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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, October 18, 2019

Cold Turkey . . .

. . . Turkish leader Erdogan continues to massacre Kurds in spite of Trump’s efforts to negotiate.
Editorial Cartoon by AF Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Cold Turkey, Turkish leader, Erdogan, continues to massacre Kurds, in spite of Trump’s efforts, to negotiate 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 Export-Import Bank Can Help Deal with the China Challenge

by Newt Gingrich: In the age of Huawei, the Belt and Road Initiative, and China’s state-sponsored companies, we need the US Export-Import (EXIM) Bank more than ever.

The EXIM Bank, an independent agency, provides government-backed financing for those looking to export goods and services from the United States. Since the 1930s, it has helped grow the US economy and foil unfairly aggressive foreign competitors. However, due mostly to recent politics, it hasn’t been fully functioning since 2014. This needs to change – for many reasons.

First, according to Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe, the country’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is absolutely a part of its military plans. This comes after years of the Chinese Communist Party insisting the worldwide infrastructure scheme is only focused on economics and international cooperation. Wei plainly said future Chinese military cooperation would fit “within the framework of BRI.”

This is a big deal. According to EXIM Bank reports, the BRI system includes about 30 percent of the world’s gross domestic product and impacts more than 66 percent of the world’s population. China’s Export-Import Bank alone has participated in more than 1,800 projects with a loan value in excess of $149 billion. If China links the economic might of the BRI with its military (the Communist Party-controlled People’s Liberation Army boasts 2 million troops) US national security would be seriously threatened.

As I discuss in my upcoming book Trump vs China: Facing America’s Greatest Threat, one way that the Chinese Communist Party imposes its will through the BRI is through so-called “debt-trap diplomacy.” It is a clear strategy to gain leverage and influence over countries that owe China for massive infrastructure loans.

This is how it works: China offers large loans to smaller, poorer countries in exchange for the country’s bolstering of Beijing’s strategic interests. Then, China takes control of the assets built with the money – ports, air fields, etc. – when the smaller countries can’t cover the debt. For one example, Sri Lanka signed a 99-year lease of its Hambantota port facilities over to China after it couldn’t pay China back for its initial loan. Right now, according to EXIM reports, eight more countries owe China. Two of these, Djibouti and the Maldives, are critical to China’s Maritime Silk Road (the BRI’s maritime route).

Again, this is not exclusively an economic strategy. The Wall Street Journal reported in late July that the Chinese were holding secret negotiations for exclusive military access to a part of the Ream naval base in Cambodia for the next three decades. The base is on the Gulf of Thailand and represents an important strategic point from which China could project power and influence in the South China Sea. This sort of activity is happening everywhere. For example, there are at least 46 existing or planned Chinese port projects in sub-Saharan Africa, as well.

At the same time, China is working to make sure its domestic industries can dominate. The “Made in China 2025” strategic plan seeks to replace imported or acquired technology across 10 advanced manufacturing sectors and at least 70 percent Chinese domestic content by 2025 for certain products. (Keep in mind, it will probably do so by stealing the intellectual property of the imported technology and creating Chinese versions). Many of these technologies have both civilian and military uses. This is not simply about continuing to dominate small electronics and cell phone manufacturing. This effort by China poses a potentially serious threat to our national security. According to the Pentagon, the dual-use nature of the Made in China 2025 program directly supports Chinese military modernization goals by stressing proprietary mastery of these technologies.

Finally, China uses its Export Credit Agencies (ECAs) as a strategic arm for its “debt-trap diplomacy” – and the US is not maintaining pace to counter the Chinese Communist Party’s influence. In 2018, China’s official ECAs outpaced the US EXIM bank by more than 100 fold (in terms of the amount of medium- to long-term credit it extended). That year, America was 25th in the world for such credit – a mere 0.2 percent of the market. So, compared to the United States, China is spending more, gaining more influence, and more quickly improving its economic and military positions across the globe.

President Trump’s National Security Strategy rightly identifies economic security as national security. Clearly, the Chinese Communist Party is eroding US economic influence abroad. The EXIM is one of our best tools to prevent this and keep America strong.

Congress should reauthorize the EXIM bank, so we can compete against the Chinese Communist Party’s economic strategy of world domination. The EXIM bank can level the playing field for US businesses, help them be more competitive, and ultimately help them create more US jobs. All the while, we will be strengthening our national security. For example, EXIM can help bolster the President’s Prosper Africa initiative – which would directly compete with China’s aggressive activity there. This would be good for the US economically, militarily, and diplomatically.

The EXIM Bank’s charter is set to expire soon. There is an effort in Congress proposed by Sens. Kevin Cramer and Kyrsten Sinema to renew the charter for 10 years. This is exactly what should happen.

Without EXIM, there is no practical, clear way to compete against the ever-expanding Chinese economic-military machine. If we do nothing, the Chinese Communist Party’s power will grow, our economic and national security interests will diminish, and our very way of life could be consumed by a totalitarian system.

This is not an acceptable outcome if we wish to remain the strongest, freest, most prosperous country on the planet.
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Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. This commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Export-Import Bank, Can Help, Deal with, the China Challenge To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Behind the Barbed Wire: China's Concentration Camps

by Tony Perkins: "I had to be strong. Every day when I woke up, I thanked God that I was still alive." --Sayragul Sauytbay, Uyghur

There are harrowing stories -- and then there are the stories that seep deep into our bones. Sayragul Sauytbay's is the kind you don't forget. Her survival in China's concentration camps isn't just a miracle -- it's a warning that true darkness has settled over parts of the East. The most excruciating forms of torture are happening behind barbed wire walls that Beijing has tried hiding. And for the million people trapped inside, the only hope they have to escape their tormentors is international attention and pressure.

Kidnapped by state officials in the middle of the night, Sayragul remembers the terror of being taken -- her head covered in a black sack. Told she was being taken to a camp to "teach Chinese," she didn't know where she was -- only that she'd stepped into a living nightmare. Forbidden to cry or speak, she changed into prison clothes and watched her hair fall when her head was shaved. Cramped into a room with 20 others, she found out that her feet would be shackled from then on -- even in sleep. The punishment for even the smallest things, she says, was constant.

"Torture -- metal nails, fingernails pulled out, electric shocks..." David Stavrou, who tells her story, writes that the camp's commanders set aside a room to inflict the worst kind of pain imaginable. The inmates called it the "black room," because they were forbidden from mentioning it. "There were all kinds of tortures there. Some prisoners were hung on the wall and beaten with electrified truncheons. There were prisoners who were made to sit on a chair of nails. I saw people return from that room covered in blood. Some came back without fingernails." Every prisoner was forced to take pills and get injections -- treatments they didn't realize were slowly sterilizing them. Others were the subject of gory human experiments.

Every evening was devoted to the listing of sins, which the prison guards defined as everything from not learning Chinese properly to sleeping on the wrong side to refusing to sing propaganda songs. Stavrou pauses, watching the tears well up in Sayragul's eyes. They're in Sweden, where Sayragul was finally granted asylum after her escape. She starts to talk about the young girls, her voice breaking. The policemen, she explains, would take the pretty ones away with them, raping them until they couldn't sit down.
"One day, the police told us they were going to check to see whether our reeducation was succeeding, whether we were developing properly. They took 200 inmates outside, men and women, and told one of the women to confess her sins. She stood before us and declared that she had been a bad person, but now that she had learned Chinese she had become a better person. When she was done speaking, the policemen ordered her to disrobe and raped her one after the other, in front of everyone. While they were raping her, they checked to see how we were reacting. People who turned their head or closed their eyes, and those who looked angry or shocked, were taken away -- we never saw them again. It was awful. I will never forget the feeling of helplessness, of not being able to help her."Sayragul didn't sleep much after that. Even now, she closes her eyes and sees their faces. "I will never forget the camp. I cannot forget [them]. They are innocent. I have to tell their story, to tell about the darkness they are in, about their suffering."

Adrian Zenz is one of the few people who was determined to prove that this was happening. Working alone at a cramped desk, he has spent years combing through the data on the internet, trying to prove to the West that these camps exist. His research, a slow and tedious process, led him to a trail of bidding papers, budget plans, and satellite images that show the quiet construction of these torture chambers -- holding as many as a million and a half people just like Sayragul. "I feel very clearly led by God to do this... I'm not afraid to say that," Adrian insists.

Thursday, on "Washington Watch," he explained how his work forced the Chinese to admit the camps exist. "I had felt leading from God to just keep doing that data search... Nobody else was interested. Nobody was publishing it. I never had a media request over it. I was just quietly slaving away -- and it was a huge amount of work... And then came the time when I clearly felt, 'I'm supposed to do this.' I felt God saying to me, 'You should stick out your head.'"

He did, going public with thousands of pages of documents. Suddenly, the Chinese went into propaganda mode, "inviting the media and diplomats and visitors from overseas to visit these camps... We can see on satellite how they have taken away some of the watch towers. They have removed some of the barbed wire, some of the high walls and the cameras inside the classrooms, and they make people smile and dance." But the smiles are hollow -- like their hope that help will come.

If they've lost faith, it's because some Americans haven't given them any. The NBA, Apple, Google, Hollywood, and countless others seem willing to do anything to protect their interests in China -- even if it means condoning a regime of unspeakable horrors. But make no mistake: every pair of shoes they sell, every iPhone, every Hollywood movie script written to gain approval of the communists' censors is facilitating the real-life horror that is playing right now in China. Until these companies find their voice, a million Sayraguls waste away -- casualties of cowardice we should all be ashamed of.
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Tony Perkins (@tperkins) is President of the Family Research Council . This article was on Tony Perkin's Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tags: Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, Behind the Barbed Wire, China's Concentration Camps To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Tremendous In Texas, About That Ceasefire, Impeachment Update, Honoring Israel

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Tremendous In Texas
President Trump held a tremendous rally last night in Dallas, Texas. Not surprisingly, there was no violence after the rally ended. I suspect the leftists of Antifa had second thoughts about showing their masked faces in Texas!

Trump hit the left hard. He warned that the Democrats want to appoint far-left judges to "shred the Constitution." He's absolutely right.

The radical left is pushing a list of more than 30 progressive activists for the Supreme Court. Only four are Obama-appointed judges, meaning that the vast majority of activists on this list were too extreme" for Barack Obama!

And Trump rightly declared: "The radical left tolerates no dissent, it permits no opposition, it accepts no compromise, and it has absolutely no respect for the will of the American people."


He also defended his campaign promise to get us out of endless wars, a promise that has been in the news this week given the president's decision to pull back U.S. forces in Syria. It was very unpopular with the Washington establishment. The House of Representatives voted 354-to-60 to oppose the decision.

But a new poll finds that American voters are much more conflicted about whether U.S. troops should be in Syria.

According to the poll, 33% of voters support Trump's decision, 37% oppose it and 30% are unsure. If the vote in the House reflected this poll, the result would have been far less dramatic -- 153-to-136 with 124 not voting.

And a recent Rasmussen poll also finds that very few Americans -- less than 20% -- want us to be "more involved" in Middle East conflicts.

About That Ceasefire
Many pundits are complaining today that Turkey appears to have gotten everything it wanted from the ceasefire Vice President Mike Pence announced yesterday.

Well, we wanted a ceasefire and we got it. It gives the Kurds five days to get out of the disputed area. After that, it remains to be seen whether a permanent ceasefire can be achieved.

But what exactly does our suddenly hawkish media want? They have decried every American military involvement since World War II. Just what is it they think Pence and the Administration should have extracted from Turkey?

Turkish forces went into Syria because there are groups in that region launching terrorist attacks along the Turkish border. There has been ethnic strife in that region for centuries.

So, the media are attacking the president for trying to get us out of this fight. Do they want him to attack Ankara or Istanbul?

What is the media's solution to Erdogan's threats against Incirlik Air Base?

Why aren't members of Congress opposed to the president's decision introducing a declaration of war against Turkey?

Where are the European forces coming to intervene?

As Victor Davis Hanson explained, "The chief problem is that the Kurds are our friends but not our legal allies. In contrast, the Turks are not really our friends anymore but are legal, treaty-bound allies."

Hanson notes that the Kurds are a very diverse group. Some embrace free markets, while others embrace "authoritarian Communism and Islamism."

Hanson also adds that the "survival strategies [of various Kurdish groups] do not always assure compliance with U.S. anti-terrorist protocols." In fact, some Kurdish groups are designated as terrorist entities by the U.S. government.

For eight years Obama frittered away our credibility in the Middle East. He allowed ISIS to metastasize. He sent billions of dollars to the Iranian mullahs.

Where were the headlines saying that Iran got everything it wanted from Obama's disastrous nuclear deal?

What About The Christians?
As you know, I have deep concerns for the security of Christians in the Middle East. This administration has done more in three years to help the Christians of the Middle East than Obama did in eight.

Vice President Pence took direct responsibility for this situation and ordered the bureaucracy to cut through the red tape so that U.S. foreign aid and resources went to Christian communities.

But watching the news lately, I couldn't help but wonder when did CNN and MSNBC suddenly develop this newfound fondness for Christians?

Most of the time, they are calling us "Nazis," "deplorables" and comparing us to the Taliban. The media largely ignored the plight of Middle East Christians while Obama was bringing over more and more Muslim refugees.

By the way, while they are expressing this concern for Middle Eastern Christians, they continue to push for limits on religious liberty here in the United States!

Impeachment Update
Various reports indicate that U.S. Attorney John Durham, the federal prosecutor investigating the Deep State's meddling in the 2016 election, has gotten ahold of two cellphones that belonged to Professor Joseph Misfud.

Lawyers for Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn are demanding access to the data on the cellphones claiming they contain exculpatory information that could clear Gen. Flynn.

If the reports about the cellphones being in Durham's custody are true, it is encouraging news that the Deep State investigation is making some progress.

Meanwhile, as Democrats continue down the impeachment path, recent polling sheds some light as to why Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to hold a vote in the full House. Consider these findings from an NPR/PBS Marist poll:
  • By a 12-point margin, voters said they were "less likely" to support a member of Congress who voted to impeach President Trump.
  • A majority of voters, (51%) did not want impeachment discussed at the next Democrat debate.
  • And by a whopping 23-point margin, 59%-to-36%, voters said that the fate of Trump's presidency should be decided at the ballot box, not through the impeachment process.
Honoring Israel
Last night, I was in the Quad Cities area of Iowa and Illinois for a Night to Honor Israel. The event was sponsored by Christians United for Israel and the MGT New Hope Church in Moline, Illinois.

The church was packed! There was tremendous representation from the local Jewish community as well, including Allan Ross, executive director of the Quad Cities Jewish Federation. I was honored to be the keynote speaker at this Night to Honor Israel, and my friend and colleague Pastor Lyndon Allen, CUFI's Central Region coordinator, also spoke.

Over the past two days, we did radio and TV interviews with local media, and I also addressed a lunch with evangelical leaders.

I want to tip my hat to Tom McGovern, CUFI's Iowa director, who has been hosting events like this for the past 16 years. Tom and his wife, Kate, were recognized by the local Jewish community and the Israeli government for their many years of dedicated pro-Israel work.

With all the problems confronting the country today, this patriotic crowd was truly inspiring. Their love for America and Israel was on full display as they belted out the American and Israeli national anthems. It was an encouraging reminder that "flyover country," as the left derisively calls it, is truly the heart of America!
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Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Tremendous In Texas, About That Ceasefire, Impeachment Update, Honoring Israel To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Elizabeth Warren Proves She Can’t Be Trusted on Big Tech

. . . It’s all about censoring President Trump and conservatives.
by Daniel Greenfield: Facebook boasts 2.37 billion active users and controls 85% of social traffic. There’s every reason to fear it and a growing bipartisan consensus about the need to tackle it and Google with anti-trust laws.

But lefties and conservatives want very different things from Facebook.

Nothing shows that better than Senator Elizabeth Warren’s pressure campaign to get Facebook to censor President Trump’s campaign ads. Warren’s latest stunt is an ad accusing Facebook of helping “elect Donald Trump once” and CEO Mark Zuckerberg of giving Trump “free rein to lie on his platform.”

Warren claims to fear Facebook and yet she also wants to put it in charge of presidential campaign ads.

Anti-trust actions are pursued against companies that have too much power. But Warren is really arguing that Facebook doesn’t have enough power and isn’t exercising the power that it has.

Does Warren really want to break up Facebook or to use the threat of a breakup to turn it into an even bigger monster? The socialist senator’s accusation that the dot com giant helped elect Trump goes to the heart of the lefty grievance against Facebook. Their problem with Facebook is that it’s too open. It didn’t censor Trump in 2016 and now it’s failing to censor him in the 2020 election campaign.

Conservatives however believe that Facebook is too closed, that it censors too much already.

Let’s take Senator Warren at her word. The radical socialist politician isn’t out to empower Facebook. And she isn’t hectoring Zuckerberg because she wants him to be the arbiter of our national politics. Instead she’s going after her true goal of putting the government in charge of politics on Facebook.

Warren’s big tech breakup proposal would cost Facebook plenty of money by breaking off Instagram and WhatsApp into separate companies, but seemingly have little impact on its core platform. But by transforming the company into what she describes as one of a handful of “platform utilities”, it could be regulated on levels having nothing to do with the business or privacy issues that are the official pretext.

And Warren has made it clear what her regulatory priorities on Facebook really are: banning conservatives. In her big tech breakup plan, she insists that, “we must ensure that Russia — or any other foreign power — can’t use Facebook or any other form of social media to influence our elections.”

The Russia Facebook hoax has been disproven countless times, but its central claim, that conservative messaging on social media was really a Russian conspiracy, is an argument for treating the political opposition as a foreign intelligence threat. Warren’s insistence that Facebook censor Trump sheds the foreign policy conspiracy layer to directly demand that even conservative presidential candidates should be silenced. Disinformation, a term once used to demand action against foreign state actors on social media, has been retooled to impose a new kind of ‘Fairness Doctrine’ on American political ads.

Facebook doesn’t want to be in that position. And Warren isn’t about to leave it to Facebook.

Senator Warren fails to explain how her plan for Facebook would achieve anything useful. Her post claims, bizarrely, that, “Facebook would face real pressure from Instagram and WhatsApp to improve the user experience and protect our privacy.” That sentence suggests she doesn’t understand anything about how the internet works. But Warren isn’t really that stupid. The sentence is meaningless boilerplate nonsense because her real agenda for Facebook can’t actually be spelled out just yet.

To spot it, follow her grievances with Facebook over the Russian conspiracy and Trump’s ads.

And that’s why Senator Warren can’t be trusted. While some conservatives are eager to find allies anywhere they can, radical socialist totalitarians make extremely unstable and dangerous allies.

Conservatives have been pursuing anti-trust action against big tech monopolies because of the growing risk that their censorship of conservatives could eliminate conservatives from the internet. But there’s no quicker way to achieve that than to put Facebook under the umbrella of a regulatory organization with a broad enough mission that it can encompass setting standards for political discourse on social media. That’s always been the inherent risk with regulating big tech, instead of breaking it up.

The push to regulate big internet companies as utilities, instead of just breaking them up, risks turning them over to Warren and her political allies who would be happy to eliminate conservatives entirely.

Senator Warren’s ad blasts proves that the socialist politician can’t be trusted on breaking up big tech.

Warren has tried to copy the tone of some of President Trump’s signature policies, from trade policies to big tech breakups, but even when the tools are similar, her desired outcome is drastically different.

The fundamental difference between leftists and conservatives is that the former believe in eliminating that which usurps the rights of individuals while the latter fight to destroy that which usurps the power of government. This same duality also holds up in the debate over breaking up big tech monopolies.

Conservatives turned against big tech companies because they usurp the rights of individuals to express their views while leftists are going after big tech because they believe that companies like Facebook are holding powers that rightly belong to government. That’s what Warren’s ad censorship call is all about.

Senator Warren doesn’t think that Facebook has too much power. She just thinks that all that power is in the wrong hands.

And that is the fundamental problem with an internet environment in which one company can control 80% or more of search or social traffic. The very existence of this much centralized power in one place is an irresistible temptation to the ultimate source of centralized political power: the government.

It’s also why Google and Facebook need to be broken up. Not just because they’re too big. But because they’re so big and powerful that they can’t be allowed to fall into President Elizabeth Warren’s hands.

The People’s Republic of China has shown us the terrifying reality of government control over the internet. In the last four years, that totalitarian system appears to have become a model for lefties seeking to consolidate control over the internet in order to fight “disinformation” and foreign conspiracies. The implementation of that model has triggered a power struggle over social media.

Facebook is at the heart of that struggle.

Social media is democracy in its purest form. It’s meant to be driven by the interests of its users, not the dictates of politicians. That’s why Senator Warren and other lefties have blamed social media for Trump’s victory. It’s why they can’t be allowed to destroy it.
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Daniel Greenfield (@Sultanknish) is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center and investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism. H/T FrontPage Mag.

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U.S. Embassy in Ukraine Told to Track Trump Allies

Marie Yovanovitch
Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine
by Free Press International News Service: The former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, who was recalled from her post in May, reportedly ordered subordinates to monitor the social media accounts of prominent conservative journalists and supporters of President Donald Trump, a government watchdog group said.

Judicial Watch revealed in an Oct. 15 press release that it is “investigating if prominent conservative figures, journalists and persons with ties” to Trump “were unlawfully monitored by the State Department in Ukraine at the request of ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, an Obama appointee.”

Yovanovitch testified “in secret” to the House impeachment inquiry against Trump on Oct. 11. Her “secret” testimony was leaked to the New York Times during the hearing.

Judicial Watch reported that it has “obtained information indicating Yovanovitch may have violated laws and government regulations by ordering subordinates to target certain U.S. persons using State Department resources.”

Yovanovitch reportedly ordered the monitoring with the search terms: Biden, Giuliani, Soros and Yovanovitch.

Prior to being recalled as ambassador to Ukraine, Yovanovitch reportedly created a list of individuals who were to be monitored. The list included: Jack Posobiec, Donald Trump Jr., Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Michael McFaul (Obama’s ambassador to Russia), Dan Bongino, Ryan Saavedra, Rudy Giuliani, Sebastian Gorka, John Solomon, Lou Dobbs, Pamella Geller, and Sara Carter.

“This is not an obscure rule, everyone in public diplomacy or public affairs knows they can’t make lists and monitor U.S. citizens unless there is a major national security reason,” a senior State Department official said.

Yovanovitch, a career diplomat who has also led American embassies in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, was appointed ambassador to Ukraine by Obama in 2016. She was recalled by the State Department in May and remains a State Department employee in Washington D.C.

In an interview on America First with Sebastian Gorka, Judicial Watch’s Chris Farrell described Yovanovitch as an “absolute Obama partisan.” Farrell said Judicial Watch has “very reliable information” that the State Department was “basically running a war room” by “documenting, capturing, archiving all the statements, publications, tweets, social media, anything that those folks put out was ordered to be compiled and monitored.”

Farrell said Yovanovitch’s actions amounted to an “abuse of power” and he described it as a “political operative using their government position as leverage against their political opponents.”

In testimony to House impeachment investigators, Yovanovitch said there was a “concerted campaign” against her based on “unfounded and false claims by people with clearly questionable motives.”

Yovanovitch testified behind closed doors on Friday for more than nine hours. Democrats who were at the secret session lauded Yovanovitch as “courageous.”

Republicans said that Trump’s lawyers should be able to attend the hearings and cross examine witnesses. “This process is a joke, and the consequences are huge,” said New York Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin.

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio defended the ouster of Yovanovitch, saying the president is entitled to have the ambassador he wants.
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Free Press International News Service, akaFree Pressers (@FreePressers).

Tags: U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Told to Track, Trump Allies 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 Eye-Popping Cost’ Of Democrats’ ‘Medicare For None’: Now $34 Trillion

A New Urban Institute Study Shows The One-Size-Fits-All Government-Run Health Care Scheme Embraced By Leading Democrats Would Cost $34 Trillion

The ‘Medicare For None’ Plan Pushed By Leading Democrats ‘Would Require $34 Trillion In Additional Federal Spending Over Its First Decade’

The Medicare for All Act of 2019 is Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) government-run health care legislation, cosponsored by 14 other Democrat senators, including presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Cory Booker (D-NJ). (S. 1129, 116th Congress)

“The Urban Institute, a center-left think tank highly respected among Democrats, is projecting that a [single-payer health care] plan similar to what Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders are pushing would require $34 trillion in additional federal spending over its first decade in operation.” (“The Eye-Popping Cost of Medicare for All,” The Atlantic, 10/16/2019)
  • “The think tank modeled the costs of eight possible plans to expand health-care coverage that generally track ideas from the Democratic presidential candidates. By far, the most expensive was its version of the single-payer plan that Sanders introduced in the Senate and Warren later endorsed: a blueprint that would eliminate private health insurance … and provide everyone in the United States (including undocumented immigrants) an expansive benefits package …” (“The Eye-Popping Cost of Medicare for All,” The Atlantic, 10/16/2019)
URBAN INSTITUTE: “One single-payer approach [Reform 8] … would require much greater federal spending to finance. The modeled ‘enhanced’ single-payer system would cover everyone, including undocumented immigrants…. National spending on health care would grow by about $720 billion in 2020. Federal government spending would increase by $2.8 trillion in 2020, or $34.0 trillion over 10 years.” (“From Incremental to Comprehensive Health Reform: How Various Reform Options Compare on Coverage and Costs,” Urban Institute, 10/16/2019)
“In 2016, Urban Institute researchers estimated the costs associated with Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign proposal … At that time, we estimated that federal government health care spending would increase by $32.0 trillion over 10 years (2017–26) … That older estimate most closely parallels our 2020–29 estimate in table 16 for reform 8 of $34.0 trillion …” (“From Incremental to Comprehensive Health Insurance Reform: How Various Reform Options Compare on Coverage and Costs,” Urban Institute and The Commonwealth Fund, October 2019)

$34 Trillion Is ‘More Than The Federal Government’s Total Cost Over The Coming Decade For Social Security, Medicare, And Medicaid Combined

“The 10-year cost of $34 trillion that the study forecasts nearly matches the CBO’s estimate of how much money the federal government will spend over that period not only on all entitlement programs, but also all federal income support, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.” (“The Eye-Popping Cost of Medicare for All,” The Atlantic, 10/16/2019)
‘The Urban Institute Estimates That A Single-Payer Plan Would Require’ A $32 Trillion Tax Hike

“The Urban Institute estimates that a single-payer plan would require $32 trillion in new tax revenue over the coming decade…. How big a lift is it to raise $32 trillion? It’s almost 50 percent more than the total revenue the CBO projects Washington will collect from the personal income tax over the next decade (about $23.3 trillion). It’s more than double the amount CBO projects Washington will collect over the next decade from the payroll tax that funds Social Security and part of Medicare (about $15.4 trillion). A $32 trillion tax increase would represent just over two-thirds of the revenue the CBO projects the federal government will collect from all sources over the next decade (just over $46 trillion.)” (“The Eye-Popping Cost of Medicare for All,” The Atlantic, 10/16/2019, Emphasis in original)
  • “Former CBO Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, now the president of the center-right think tank the American Action Forum, told me that level would need to substantially rise to fund a single-payer plan. He said, in a ‘ballpark’ estimate, that Sanders’s plan ‘would require [a] payroll-tax hike of 20 to 25 percentage points.’” (“The Eye-Popping Cost of Medicare for All,” The Atlantic, 10/16/2019)
“In recent history, only during the height of World War II has the federal government tried to increase taxes, as a share of the economy, as fast as would be required to offset the cost of a single-payer plan, federal figures show.” (“The Eye-Popping Cost of Medicare for All,” The Atlantic, 10/16/2019)
  • “By 2029, with the added cost of single payer factored in, federal revenue would increase to close to 30 percent of the total economy. That would mean federal revenue would increase as a share of the economy by about three-fourths over a decade, vastly more rapidly than in any other 10-year period since World War II. It would also mean that federal revenue would considerably exceed the share of the economy it consumed even in World War II, when it reached 20.5 percent in 1944, a level unmatched since.” (“The Eye-Popping Cost of Medicare for All,” The Atlantic, 10/16/2019)
Nearly All Of The Democratic Candidates For President Appearing In This Week’s Debate Are Pushing Medicare For All Or Have Once Said They Support It

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): “We must pass Medicare for All.” (Sen. Sanders, @BernieSanders, Twitter, 7/15/2019)

SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA): “Medicare for all is the gold standard…. That's how we make sure that everyone gets health care.” (Democratic Presidential Debate, Westerville, OH, 10/15/2019)

SEN. CORY BOOKER (D-NJ): “Medicare for All is the best way to ensure that every American has access to quality, affordable health care.” (Sen. Booker, @CoryBooker, Twitter, 3/11/2019)


SEN. KAMALA HARRIS (D-CA): “[W]e need to have Medicare for all. That’s just the bottom line.” (CNN, 1/28/2019)

MAYOR PETE BUTTIGIEG: “I do favor Medicare for All, as I do favor any measure that would help get all Americans covered.” (Mayor Buttigieg, @PeteButtigieg, Twitter, 2/18/2018)

FORMER HUD SECRETARY JULIAN CASTRO: “I believe that we need Medicare for all.” (MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes,” 12/13/2018)

REP. TULSI GABBARD (D-HI): “We have to fight to make sure that every single American gets the quality health care that they need through Medicare for All.” (Rep. Gabbard, Speech, 2/02/2019)

FORMER REP. BETO O’ROURKE (D-TX): “A single-payer Medicare-for-all program is the best way to ensure all Americans get the healthcare they need.” (Rep. O’Rourke, Facebook, 6/15/2017)

ANDREW YANG: “Through a Medicare for All system, we can ensure that all Americans receive the healthcare they deserve.” (“Policy: Medicare For All,” Friends of Andrew Yang Website, Accessed 10/17/2019)

Tags: Urban Institute Study, Shows, One-Size-Fits-All Government-Run Health Care Scheme, Embraced By Leading Democrats, Would Cost, $34 Trillion To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Boozman Recognizes Conservation Efforts of Arkansas Hunters

Highlights Innovation of State Game and Fish Commission to Test for Chronic Wasting Disease
ARRA News Service: U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR), a member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), recognized the environmental stewardship of Arkansas sportsmen and women in a hearing examining the impacts of disease on wildlife conservation and management.

According to a recent study by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, an estimated 58.8 percent or $3.3 billion of conservation funds to state wildlife agencies come from hunting and fishing-related activities, either directly through the sale of licenses, tags and stamps, or indirectly through federal excise taxes on hunting, recreational shooting and angling equipment.

In Wednesday’s hearing, Boozman acknowledged the threat chronic wasting disease (CWD) poses to economic drivers such as outdoor recreational sports.

As of September 15, 2019, there have been 619 positive cases detected in Arkansas’s deer population.

“The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has come up with some innovative ways to address the problem with drop boxes to test elk and deer,” Boozman said. “This season they plan to install at least one drop box in every county.”

“We’re seeing a lot of concern in the outdoor recreation economy and the sport hunting community in particular,” Stephen Guertin, deputy director for Program Management and Policy at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said. “We’re doing a lot of proactive work with the state fish and game agencies and others to make sure people know it’s still safe to hunt.”

Guertin said the Fish and Wildlife Service provides technical assistance and grant funding to support state efforts like those in Arkansas and will continue to help the hunting community to get CWD test results quickly.

Boozman is a cosponsor of the Chronic Wasting Disease and Transmission in Cervidae Study Act, legislation authorizing a special resource study to determine how chronic wasting disease spreads and could be prevented in deer and elk.

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Border War . . .

. . . Democrats are more willing to have our troops die over the foreign Turkey/Syrian border then secure our own border.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: AF Branco, editorial cartoon, Border War, Democrats, more willing, to have our troops die, over the foreign Turkey/Syrian border, than secure our own border To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Is Putin the New King of the Middle East?

by Patrick Buchanan: If Putin wants to be king of this, and it is OK with Assad, how does that imperil the United States of America, 6,000 miles away?

“Russia Assumes Mantle of Supreme Power Broker in the Middle East,” proclaimed Britain’s Telegraph. The article began:

“Russia’s status as the undisputed power-broker in the Middle East was cemented as Vladimir Putin continued a triumphant tour of capitals traditionally allied to the US.”

“Donald Trump Has Handed Putin the Middle East on a Plate” was the title of a Telegraph column. “Putin Seizes on Trump’s Syria Retreat to Cement Middle East Role,” said the Financial Times.

The U.S. press parroted the British: Putin is now the new master of the Mideast. And woe is us.

Before concluding that Trump’s pullout of the last 1,000 U.S. troops in Syria is America’s Dunkirk, some reflection is needed.

Yes, Putin has played his hand skillfully. Diplomatically, as the Brits say, the Russian president is “punching above his weight.”

He gets on with everyone. He is welcomed in Iran by the Ayatollah, meets regularly with Bibi Netanyahu, is a cherished ally of Syria’s Bashar Assad, and this week was being hosted by the King of Saudi Arabia and the royal rulers of the UAE. October 2019 has been a triumphal month.

Yet, consider what Putin has inherited and what his capabilities are for playing power broker of the Middle East.

He has a single naval base on the Med, Tartus, in Syria, which dates to the 1970s, and a new air base, Khmeimim, also in Syria.

The U.S. has seven NATO allies on the Med — Spain, France, Italy, Croatia, Albania, Greece and Turkey, and two on the Black Sea, Romania and Bulgaria. We have U.S. forces and bases in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Djibouti. Russia has no such panoply of bases in the Middle East or Persian Gulf.

We have the world’s largest economy. Russia’s economy is smaller than Italy’s, and not a tenth the size of ours.

And now that we are out of Syria’s civil war and the Kurds have cut their deal with Damascus, consider what we have just dumped into Vladimir Putin’s lap. He is now the man in the middle between Turkey and Syria.

He must bring together dictators who detest each other. There is first President Erdogan, who is demanding a 20-mile deep strip of Syrian borderland to keep the Syrian Kurds from uniting with the Turkish Kurds of the PKK. Erdogan wants the corridor to extend 280 miles, from Manbij, east of the Euphrates, all across Syria, to Iraq.

Then there is Bashar Assad, victorious in his horrific eight-year civil war, who is unlikely to cede 5,000 square miles of Syrian territory to a permanent occupation by Turkish troops.

Reconciling these seemingly irreconcilable Syrian and Turkish demands is now Putin’s problem. If he can work this out, he ought to get the Nobel Prize.

“Putin is the New King of Syria,” ran the op-ed headline in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal.

The Syria of which Putin is now supposedly king contains Hezbollah, al-Qaida, ISIS, Iranians, Kurds, Turks on its northern border and Israelis on its Golan Heights. Five hundred thousand Syrians are dead from the civil war. Half the pre-war population has been uprooted, and millions are in exile in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Europe.

If Putin wants to be king of this, and it is OK with Assad, how does that imperil the United States of America, 6,000 miles away?

Wednesday, two-thirds of the House Republicans joined Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats to denounce Trump’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Syria and dissolve our alliance with the Kurds. And Republican rage over the sudden abandonment of the Kurds is understandable.

But how long does the GOP believe we should keep troops in Syria and control the northeastern quadrant of that country? If the Syrian army sought to push us out, under what authority would we wage war against a Syrian army inside Syria?

And if the Turks are determined to secure their border, should we wage war on that NATO ally to stop them? Would U.S. planes fly out of Turkey’s Incirlik air base to attack Turkish soldiers fighting in Syria?

If Congress believes we have interests in Syria so vital we should be willing to go to war for them — against Syria, Turkey, Russia or Iran — why does Congress not declare those interests and authorize war to secure them?

Our foreign policy elites have used Trump’s decision to bash him and parade their Churchillian credentials. But those same elites appear to lack the confidence to rally the nation to vote for a war to defend what they contend are vital American interests and defining American values.

If Putin is king of Syria, it is because he was willing to pay the price in blood and treasure to keep his Russia’s toehold on the Med and save his ally Bashar Assad, who would have gone under without him.

Who dares wins. Now let’s see how Putin likes his prize.
--------------------
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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Westerville Debate Leaves Democratic Race Wider Open

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: The world's oldest political party set an all-time record Tuesday night, with 12 presidential candidates on a single stage in Westerville, Ohio. That's a suburb of Columbus, the fastest-growing big metro area in the Midwest, in Franklin County, which voted Republican in every presidential election but one for a half century (1944-92) but has voted Democratic in the six elections since.

It's an apt location for a party increasingly dependent on and dominated by white college-graduate voters, even as it has lost ground in heartland factory towns and blue-collar precincts.

As I argue in my just-published book, "How America's Political Parties Change (And How They Don't)," the Democratic Party has, since its founding in 1832, been a coalition of out-groups, of people who are considered atypical Americans but can, if they stick together, be a national majority.

But holding these disparate groups together can be tricky, since they often disagree on important issues. Poignant example: flailing candidate Beto O'Rourke's insistence on denying tax exemptions to churches that don't support same-sex marriage.

That could close down lots of historically black churches, Orthodox synagogues and Muslim mosques. So you have a clear-cut disagreement between two overwhelmingly Democratic constituencies: secular-minded white college grads and traditionally religious black church members.

National Democrats, eager to include even splinter groups, concocted rules allowing candidates polling at only 2 percent on the debate stage -- which incentivizes those with little support to attack a front-runner. In the first three debates, the target was Joe Biden. In Westerville, it was Elizabeth Warren.

Warren's support comes disproportionately from white college grads, and her "I have a plan for that" proposals, while theoretically aimed at those with modest incomes, have appealed mostly to the upscale. But her specificity vanishes when it comes to the price tag for her version of Bernie Sanders' original "Medicare for All."

Pete Buttigieg, doing well with high-education Iowans, challenged her stubborn, Trump-like refusal to admit, as Sanders does, that middle-class "taxes will go up." "No plan has been laid out to explain how a multitrillion-dollar hole in this Medicare for All plan that Senator Warren is putting forward," the South Bend mayor said in his attack. "I'm sorry, Elizabeth," Amy Klobuchar, who hasn't clicked in the polls, chimed in. "I think we owe it to the American people to tell them where we're gonna send the invoice."

The closest Warren came to responding was when she said, "(C)osts will go up for the wealthy and for big corporations, and for hard-working middle-class families, costs will go down." She shows obvious relish in proposing a 3% wealth tax on the very rich as well as federal and worker oversight of large corporations. It's "wokenomics," said liberal commentator Van Jones.

But that "urge to punish" -- a phrase from the New York Post's Michael Goodwin -- can seem unattractive and may repel otherwise-liberal voters in the most affluent suburbs, where Sanders support flagged four years ago.

Going into the debate, Warren looked well positioned to gobble up votes that had gone to Sanders before his Oct. 1st heart attack. But while Warren was pushed on the defensive, Sanders spoke loudly and vigorously, and he's scheduled to be endorsed by freshmen Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar over the weekend. It looks like Warren will continue to face strong opposition from the socialist left.

Other Democrats were tussling over other issues that tend to pit one Democratic constituency against another. Cory Booker backed taxpayer-paid abortions while Tulsi Gabbard, echoing 1990s Bill Clinton, said abortion should be "safe, legal and rare." Buttigieg, while rejecting Medicare for All, praised the assault weapons ban and called for packing the Supreme Court, which Biden loudly opposed.

For two generations, Democrats have been skeptical about many military interventions and usually supportive of free speech. At this debate, Biden and Buttigieg decried President Donald Trump's Syria troop withdrawal over Gabbard's strong disagreement. For reasons that remain unclear, Kamala Harris repeated her call for Twitter to close down Trump's account -- something many Republicans wish had been done some time ago but that suggests a disturbing relish for suppressing speech. Joe Biden was questioned, gingerly, about his son Hunter Biden's $600,000 Ukrainian gas company gig -- a subject Democrats and NBC anchors seem desperate to avoid.

Last week, I wrote that Elizabeth Warren was the Democrats' faute de mieux front-runner. We're still waiting to see who, if anyone, is mieux.
--------------------------
Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, Rasmussen Reports, Westerville Debate, Leaves Democratic Race, Wider Open To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Pompeo Seeks to Assure Israel-U.S Focus Stays on Iran ‘Threat’

Rami Ayyub / Reuters via IJR: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underscored U.S.-Israeli efforts to counter Iran in talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, in an apparent attempt to ease concerns in Israel that Tehran could exploit a U.S. military pullback in Syria.

Pompeo and Netanyahu met in Jerusalem hours after Turkey agreed with the United States to pause its offensive on Kurdish forces in Syria.

Turkey launched its assault against the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria last week after President Donald Trump pulled a U.S. contingent out of the way, creating a new front in Syria’s eight-year war and prompting 200,000 civilians to take flight.

Israel sees Syria’s Kurds, once U.S. allies, as a counterweight to Islamist insurgents in northern Syria. It also worries that its arch-foe Iran or local allies could fill the vacuum left by a disengaged United States.

The Kurds responded to the U.S. withdrawal by inviting Syrian government forces, backed by Moscow and Tehran, into towns and cities in areas they control.

Pompeo said he and Netanyahu discussed “all the efforts we’ve made to push back against the threat not only to Israel but to the region and the world from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

“We shared our ideas about how we can ensure Middle East stability together, and how we would further our efforts to jointly combat all the challenges that the world confronts here in the Middle East,” Pompeo told reporters with Netanyahu by his side.

Asked for his reaction to the pause in Turkey’s offensive, Netanyahu said: “We hope things will turn out for the best.”

Later on Friday, Pompeo will fly to Brussels for a meeting with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.

ISRAELI CONCERNS
Thursday’s pause, brokered in Ankara by a U.S. team including Pompeo and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, gives Kurdish forces five days to withdraw from a “safe zone” Ankara had sought to capture.

Pompeo’s visit on the heels of the ceasefire was widely seen in Israel as an attempt to assuage Israeli concerns that a U.S. force drawdown could expose it to attacks by Iran or its proxies.

Officials close to Netanyahu are quick to talk up the Republican president’s unprecedentedly pro-Israel policies, such as quitting the Iran nuclear deal and recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and the Golan Heights as Israeli-annexed.

However, Trump’s Syria about-face was the latest in recent steps that have stirred discomfort within Netanyahu’s conservative cabinet, which had previously seen itself and the Trump administration as marching in lock-step.

Indeed, Trump’s recent diplomatic outreach to Tehran and firing of hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton have cast a cloud over Netanyahu, who highlighted in two inconclusive Israeli elections this year what he described as his close relationship with Trump.

Amos Harel, military correspondent for the left-wing Haaretz daily, said the muted U.S. reaction to the Sept. 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities and abrupt end in support to Syria’s Kurds “forces Israel to rethink its Middle East strategy”.

“The American withdrawal raises questions about the extent of Trump’s commitment to Israel when push comes to shove,” he wrote on Thursday.

The conservative Netanyahu faces a Wednesday deadline to form a government following a deadlocked Sept. 17 contest with his main opponent, former armed forces chief Benny Gantz.
-----------------------------
H/T IJR.com

Tags: Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, Seeks to Assure, Israel, U.S Focus, Iran ‘Threat’ To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Nancy Pelosi’s Ridiculous Impeachment Witch Hunt . . .

. . . is unquestionably making the world a more dangerous place
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco
by Robert Romano: It’s been about a month since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) opened her certain-to-fail impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Sept. 24, and the world is not getting any safer.

Since that time, on Oct. 1, Hong Kong police for the first time shot live rounds on the Hong Kong protesters during the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, despite U.S. warnings directly from President Trump who said in August, “I think it’d be very hard to deal if they do violence, I mean, if it’s another Tiananmen Square.”

On Oct. 2, North Korea launched a submarine-launched ballistic missile off the coast of Japan despite U.S. sanctions currently in place.

On Oct. 9, Turkey invaded northern Syria despite the threat of U.S. sanctions from Trump who promised he would “totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.”

Cause, meet effect.

Now, if anybody can navigate these challenges, it is probably President Trump, who seems to have an uncanny ability to weather any storm. But adversaries abroad are also undoubtedly weighing the possibility of Trump being weakened domestically by the House’s quest to remove him.

On Oct. 5, U.S. negotiators spoke of “good discussions” with their North Korean counterparts as nuclear disarmament talks resumed for the first time since February, looking forward to further talks in the coming weeks. But days later, North Korea said its “patience is running out” and talked down the likelihood of future talks.

On Oct. 7, Trump again warned China on Hong Kong, telling reporters, “If anything happened bad, I think that would be a very bad for the negotiation… I think that they have to do that in a peaceful manner.”

A week later, on Oct. 11, President Trump had a verbal trade agreement with Beijing in hand even as the threat to protesters by police and Chinese military remains quite real. Many analysts also question if China will keep its side of the bargain on agriculture purchases and ending currency manipulation and intellectual property theft.

On Oct. 14, Trump also readied sanctions against Turkey via executive order. Three days later, on Oct. 17, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced they had negotiated a ceasefire between Turkey and Syrian Kurds.

Trump’s critics, situationally ethical as they are, would have had him using U.S. troops as human shields between Turkish forces on one side, and Syrian, Kurdish and Russian forces on the other, tearing NATO apart, relocating the U.S. nuclear deterrent out of Turkey and surrendering the Black Sea — rather than allow the President to relocate U.S. forces a stone’s throw away into Iraq, where there actually is a Congressional authorization to be. If he had left the troops in harm’s way and something bad happened, those same critics would probably have been blaming Trump for risking the NATO alliance.

Still, some fighting persists on the Syrian-Turkish border and it remains to be seen if the ceasefire can hold.

Just another month in the Trump administration, who has been dogged by the investigation into the false conspiracy theory that he and his campaign were some sort of Russian agents since before he ever took office.

From his first days in office, his National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, was ambushed by FBI agents with a surprise interrogation over his transition efforts to cool U.S. tensions with Russia in Dec. 2016. Later, Justice Department lawyers would threaten Flynn’s son with prosecution if he would not submit a guilty plea on lying to investigators. Flynn’s plan had been to seek cooperation between the U.S. and Russia on international terrorism.

In 2017, the President’s conversations with the leaders of Mexico and Australia were leaked to the press.

In 2019, it was Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where both governments requested mutual legal assistance with getting to the bottom of Ukraine’s role in the Russiagate hoax and the U.S.-led role in corruption in Ukraine, that somehow got out of the White House and into the hands of the so-called CIA whistleblower so that it could be leaked to the press illegally and given to Congress. Days later his conversation with the Australian prime minister was leaked again.

Earlier this year, President Trump blamed his former lawyer Michael Cohen being called to testify as nuclear talks with North Korea were taking place in Vietnam for the failure of those talks.

This is a president who is not being allowed to run a foreign policy without interference, from the national security apparatus, from the intelligence agencies, from the Justice Department and from Congress. Never Trump has become the greatest threat to national security we face. It’s a faction in government we could do without.

It makes it harder to deal with threats from China, North Korea, Iran, the Middle East, Ukraine and Russia. Every world leader has to ask themselves, “Will President Trump stay in office?” when conducting negotiations.

Yet, at every turn, President Trump is rising to these challenges, admirably so, that lesser men would have shrank from and capitulated. His administration survived the investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, which found that there was no conspiracy with Trump and Russia to interfere in the 2016 elections after all.

Yeah, thanks for telling us. Whoops. In the meantime, since 2017, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty between the U.S. and Russia has been terminated, both countries still have thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at one another and relations are near all-time lows. The civil war in Ukraine is ongoing, and perhaps there could be a breakthrough and peace agreement there, but will our own deep state bureaucrats ever allow that to happen?

President Trump is attempting to bridge divides, bring peace and improve trade relations abroad — and he is being hampered at every turn by his own government.

Politics is supposed to end at the water’s edge, but in the age of Trump that clearly is a myth. Or at least it is only true when the Washington, D.C. establishment is running foreign policy. If somebody new comes on the stage, like Trump, and tries in his own way to mitigate these conflicts that threaten us all, they lose their minds and attempt to sabotage everything. Pelosi needs to think twice not only about the horrible precedent that is being created by this endless witch hunt, but the peril it is putting humanity in.
---------------------
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Robert Romano, Americans for Limited Government, Nancy Pelosi, Ridiculous Impeachment, Witch Hunt, making the world, more dangerous place To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Superpower Blues

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: I don’t want the Turkish military to wipe out the Kurds.

I also don’t want the Taliban to return to power in Afghanistan.

Nor do I want the Chinese totalitarians to violate the rights of Hongkongers.

Or for the Spanish government to slap long prison terms on peaceful Catalonian separatists.

Or tyrants in Nicaragua and Venezuela to torture and kill the people of those countries.

At the same time, I don’t want U.S. Marines landing on the beaches of Venezuela or Nicaragua or parachuting into Madrid or Kowloon . . . or for our military to endlessly occupy turf in Afghanistan and Syria.

There are limits even to superpower status. We cannot re-make the world in our image. By force. Everywhere at all times.

Except to some degree, by example. And regime change wars have not set a very good example.

The Iraq War destabilized the Middle East and handed Iran a major strategic victory. Leading from behind to help NATO overthrow the government of Libya has produced more chaos for northern Africa and Europe. Efforts at regime change in Syria have only worsened the suffering of millions of people.

U.S. troops remain in Iraq. After 17 years, we still have soldiers dying in Afghanistan. We can never leave. At least, not without any “gains” evaporating in a hurry.

And the president who finally <ends military involvement in these “endless war” will get endless grief for abandoning allies* and ceding ground to Russia or some other bad actor. That’s what happened after 28 soldiers were pulled out of Syria.

Being a superpower isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Beacon of freedom seems a better gig.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* This is not an argument for being a bad ally ourselves. For starters, I think we ought to welcome Kurdish refugees who wish to immigrate to the U.S.
------------------
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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