switch over to a computerized system to check boxes on your health care, with a patient portal for you to access whatever is in there, so this is a simple compelled click of the button away.

It is not hard to imagine the mischief hackers could do in opening up millions of health care files for public view. Ever been tested for AIDS or contracted a Sexually Transmitted Disease, a few clicks from a clever hacker will reveal all. Have you talked to a mental health counselor? Do you trust the results of that conversation to be on a federal government website?

With every prescription in capable federal government hands, you can be “confident” that your neighbors or kids won’t find out using the dark web that you used a prescription morning after abortion pill in the past? After all, we never read about massive data breeches from federal government agencies like the Veteran’s Administration.

And don’t even think of being a Republican nominee for the Supreme Court, as the same kind people who used the IRS to abuse tea party activists and turned high school yearbooks and video store rental records into tools of political destruction, will crack a federal health care database faster than Cleveland Brown quarterback Baker Mayfield chugs a beer.

Of course we can “trust” the federal government with our personal health care information, after all those who turned the nation’s intelligence services into partisan operatives intent on bringing down a duly elected President, surely won’t abuse the information in this system for political purposes.

The last thing our nation needs at this time of unparalleled attack on individual privacy and rights is to federally weaponize our doctor’s visits.

And I’m not even going to go down the inevitable pathway of artificial intelligence bots that will crawl all over the data to determine the most cost effective means of treatment without regard for individual personal history and your doctor’s judgment. You won’t even know it when your doctor changes your coagulant medication that they were directed to for cost purposes when they opened your chart from the helpful federal database monitor. You just know that the medication that didn’t quite work right before is now the one you are filling at your local drug store.

Republicans used to agree that the federal government needs stay out of the details of health care leaving governance to the states. But now, thanks to soon to retire erstwhile Senator Lamar Alexander, they are looking to leap into creating the largest invasion of health care privacy in history.

The Senate needs to just say no to Lamar Alexander’s federalization of your health care data, after all, what could go wrong besides everything.
Rick Manning is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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If Trump’s ‘Bigotry’ Is an Impeachable Offense, Why Did Obama Get a Pass?

by Larry Elder: Of the reasons critics offered for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, the one suggested by Rep. Al Green, D-N.Y., is among the most ridiculous. Green argues that Trump’s alleged racism serves as a legitimate basis for impeachment.

In July, Green announced plans to introduce articles of impeachment: “The Mueller hearing has nothing to do with what we’re doing now. The Mueller hearing is all about obstruction. This is about bigotry and racism.” Never mind the recent research paper by University of Pennsylvania political science professor Daniel Hopkins and research assistant Samantha Washington. Hopkins recently wrote: “On average, anti-black prejudice dropped sharply among whites, from a score of 8.1 just before the 2016 election to 5.4 two years later. … That marked the lowest level of anti-black prejudice since we first conducted this study in late 2008. Prejudice against Hispanics also dropped. … In both instances, declines were larger among Democrats, but they appeared among Republicans, too.”

The FBI, in a news release on its 2017 hate crimes report, cautioned that the year-to-year increase in hate crimes might be an aberration: “Although the numbers increased last year, so did the number of law enforcement agencies reporting hate crime data — with approximately 1,000 additional agencies contributing information.”

If, by Green’s logic, Trump could be impeached for inciting bigotry, would this standard apply to President Barack Obama? Could he have been impeached for making false accusations about racism and exaggerating its impact? For example, by meeting with representatives of the so-called Black Lives Matter movement, Obama gave credibility to a campaign that rose to prominence based on the lie that Ferguson, Missouri, suspect Michael Brown held up his hands while imploring a cop, “Don’t shoot.” Both the Ferguson grand jury and the Justice Department determined that the cop who killed Brown acted lawfully. The evidence suggested Brown ran (SET ITAL)toward(END ITAL) the cop — not away from him, as Brown’s friend and witness had told investigators.

After Ferguson, Obama’s accusations and others’ caused cops to pull back, to be less proactive. It’s called the “Ferguson effect.” Critics of the police ignore recent studies finding cops more hesitant and more reluctant to use deadly force against blacks. Heather Mac Donald, author of “The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe,” said: “What the recent FBI report showed is that not only are black lives being taken because officers are backing off from proactive policing under this relentless lie that they are racist for trying to bring public order to high-crime communities, but blue lives are being taken as well. There was a 53% increase in gun murders of police officers last year that the FBI analyzed and concluded it was driven overwhelmingly by an ideologically fomented hatred of cops.”

Passive policing, induced by the Ferguson lie, emboldens the bad guys, which causes an increase in crimes whose victims are disproportionately blacks living in the inner city — the very people the Democrats claim to care about. The Ferguson lie also makes young black men distrust the cops, assuming that, as young blacks, they serve as targets of police brutality. How does this mindset, encouraged by the Obama administration’s rhetoric, affect the interaction between black civilians and cops? Is that “impeachable”?

The lie of systemic or institutional racism inspired three different black suspects to murder, execution-style, two cops in New York City in 2014, plus three in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and five in Dallas in 2016. How do we know the murders were inspired by the bogus notion of anti-black police brutality? The suspects said so, either to others or in their social media posts. About the Dallas shooting, the head of the city’s police department said the suspect told cops that he was upset over recent police shootings and he “wanted to kill white people.”

As to alleged institutional racism, Obama falsely claimed that “more young black men languish in prison than attend colleges and universities across America.” This is not even remotely true. There are twice as many black men attending colleges and universities than in prisons and jails. If one focuses on college-age black men, there are five times as many attending colleges and universities than in state and federal prisons. Even the Obama-loving Washington Post, which fact-checked it, gave Obama’s claim four “Pinocchios,” as bad a grade as the paper allows.

Professor Ivory A. Toldson of historically black Howard University calls Obama’s false assertion “the most frequently quoted statistic about black men” and warns us about the consequences of promoting this “myth.” Is it “impeachable” to falsely accuse whites and the police of racism? Is it impeachable to encourage blacks to believe they remain persecuted by an “institutionally racist” criminal justice system?
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 for list of other articles.

Tags: Larry Elder, commentary, If Trump’s ‘Bigotry’ Is an Impeachable Offense, Why Did , Obama Get a Pass To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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