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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, January 10, 2020

How 2020 Could Be A Great Year for House Republicans

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy
by Newt Gingrich: The liberal media likes to focus on how many House Republicans are retiring. Somehow this is supposed to make Republicans feel defeated and hopeless.

In this context, I was startled recently to hear Congresswoman Elise Stefanik say 2020 was going to be the year of the House Republican woman. She went on to assert that there was an historic record being set for Republican women filing to run for the House.

I checked in with Chairman Tom Emmer at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), and found that, if anything, Rep. Stefanik had understated the momentum of new recruits.

With House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and the leadership team going all out, the House Republicans are setting a remarkably encouraging series of records.

Consider these numbers: The total number of Republicans filed for House seats so far is 928, according to Federal Elections Commission (FEC) figures – or 188 more than the total at the same time in 2010 (740). The year 2010 matters because it was the last time Nancy Pelosi was kicked out of the majority and Speaker John Boehner led the House GOP to its biggest gain in modern times – with his “where are the jobs” slogan. In fact, in 2010 the House GOP gained 63 seats for a majority of 242 Republicans.

The House Republican recruiting surge is also tremendously widespread. So far, I am told that Republican candidates are running in 380 congressional districts (compared to 341 districts at this point in 2010).

Importantly, women and minority candidates have surged. This is an area which has historically been a Republican weakness. In Texas alone, there are at least 30 Republican women candidates. So far, 186 women are seeking to become House Republicans in total. The previous record was 133 women running for the House as Republicans. And filing is still open in a number of states, so the number will almost certainly increase.

I am told by the NRCC there are also 146 Republican candidates from minority communities. Furthermore, 188 veterans are running for the House as Republicans.

I will write more details about women and minority candidates in future columns. However, I think it is important to note a profound change underway in financing Republican campaigns.

The Democrats had an enormous advantage in the 2018 election, because they had built an online donation system called ActBlue. ActBlue had been founded in 2004 to enable small dollar donors to easily and efficiently help Democratic candidates all over the country.

When the online system was powered by the intensity of anti-Trump emotions, there was a flood of targetable money for Democratic candidates. Activists from all over the country could conveniently go online, identify the campaigns they wanted to help, and quickly send the money.

In the 2018 cycle, this system raised $1.8 billion over the two-year period. When this scale of small donor involvement was combined with massive donors like Michael Bloomberg (who spent $5 million on ads in the last two weeks in some elections) the Democrats’ money advantage was enormous. This helps explain the Republican House defeats.

The threat posed by the ActBlue system was reinforced in 2019, when it raised more than $1 billion for the Democrats.

Republican leaders realized they had to match or exceed the small dollar system the Democrats had invented. They developed a competitive model called WinRed.

The intensity of support for President Trump – combined with growing anger over the Democrats’ investigation and impeachment strategy – has made WinRed a success much faster than anyone expected.

In its first two quarters, WinRed raised $101 million. Its effectiveness is growing rapidly. It raised $31 million in its first quarter of existence and more than doubled that in the second quarter with $70 million (fourth quarter of 2019). In fact, WinRed raised more in its first 190 days than ActBlue raised in its first five years.

The impact of the Democrats’ overreach on impeachment has been amazing. WinRed pages that mentioned “impeach” or “impeachment” raised 300 percent more than any other page.

In fact, the growing impact of WinRed can be seen in Congresswoman Stefanik’s experience. After her remarkable defense of President Trump on the House Intelligence Committee, she mentioned people could donate at WinRed on Fox News. In two hours, $500,000 was donated from across the country.

The combination of great recruiting, the development of WinRed as a system for engaging grassroots Republicans in races across the country, the intensity of President Trump’s support, and the self-destruction of the Democrats are combining to create a new, dynamic, aggressive House Republican Party.

If retirements are the story of the past, then recruitment is the story of the future. This is the story on which Leader McCarthy and his team are focused.

I suspect it’s the story which will make him Speaker McCarthy in January 2021.
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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: Newt Gingrich, commentary, How 2020, Could Be A Great Year, for House Republicans To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Never Trumpers Never Satisfied

by Tony Perkins: The Never Trumpers may not be dead, but they're certainly desperate to be relevant again. Subdued -- and significantly diminished after three years of Trump accomplishments -- the wilting chorus of critics wants everyone to know, "We're still here." So, to spite the steady stream of headlines about their "extinction," "death," "irrelevance," and "failure," the movement concocted another plan: to stop attacking Trump and start attacking his base. You guessed it: evangelicals.

It started with Christianity Today's sad publicity stunt, a swan song from outgoing editor Mark Galli, who hoped to make a splash for the fading magazine by declaring that the president should be impeached. The article had its desired effect, creating a media firestorm and smoking out a handful of Christian figures who felt emboldened to talk about their own contempt of Trump. But if the point was to change evangelicals' minds, Galli didn't. If anything, conservatives had an even bigger platform to talk about the administration's successes.

This week, the Lincoln Project is taking another pass at shaming the president's supporters. The group of anti-Trump Republicans released a video called "MAGA Church" that contrasts president's crasser moments with clips of him talking about faith. "Beware of false prophets," the ad warns. "If this is the best American Christians can do, then God help us all." Of course, the launch of this new campaign comes on the heels of a massive Evangelicals for Trump rally in Miami, where thousands of Americans had an opportunity to cheer the promises made and delivered by the man the resistance considers intolerable.

Of course, what the media and the president's opposition doesn't seem to understand is that evangelicals have never looked at Donald Trump as a role model. They're looking at his record as president. And no one in the modern history of this country has a better one. Whether it's the sanctity of human life or the promotion of religious freedom -- here and around the world -- or the appointment of judges bound to the Constitution, there's absolutely no comparison. What this president has done in the last three years matters. So shouldn't it be relevant to Christians as they vote?

Absolutely it should, Pastor Greg Laurie insisted on "Washington Watch." "No president in history has been a stronger advocate," he pointed out, in defending the Constitution, the unborn, the persecuted church, Israel, religious expression. "Isn't that what we've been talking about for years? Here is a president who's willing to use his bully pulpit and the power of the pen... for good." But it's a "package deal," he pointed out. "Sometimes he comes off as abrasive. Trump is not Reaganesque, if you will, but he is who he is -- and he gets things done. And when he makes a promise and or a threat, he backs it up. It isn't that what we've been looking for?"

Like a lot of people, Greg looks at these disgruntled flamethrowers and wonders, if that isn't enough for you, "What is your alternative? You want socialism and secularism and [to] actually enable and strengthen people who want to attack the church? Well, I certainly don't want that. So I [look] at his policies and what he's done. It's amazing... And let's not forget," he argued, "that he has surrounded himself with strong evangelicals. Ben Carson, Vice President Pence, Mike Pompeo, and others [who] have a strong faith in Christ that motivates them and what they do. I mean, I've never seen this before."

As one pastor in Miami told me, it comes down to this: "Under whose policies are we going to be more free to preach the gospel and live out our faith?" There's no contest. Look at the two parties, and what they're proposing. If you want taxpayer-funded abortion, infanticide, open borders, gender anarchy, religious oppression -- then by all means, keep trying to divide and distract conservatives. But if you think "American Christians can do better," please tell us how in a field of Democrats so extreme they're pushing a White House office of unborn baby killing?

The president isn't perfect. No one is. But he doesn't just say "evangelical Christians have never had a greater champion in the White House" -- he goes out and proves it. And at the end of the day, that's what these Never Trumpers are up against -- not Donald Trump. Four years ago, when the alternative was Hillary Clinton, conservatives cast their ballots and crossed their fingers. Today, they don't have to. Americans can look closely at his record on every issue and know exactly what they're getting. And my fervent prayer, heading into 2020, is that they do precisely that.

Check out FRC's "Biblical Principles for Political Engagement" by David Closson and FRC Action's Party Platform comparison video below.

** Just a brief reminder that starting this evening in Baton Rouge we will host our first Stand Courageous men's conference of 2020. There is still time to be a part of this encouraging, life changing event. Go to StandCourageous.com to found out how you can join us. **

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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: Tags: Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, Never Trumpers, Never Satisfied To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

145,000 Jobs Added in December, Unemployment at 3.5%

by Mary Margaret Olohan: The U.S. economy added 145,000 jobs in December, while the unemployment rate remained at 3.5%, according to Department of Labor data released Friday.

In December, 145,000 jobs were added, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report—about 121,000 fewer jobs than were added in November.

Decembers’ unemployment rate remained steady at 3.5%, matching September’s unemployment rate, the lowest since December 1969.

Economists had predicted that 164,000 jobs would be added and that the unemployment rate would remain at 3.5%, according to CNN, about 100,000 jobs fewer than the previous month when a General Motors strike ended and boosted job numbers.

Job growth has come back strong after February, when just 33,000 jobs were added.

The unemployment rate has held steady between 4% and 3.7% for more than a year before the April jobs report showed it drop to 3.6%. Prior to April’s report, the consistent unemployment rate suggested that workers are jumping back into the workforce to fill open jobs, rather than the workers who are currently collecting unemployment welfare, according to The Wall Street Journal.
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Mary Margaret Olohan writes for The Daily Caller. The Daily Signal shared article.

Tags: Mary Margaret Olohan, 145,000 Jobs, Added in December, Unemployment at 3.5% To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

McConnell Puts Pelosi on the Clock

. . . The Senate leader backs a resolution that would soon dismiss articles of impeachment.
by The Patriot Post: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell officially forced House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hand on Thursday. He signed on to cosponsor Sen. Josh Hawley’s resolution to dismiss the House Democrats’ articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump should Pelosi fail to send them to the Senate soon. The Hill reports, “The resolution would give the House 25 days to send articles of impeachment over to the Senate. After that, a senator could offer a motion to dismiss ‘with prejudice for failure by the House of Representatives to prosecute such articles’ with a simple majority vote, according to Hawley’s proposal.”

Following McConnell’s announcement earlier this week that he had secured enough votes to adopt impeachment-trial rules that don’t include the precondition demanded by Pelosi, the speaker has struggled to maintain party support for her stalling gambit. At least four Democrat senators and several Democrat House members have called on Pelosi to submit the impeachment articles.

And yesterday, following his joining Hawley’s resolution, McConnell blasted Pelosi and Democrats for their clearly partisan impeachment charade. “They have initiated one of the most grave and most unsettling processes in our Constitution and then refuse to allow a resolution,” McConnell declared. “The speaker began something that she herself predicted would be ‘so divisive to the country’ … and now she is unilaterally saying it cannot move forward towards a resolution.”

In order for Hawley’s resolution to be adopted, it would require a two-thirds majority vote, an unlikely prospect given Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s certain opposition. But that would leave McConnell the option of invoking the “nuclear option” eliminating the two-thirds threshold and passing the resolution via a simple majority vote. To continue the gambling analogy, McConnell is playing with house money, while Pelosi is quickly running out of chips.

Update: Pelosi appears to have caved, telling fellow Democrats she’ll transmit articles of impeachment to the Senate next week. She was finally forced to admit she had no cards left to play.
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The Patriot Post Editors

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Another Waste Of Time, Soleimani Was No Elvis, End Of An ERA

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Another Waste Of Time
Yesterday the House of Representatives passed a worthless resolution telling President Trump that he could not take out terrorists like Iranian General Qassem Soleimani without permission from Congress.

Why do I say the resolution is worthless? Because it was a purely symbolic, non-binding resolution with no legal impact. In fact, at least one House Democrat, Rep. Max Rose of New York, opposed the measure precisely because it was meaningless. Rose said:

"Unfortunately, today's War Powers resolution is a non-binding resolution that simply restates existing law. . . I refuse to play politics with questions of war and peace and therefore will not support this resolution."

Just like the impeachment fiasco, this is another example of progressives wasting time trying to score cheap political points rather than doing the people's business. But Pelosi's resolution will be applauded in Tehran, where the mullahs are betting on Trump being restrained because of opposition like this.

Nevertheless, there was heated debate over the resolution. One statement that stood out to me was delivered by Representative Brian Mast (R-FL). I recall first meeting Brian at a rally against the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal. He was then a candidate for Congress, and I pledged to support his campaign.

Mast told his colleagues that Soleimani was a terrorist just like Osama bin Laden or al-Baghdadi. He noted that Soleimani's super IEDs were responsible for burning our soldiers alive in their Humvees, for blowing their arms and legs off, and sending our young men home totally unrecognizable to their loved ones.

Mast said that we would have been justified in killing 100 Soleimanis for just one of our heroes he killed.

Of course, many conservatives made similar arguments yesterday. But they had much more power coming from Congressman Mast because as he stood to give those remarks, he wasn't standing on his own legs, but on two artificial legs.

Prior to his election to Congress, Brian Mast served in the U.S. Army and lost both his legs to an IED blast in Afghanistan. As someone who literally sacrificed parts of his body for our country, Mast brings a much-needed perspective to debates about foreign policy and national security.

I have no doubt that our country is economically and militarily strong enough to deal with Iran. What I do worry about is whether we can overcome the moral rot that is so prevalent on the left today, with so many commentators and politicians sounding like apologists for the Iranian regime.

Soleimani Was No Elvis
If you need an example of the moral rot I described above, look no further than MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who waxed poetic about the dead terrorist, Qassem Soleimani. Here's what he said on his show Wednesday night:

"When some people die, you don't know what the impact is going to be. When Princess Diana died there was a huge emotional outpouring. Elvis Presley in our culture. It turns out that this general [Trump] killed was a beloved hero of the Iranian people."

Here's a reality check for Mr. Matthews and anyone else who needs it:
  • President Trump said yesterday that we killed Soleimani because "they were looking to blow up our embassy."
  • The German newspaper Bild wrote this about Soleimani: "President Trump has freed the world of a monster whose aim in life was an atomic cloud over Tel Aviv." (By the way, I took the opportunity during this week's hearing of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to note how the Iranian regime is built on anti-Semitism and constantly threatening a second Holocaust against the state of Israel. Watch the exchange here:
  • Journalist Oz Katerji, who has written extensively on the Middle East, described Soleimani this way: "The only way to understand Qasem Soleimani's legacy is to trace the trail of bloodshed in his wake across the Middle East. . . Soleimani made his mark through his unrestrained barbarity towards civilians in Syria and Iraq. . . Soleimani was brutal, merciless . . . slaughtering his way across the Middle East."
That's not the legacy of Princess Diana or Elvis Presley. Anyone who sees Soleimani as a "hero" is an enemy of the civilized world and should be prepared to meet a similar fate. Assuming, of course, that progressives like Chris Matthews aren't responsible for protecting the civilized world.

Pelosi Blinks Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced today that she is planning to transmit the articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate next week.

The speaker is facing growing pressure from within her own caucus to stop her stalling, and polling shows that the public is overwhelmingly against it.

Her announcement comes on the heels of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell signing on to a resolution to dismiss the articles of impeachment if they are delayed longer than 25 days.

Netflix's Latest Here's Netflix's latest contribution to our culture: "AJ And The Queen." And no, I don't mean the queen of England.

According to the Washington Post, the movie is about "a drag queen who takes on a 10 year-old runaway as a traveling companion while embarking on a cross-country trip in an attempt to open his own drag club." I think I can safely say that this movie is in a category all by itself. I was not aware that Americans were clamoring for a movie about a drag queen traveling the country with a young boy.

End Of An ERA Liberals all over America celebrated Wednesday as Democrats assumed full control of the Virginia government for the first time in a generation. But why would liberals in California care about what is happening in Richmond, Virginia?

Among other things, progressives are hoping to resuscitate the Equal Rights Amendment by getting Virginia to approve the ERA.

That's right -- the same pro-abortion constitutional amendment that the late great Phyllis Schlafly battled back in the early 1970s is still kicking. Sort of.

If the Virginia General Assembly approves the ERA, it would become the 38th state to do so, precisely the number needed to ratify constitutional amendments. But there's a catch.

When Congress passed the ERA in 1972, it included a time limit for the states to approve it. That time limit expired in 1982, but that's not stopping the left from pursuing its radical pro-abortion agenda. Yesterday, a Virginia State Senate committee approved the Equal Rights Amendments.

Anticipating the left's push to have Virginia ratify the ERA, the Justice Department issued an opinion this week officially declaring the ERA dead and prohibiting its recognition. Now, just imagine for a minute that Hillary Clinton had prevailed in November of 2016.

Imagine that "Attorney General Kamala Harris" or "Attorney General Elizabeth Warren" is running the Justice Department.

I guarantee that this week's opinion on the ERA would have been very different, and the country would have been on the verge of abortion on demand being enshrined in our Constitution.

This is just one more example of the Trump/Pence team defending the values of men and women of faith. Just one more example of why it is so important for them to win four more years this November!
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Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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Appeals Court Lifts Block on $3.6B for Admin. Border Barrier Plan

Numbers USA: The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a brief order on Wednesday granting the Trump administration’s request to stay the injunction that U.S. District Court Judge David Briones, based in El Paso, Texas, issued last month. The three-judge appeals court panel split along ideological lines, with two Republican appointees voting to temporarily set aside the injunction and the sole Democratic appointee dissenting. The 5th Circuit panel’s majority did not provide a detailed explanation, but noted that last July the Supreme Court stayed a similar injunction issued by a federal judge in Oakland, Calif.

Judges Edith Jones, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, and Andrew Oldham, a Trump appointee, also said there was a “substantial likelihood” that the plaintiffs in the Texas-based suit — the city of El Paso and the Border Network for Human Rights — lacked legal standing to pursue their claims that Trump’s planned spending violated appropriations limits imposed by Congress.

Last February, following a budget standoff with Congress and a partial government shutdown, Trump declared a national emergency and announced a plan to use about over $6 billion in military construction and counterdrug appropriations to finance border wall spending. The move came after Congress agreed to spend only $1.375 billion in the last fiscal year for border wall improvements, billions less than Trump was demanding.

Trump’s actions triggered lawsuits from various quarters, including border groups, environmentalists, 20 states and the Democrat-led House of Representatives. The House’s effort to challenge Trump’s border wall spending was rejected by a District Court judge in Washington. The D.C. Circuit is now considering an appeal of that decision.

Last May, a judge in Oakland blocked Trump from tapping an initial $2.5 billion in military construction funds, ruling that the move defied Congress’ constitutional power over federal spending. A panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel refused to lift that injunction. Last July, however, the Supreme Court set aside the injunction entirely while the appeal in that case continues.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs in the Texas case said they were disappointed by the 5th Circuit’s move, stating:"A court has already determined that the government can’t lawfully use military construction funds to build Trump’s border wall. It’s unfortunate that the people of El Paso will continue to suffer harm while the government appeals, but we’re confident that we’ll prevail again in this next stage of litigation."For the full story, please visit Politico.

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Pelosi's Democrats Threaten Democracy in the Name of Protecting It

David Limbaugh
by David Limbaugh: Did you notice how presidential President Donald Trump appeared at his press conference on Iran? It was a fitting symbol for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s colossal failure in withholding the impeachment articles from the Senate.

Whatever Pelosi’s loony strategy — her unorthodox decision to withhold is only about strategy and not principle — she has ensured that the hyperpartisan impeachment will be viewed for exactly what it was. For all the Democrats’ manufactured impeachment drama, people seem to care less and less about the their shameless effort to affix a scarlet letter to Trump’s presidential record.

Have you also noticed that no one can quite figure out Pelosi’s angle in refusing to deliver the articles? You would think that with something as momentous as impeachment, people would have some idea about Pelosi’s mindset, but instead we get an anarchy of disparate theories, none of which resonate because you can’t make sense out of anything so nonsensical — and wrongheaded.

It is inexcusable for her and her colleagues to have put the nation through that ordeal, representing to us that the matter of Trump’s impeachment and removal was of unparalleled urgency, only to discontinue the proceedings when she gets the House to vote for impeachment.

She would have us believe that she is bargaining for Sen. Mitch McConnell to accede to her demands on the conduct of the Senate trial. For argument’s sake, let’s assume she’s shooting us straight. Who in her right mind, including Pelosi, thinks that McConnell will or should bargain with Pelosi on this, when the impeachment trials are the sole prerogative of the Senate, not the House?

Pelosi knew McConnell wouldn’t be that foolish or weak, so she obviously isn’t bargaining with him. Maybe she’s posturing for political purposes, betting that her cute trick will ultimately put the Democratic House witch hunters in a more favorable light and Trump in a less favorable one. Too bad for her — that’s not happening, either.

Consider: Pelosi crammed through an impeachment following an unfair, partisan proceeding that denied the president basic fairness and due process. The impeachment was for alleged misconduct that, if true, doesn’t constitute a crime, much less a high crime or misdemeanor. The Democrats’ whole case was based on secondhand and speculative evidence, and partisan presumptions without any proof of Trump’s criminal intent. Now, having unilaterally denied Trump due process, she demands that McConnell give her assurances he won’t behave as badly as she has. That might work on Sen. Mitt Romney but not on McConnell. McConnell owes her nothing, and he’s not going to give her anything. He has already said he wants the Senate to apply the same rules that governed former President Bill Clinton’s trial, which was good enough for Democrats then — and remember that Clinton’s impeachment, unlike Trump’s, was bipartisan.

Another possible Pelosi motive is that she wants the impeachment stain to stand and is thus trying to deny Trump the chance to defend himself in the Senate — which is equivalent to denying him yet another right: a fair and speedy trial in the Senate. It’s also rich that Pelosi is holding out for guarantees of fairness from Senate Republicans on procedure considering that some Senate Democrats such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren have essentially admitted that they’ve already made up their mind on the substance of the charges — and that Trump is guilty.

Pelosi contends that Trump is unfit for office because he abused his power, obstructed Congress and is a threat to “our democracy.” Yet by playing cynical games with a matter that is of grave importance to our system — the removal of the nation’s chief executive and commander in chief — she is abusing her power, obstructing the Senate from conducting its constitutional role in these proceedings and, thereby, interfering with “our democracy.” She ought to be impeached herself for putting the country through this charade.

Unfortunately for Pelosi and her ethics-challenged hatchet man Rep. Adam Schiff, an increasing number of Democratic and independent congressmen and senators are tiring of her games and urging her to submit the articles. As McConnell noted, “Now, even fellow Democrats are expressing public concern over the Speaker’s endless appetite for these cynical games.”
By wrongfully withholding the articles of impeachment from the Senate, Pelosi has conclusively demonstrated that she and her Democrats are not crusading to protect “our democracy” from the dastardly Donald Trump. They are trying to destroy Trump and are damaging “our democracy” in the process.
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David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter& @davidlimbaugh and his website at davidlimbaugh.com.

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Mother Hen . . .

. . . Pelosi is holding the articles of impeachment from moving forward but it’s starting to smell like Schiff.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Federal Judges

by Kerby Anderson, Contributing Author: The longest impact a president can make on the country is through the federal judges he appoints to the court. After three years in office, President Trump has appointed and had confirmed more federal judges than previous presidents in the last few decades.

The highest court below the Supreme Court is the Circuit Court. More than a quarter (27%) of the US circuit court judges are Trump nominees. Let’s put this in perspective. President Obama appointed and confirmed 55 circuit court judges by the end of his eight years in office. Already President Trump has appointed and confirmed 50 judges to the circuit court benches.

The Trump appointments have already flipped three circuit courts to majority Republican-appointed judges. These courts will be hearing significant cases involving a wide range of issues. Remember that very few court cases (probably only 70-80 a year) ever reach the Supreme Court. The decisions rendered by these circuit courts establish precedents and have a significant influence in laws and policies.

Overall, President Trump has installed a total of 187 federal judges, most of whom are young and will likely serve a very long time. Moreover, most of these judges hold to a belief in originalism, meaning they interpret the Constitution according to its original intent.

The editors of the Wall Street Journal explained why that is good. “A new era of originalism in the courts should be good for the law, and for the public reputation of the judiciary as nonpartisan interpreter of the Constitution. Such an era may even be good for progressives, who will have to win their arguments the old-fashioned way—via political debate and elections.”

I agree that this new era will be good for America because it will be based on the proper interpretation of the Constitution.
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Kerby Anderson (@kerbyanderson) is a radio talk show host heard on numerous stations via the Point of View Network (@PointofViewRTS) and is endorsed by Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service.

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Trump Responds to Iran's Act of War

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: In all the reportage and commentary on the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, I haven't seen much mention of an interesting parallel between the Iranian mullah regime's attacks on America this past week and its attacks when it first came to power 40 years ago.

The similarity is that both times, the Iranian regime violated diplomatic immunity. In 1979, it seized 52 American diplomats and held them hostage for 444 days, releasing them only on the day former President Ronald Reagan took office. Last week they attacked the U.S. embassy in Baghdad after launching multiple attacks on U.S. troops in Iraq.

Diplomatic immunity is perhaps the oldest and most basic principle of international law. It's been sanctioned by international agreements and observed -- even by Hitler and Stalin -- for at least three centuries. Violation of diplomatic immunity is an act of war.

Iran's attacks on diplomats reveal it as an outlaw regime.

That's why it promulgated the fiction that "students" seized and controlled the hostages beyond the government's control. In the past week, leading American media have echoed the mullah regime's latest fictions, calling those who attacked the U.S. Embassy "mourners" (The New York Times) or "protesters" (The Washington Post). That's in line with The Post's headlines describing Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as "an austere religious scholar" and calling Soleimani "Iran's most revered military leader."

American media giants' ready endorsement of a tyrannical regime's propaganda labels shouldn't fool anyone. "The whole 'protest' against the United States Embassy compound in Baghdad last week was almost certainly a Soleimani-staged operation," The Times' Thomas Friedman wrote last week. It was not a spontaneous attack by "mourners" or "protesters," just as the hostage taking in 1979 was the work not of "students" but of the regime.

Much media commentary following Soleimani's death dwelled on the possibility -- clearly relished by some commentators -- that Iran would retaliate violently against the United States. Few bothered to note that the embassy attack followed weeks of violent attacks -- oil tankers seized, a drone downed, bombs lobbed at a Saudi oil refinery and rockets at U.S. troops.

Iran's retaliation so far seems perfunctory. It's possible Iran will attack the "great Satan" more aggressively later -- or that it will halt its attacks, as it did after Reagan ordered sorties that sank some of its ships in 1988.

In the meantime, former President Barack Obama and his administration hoped for the permanence of its Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement with Iran -- which never had majority support in Congress. Those hopes were shattered by Trump's withdrawal in May 2018. And there's little or no evidence that Iran ever became the cooperative partner in the Middle East that Obama expected.

Distaste for this president is obviously warping many critics' judgment. Without losing a beat, Democrats like Sen. Chris Murphy moved from criticizing Trump's inaction to criticizing Trump's action. News stories depicting Trump's decision as impulsive and not based on serious military planning were, without acknowledgement, contradicted by news stories the next day.

Actually, it's possible for a knowledgeable observer not afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome to discern a coherent foreign policy strategy, "a bold agenda internationally and a deeply controversial one at home," as Walter Russell Mead wrote this week in the Wall Street Journal. "Confrontation with Iran, competition with China, outreach to Russia."

Does "confrontation" mean, as the New Yorker's military correspondent Dexter Filkins argues, regime change in Iran? Critics treat that as unthinkable, yet it would be welcomed by millions of Iranians. Those who care about human rights should not mourn the end of a thug-ocracy that throws gay men off high-rises and beats up women whose headscarves slip down.

It's possible to encourage peaceful regime change. Reagan administration policies in the 1980s helped to undermine the communist regimes in Eastern Europe and unravel the Soviet Union -- things almost no experts thought could happen.

Iran's mullah regime has lasted for 40 years, about as long as the communist satellite regimes in Eastern Europe. Is it totally unrealistic to hope that it might peacefully disappear as well?

It is clear that Obama's attempted rapprochement with the Iranian regime has failed, and it seems possible that the elimination of its most aggressive promoter of terrorism and the Trump crackdown on its economy are attempts to provoke peaceful regime change.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump was justified under international law to respond with military force to a violation of diplomatic immunity -- an act of war -- just as then-President Jimmy Carter was 40 years ago when he authorized the hostage rescue raid in Iran.

Carter's attempt unhappily failed, and the regime stayed in place. Trump's action succeeded -- and we'll see what happens next.
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Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, Rasmussen Reports, President Trump, Responds to, Iran's Act of War 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 Culture War Comes to the Old Dominion

by Patrick Buchanan: The divisions among Virginians are not only over history, heroes and guns, they are also moral and religious.

Since 1969, “Virginia Is for Lovers” has been the tourism and travel slogan of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Advertising Age called it “one of the most iconic ad campaigns in the past 50 years.”

But the Virginia of 2020 seems to be another country than the friendly commonwealth to which this writer moved four decades ago.

Charlottesville, home to Thomas Jefferson’s University of Virginia, has become famous as the site of a 2017 Klan-Nazi clash with antifa over the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a municipal park. During the clash, protester Heather Heyer was run over and killed.

There followed the inauguration of a new Democratic Governor, Ralph Northam, in 2018 and a new attorney general. Both, it was learned, had masqueraded in blackface in their college days. And two women accused their colleague, new Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax, with rape.

Resignations were demanded. But all three hunkered down, and the crisis abated. Now a new cultural issue has emerged.

First-term Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, from the D.C. suburbs, has denounced Virginia’s representation in the U.S. Capitol by statues of George Washington in the Rotunda and Robert E. Lee in the crypt a floor below. Both statues have represented Virginia for more than a century.

Wexton wants Lee replaced by an African American hero from a list that she and Rep. A. Donald McEachin reportedly submitted.

Two names on their list are unfamiliar figures from the desegregation days of the 1950s. The third is better known: Nat Turner.

In “The Americans: A Social History of the United States,” published in 1969, author J. C. Furnas describes the deeds of the man Wexton and McEachin would be pleased to see replace Robert E. Lee:

“In August 1831, Nat Turner, paranoid slave preacher and cunjur man, led his superstition-fuddled followers to kill fifty-five whites of all sexes and ages in an aimless terrorizing of Southhampton County in the southeastern corner of Virginia.

“The poor twisted creature could hardly have found a worse time to sharpen Southern fears of a slave rising.” Turner was tried and hanged and, that winter, writes Furnas, “The Virginia legislature voted down by a narrow margin a bill for gradual extinction of slavery.”

Nat Turner’s terrorism had set back emancipation.

Let me go out on a limb: If the Virginia General Assembly votes to replace Robert E. Lee in the U.S. Capitol with a statue of Nat Turner, it will not be the unifying event Wexton imagines.

But the Assembly will be dealing soon with measures even more volatile.

On Jan. 20, “Lobby Day” at the Assembly, thousands of gun advocates, many openly armed, will be coming to Richmond to protest new gun laws Northam and his new Democratic majority campaigned on and are determined to deliver.

Already, 110 towns, cities and counties in Virginia have created “Second Amendment sanctuaries” where new state laws that restrict gun rights will not be enforced by local authorities.

As the Washington Post writes,

“Virginia is a former Confederate State with strong rural traditions and lax gun laws. Guns represent the strongest, reddest line against the demographic changes that have seen Old Dominion voters usher in a new era of Democratic leadership in recent elections.

“A Nevada-based group called the Oath Keepers said it is sending training teams to help form posses and militia in Virginia. The leader of a Georgia militia called Three Percent Security Force has posted videos and calls to arms on Facebook, urging ‘patriots’ to converge on Richmond.”

Still, the divisions among Virginians are not only over history, heroes and guns, they are also moral and religious.

A year ago, Northam said he supported abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, and beyond, if an abortion were unsuccessful.

Here is Northam, in his own words, on the rights of the unborn:

“(Third trimester abortions are) done in cases where there may be severe deformities. There may be a fetus that’s nonviable. So in this particular example, if a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. … The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired. And then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”

Unlike the seven states of the Deep South, Virginia did not vote to secede and leave the Union until President Lincoln issued his call to arms to put down the rebellion after the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter.

Then the state of Virginia seceded from the Union as the colony of Virginia had seceded from Great Britain at Philadelphia 84 years before.

Today, it appears a new secession is underway. Virginians are separating from each other over issues as deep and divisive — such as who can take innocent life and when — as those that divided us in 1861.

As are the rest of their countrymen in this time of Trump.
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Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) is currently a blogger, conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior adviser to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

Tags: Patrick Buchanan, conservative, commentary, Culture War, Comes to, Old Dominion To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Pelosi’s Impeachment Extortion Is Destined To Fail

by Gregg Jarrett: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s brazen attempt at extortion appears to have failed.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has announced he now has the necessary votes to begin the impeachment trial of President Trump in the Senate without capitulating to Pelosi’s shakedown that witnesses must be called in a trial of her choosing.

It is now up to Pelosi, D-Calif., to transmit the two articles of impeachment adopted by the House of Representatives. The longer she delays, the more her waning credibility devolves into utter irrelevancy.

It was Pelosi who insisted that President Trump was such a serious national security threat that “urgency” demanded the House rush through impeachment proceedings with tenuous hearsay and opinion evidence.

Once the Democratic-controlled House abided with its partisan vote, the speaker suddenly saw no urgency at all. For weeks she has refused to transmit the articles to the other side of the Capitol unless the Senate succumbed to her blackmail.

It was fatuous for Pelosi to think she could engineer rules in the Senate chamber on impeachment trial procedures. Blinded by her own arrogance, she thought she was somehow above the Constitution or could reinterpret its explicit meaning.

Article I, Section 3 states: “The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments.” It does not say that the House speaker can interfere with or countermand the “sole power” of the Senate by dictating trial procedures. Pelosi has no authority whatsoever. As McConnell bluntly put it: “Their turn is over.”

McConnell’s position is not unreasonable and has the benefit of historical precedence. His plan is to commence the impeachment trial with a presentment of the charges against Trump, followed by opening statements from House managers and Trump’s counsel.

Only thereafter would the Senate address the merits of calling any witnesses. This was the process adopted during the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton in January 1999.

I covered the Clinton trial from the nation’s capital and well remember the proceedings. There were no live witnesses called to testify. Instead, the Senate voted overwhelmingly (70 to 30) to depose three witnesses behind closed doors. Selected videotaped excerpts were then played in the Senate chamber as part of the evidentiary case.

The reasoning behind this process was deliberate and sound. Senators did not know what witnesses might be necessary until House managers had presented their case. Several other witnesses who had been proposed earlier were, in the end, deemed immaterial.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is wrong when he asserts that McConnell will banish all witnesses. That will likely be a decision made by a majority of the Senate once the first phase of the trial is concluded, as it was during Clinton’s trial. Schumer voted in favor of this very procedure in 1999. He also voted against calling any witnesses at all.

Unlike Pelosi, House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., did not try to coerce the Senate into adopting his own desired set of rules at the outset of the Clinton trial. He well knew he had no right to do so. While Gingrich respected the duel but separate roles of the House and Senate meticulously defined in the Constitution, Pelosi seems to hold them in contempt.

Her extra-constitutional conduct is an audacious display of hubris. Pelosi is demanding that the Senate surrender to her “quid pro quo,” after accusing President Trump of an impeachable “quid pro quo.” The irony should be lost on no one. But double standards are endemic in a hypocritical Washington these days.

Pelosi’s refusal to convey the articles of impeachment to the Senate leaves the entire matter at an impasse. By her venal tactics, she is effectively holding a presidency and a nation hostage. The Senate has several options at its disposal to remedy the dilemma.

Since the Constitution is silent about transmitting articles, the Senate could alter its current rules (via the “nuclear option”) to allow for an impeachment trial without a perfunctory transmission. Or the Senate could take up a proposal offered by Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., to dismiss the articles for lack of prosecution if Pelosi continues to withhold them beyond a specified date.

In the alternative, the Senate could simply do nothing if Pelosi decides to hold the articles in perpetuity. This, of course, will deprive Trump of his right to a trial and be regarded as fundamentally unfair. But it would also underscore that the speaker’s goal all along was to damage Trump politically with specious impeachment offenses. It won’t work.

The framers of the Constitution never envisioned that a future House would vote to impeach a president but then maneuver to halt an impeachment trial in the Senate. Who could have foreseen a House speaker like Pelosi whose disdain for the Constitution is exceeded only by her thirst for absolute, unfettered power?

Pelosi has made a mockery of impeachment and debased her high office. The Senate must act to disabuse Pelosi of her pretensions and restore some semblance of constitutional order.
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Gregg Jarrett is a Fox News legal analyst and commentator, and formerly worked as a defense attorney and adjunct law professor.

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Trump and The Mythmakers

Caroline Glick
by Caroline Glick: : For the past 40-odd years, two narratives have guided American Middle East policy. Both were invented by the Carter administration. One relates to Iran. One relates to Israel.

Both narratives reject reality as the basis for foreign policy decision-making in favor of delusion. Over the past two months, President Donald Trump has rejected and disavowed them both. His opponents are apoplectic.

As far as Iran is concerned, as journalist Lee Smith explained in Tablet online magazine this week, when Iranian “students” seized the US Embassy in Tehran in November 1979 and held 52 Americans hostage for 444 days, they placed the Carter administration in a dilemma: If President Jimmy Carter acknowledged that the “students” weren’t students, but soldiers of Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Khomeini, the US would be compelled to fight back. And Carter and his advisers didn’t want to do that.

So rather than admit the truth, Carter accepted the absurd fiction spun by the regime that Khomeini was an innocent bystander who, try as he might, couldn’t get a bunch of “students” in central Tehran to free the hostages.

At the base of their decision to prefer fantasy to reality in regards to Iran was the hope that Khomeini and his “students” would be satisfied with a pound or two of American flesh and wouldn’t cause Washington too many other problems.

So too, as Smith noted, the Carter administration was propelled by guilt. The worldviews of many members of the administration had been shaped on radical university campuses in the 1960s. They agreed with the Iranian revolutionaries who cursed Americans as imperialists. They perceived Khomeini and his followers as “authentic” Third World actors who were giving the Americans their comeuppance.

Khomeini and his “Death to America” shouting followers got the message. They understood that Washington had given them a green light to attack Americans in moderate and, as Smith put it, “plausibly deniable” doses. it. For the next 40 years, Iran maintained its aggression against America. And from Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama, every president since Carter accepted and kept faith with Carter’s decision not to hold the Iranian regime responsible for the acts of aggression and war it carried out against America through proxies.

During the Iraq War from 2003-2011, Iran’s aggression reached new heights. Iran organized the Shiite militias that waged war against the US forces in Iraq. It also supported Al-Qaida in Iraq which organized in Iran and used Iran as its logistical base for operations.

More than six hundred American forces were killed and thousands were wounded in attacks carried out with Iranian-made improvised explosive devices, (IADs). Yet rather than confront Iran for its aggression and take action against it, the Bush administration tried to make a deal with the mullahs.

Under Obama, reaching an accord with Iran was the singular goal of US foreign policy. Every other goal was subordinated to Obama’s burning desire to appease Iran at the expense of Israel and the US’s Sunni Arab allies.

This then brings us to President Trump. Trump’s decision to kill Qassem Soleimani – who as commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force was the head of all of Iran’s regional and global terror apparatuses – destroyed the Carter administration’s Iran narrative.

Soleimani was killed in Baghdad along with Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the commander of one of the Soleimani-controlled Shiite militias in Iraq. Iraqi protesters, who have been demonstrating against Iran’s control over their government since last October claim that Soleimani was the one who ordered al-Muhandis to kill the demonstrators. More than 500 demonstrators have been killed by those forces in Iraq over the past three months.

By killing the two together, the Americans exposed the big lie at the root of 40 years of American deliberate blindness to the reality of Iranian culpability and responsibility for the acts of terror and aggression its surrogates have carried out against America and its allies.

By killing Soleimani, Trump made clear that the blank check for aggression the previous six presidents gave Tehran is now canceled. From now on, the regime will be held responsible for its actions. From now on US policy towards Iran will be based on reality and not on escapism.

The second false narrative that has formed the basis of US Middle East policy since Carter is that Israel and the so-called “occupation” are responsible for the absence of peace in the Middle East. Moved largely by Carter’s hostility towards the Jewish state, his administration was the first to call Israel’s control over Judea and Samaria an “occupation.” It determined, through a 1978 memo authored by Arthur Hansell, the State Department’s legal adviser, that the mere existence of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria constituted a breach of international law.

Because the Hansell memo was based on a wholly specious interpretation of the Fourth Geneva Convention from 1949, and had no basis in actual international law, the Reagan administration refused to adopt it. But that didn’t stop Ronald Reagan from adopting the anti-Israel substance of Carter’s policy narrative. Just as Reagan turned a blind eye to Iran’s responsibility for the terror attacks its proxies carried out against the United States – including the bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut in April 1983, and the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in November 1983 – so he substantively accepted Carter’s anti-Israel narrative which blamed Israel for the absence of Middle East peace. Reagan appointed veteran diplomat Philip Habib to serve as his special envoy for Middle East peace. Habib put together a “peace plan” predicated on the notion of Israeli guilt.

The first Bush administration, the Clinton administration, the second Bush administration and of course, the Obama administration all held to the Carter line that blamed Israel and its control over Judea and Samaria, (and Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, and – until 2005 – Gaza), for the unrest and instability of the region. Obama, of course, went full circle. He adopted the Hansell memo as US official policy and enabled the UN Security Council to pass a resolution criminalizing the existence of Jewish communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

The fact that the Carter narrative was self-evidently ridiculous and destabilizing made no impression on these successive administrations. PLO aggression and refusal to either disavow terrorism or accept Israel’s right to exist in any borders were brushed aside as irrelevant and unwelcome information.

Israel’s profound concessions for peace were pocketed, poo-pooed and forgotten.

Last November, the Trump administration put paid the phony narrative of Israeli avarice with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement that the administration was disavowing the Hansell memo and replacing it with an accurate international law-based assessment that Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria are not inherently illegal.

Wednesday, while the world was awaiting Trump’s response to Iran’s failed missile attack against Iraqi bases housing US forces, the Kohelet Policy Forum held a conference on the legal and diplomatic significance of Pompeo’s announcement. In a pre-recorded message for the conference, Pompeo briefly explained why he decided to disavow the Hansell memo. His explanation could be equally applied to the Trump administration’s policy towards Iran.

In Pompeo’s words, “It is important that we speak the truth when the facts lead us to it. And that’s what we’ve done.”

For the American foreign policy establishment, Trump’s refusal to continue their forty-year marriage of policy to delusion is an unforgivable transgression, and a threat. Not only has he committed the crime of rejecting their collective “wisdom,” his reality-based policies might actually be working. The threat to them is obvious.

If Trump’s reality-based policies succeed, he will dismantle their foreign policy legacy. All their protestations of wisdom, all their fancy resumes and titles as former senior officials will lose their allure and market value.

Since Pompeo’s statement regarding the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria related to an issue which, while critical, is less in the headlines today than it was under Obama, aside from a few peremptory condemnations, the foreign policy aristocrats ignored it. As they saw it, once they return to power and start working with an Israeli government led by someone other than Benjamin Netanyahu, the anti-Israel phony narrative will be restored to its rightful place as the foundation of US policy.

The Iran story is different. Days before the drone strike that killed him, Soleimani tried to re-enact the 1979 “student” takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran with “protesters” in Baghdad. But this time it didn’t work. And Soleimani paid with his life for his failure. Iran’s half-hearted, failed missile attack against US forces in Iraq showed that the Iranian regime is terrified of Trump and their reversal of fortune.

Trump’s policies expose the mendacity and rank insanity of his predecessors’ policies towards Iran and Israel. Since Obama’s policies were particularly radical, divorced from reality and devastating, Trump has reasonably singled them out for particular rebuke and condemnation. Among other things, Trump rightly said the missiles Iran shot at US forces in Iraq were paid for by the 150 billion dollars in sanctions relief and 1.8 billion dollars in cash that flowed to the coffers of the IRGC through the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Rather than keep quiet as their signature policy was exposed as a strategic disaster, Obama administration officials and their supporters in Congress and the media went into very public paroxysms of rage. Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser and chief propagandist, who sold the nuclear deal to a credulous and eager media, said Trump’s move would lead to war. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the US strike against Soleimani was “disproportionate,” hinting it was a war crime to kill the terrorist who had just ordered the seizure of a US Embassy. She scheduled a Congressional session to curb Trump’s power to confront Iranian aggression and nuclear proliferation.

On cue, a group of psychiatrists wrote an open letter to Congress insisting that Trump is crazy and must be restrained. (The same group has written several nearly identical letters since Trump took office.)

To protect and preserve their 40-year old delusion-based policy, Trump’s domestic opponents are effectively supporting the Iranian regime against the United States. And as they see it, they have no choice. They are in a race against time. The more successful Trump’s reality-based policies towards Iran on the one hand and Israel on the other are, the harder it will be for the foreign policy establishment to restore their delusion-based policies when he leaves power. Given the stakes, we can assume that their attempts to clip Trump’s wings and debase him will increase in intensity, churlishness and irrationality as time goes by and as his successes mount.
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Caroline Glick is the Senior Contributing Editor of Israel Hayom and the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit carolineglick.com.

Tags: Caroline Glick, Israel Hayom, Trump, The Mythmakers To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Tough Time for Tyrants

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: How much longer does the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have to put up with freedom-loving loudmouths?

Thoughtful Party rulers can’t even entertain their subjects with NBA basketball or English Premier League soccer without fear that Chinese fans will then discover the tweet of some busybody droning on against Chinese repression in Hong Kong or complaining about a scant million or so Uighurs checked into friendly re-education camps.

Last month, Chen Chia-chin, a Taiwanese YouTuber known as the Potter King, with a “considerable following on both sides of the Taiwan Strait,” dared post a video featuring Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen. She is the first female president of that island nation, and on the ballot for re-election this Saturday.

Moreover, she has quite ungraciously declined China’s magnanimous offer to take over Taiwan, by force if necessary, under the “One China, Two Systems” banner. And the CCP even offered to toss in tear gas for free!

Back to the vicious attack on Chinese sovereignty by this Potter King fellow, he also referred to President Tsai as . . . [are you sitting down?] . . . “president.”

“Chinese media avoids mentioning ‘Taiwan president,’” explains Mothership, a Singapore-based news site, “as it implies that Taiwan is an independent, sovereign country.”*

Bad enough to say something the CCP doesn’t want said, but the Potter King went further — refusing to un-say it. His videos are still watched by half a million subscribers on YouTube.

Of course, China beneficently bans YouTube. And Papitube, the Chinese agency marketing his program, has now nullified his contract.

Chen Chia-chin’s prioritization of freedom mustn’t be allowed. But what if the prioritization of Taiwanese voters tomorrow cannot be stopped?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* Not to mention that Taiwan suffers from the twin political ailments, in the CCP’s view, of freedom and democracy.
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Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ ) is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Tough Time for Tyrants 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 Recession: ‘Reparations’ Gone Bad

by Larry Elder: Some of the Democratic candidates for president support studying reparations to blacks to compensate for slavery. But in many ways, America has made reparations to blacks.

What are race-based preferences if not a form of compensation for historical wrongs? Many cities have “set-aside” programs that award government contracts to minority contractors. President Lyndon Johnson pushed his Great Society programs to “end poverty and racial injustice.”

But few think of the federal government’s housing policy, particularly the Community Reinvestment Act, or the CRA, as a form of reparations. But that is exactly what it was and still is. In many ways, the so-called Great Recession of the late 2000s was a product of affirmative action and a form of reparations gone bad. Really bad.

In 1999, almost a decade before the Great Recession, the libertarian Cato Institute issued a warning about the CRA, which President Jimmy Carter signed in 1977. The CRA was based on the assumption that racist lenders denied mortgages to credit-worthy would-be borrowers, particularly minority applicants. The act initially merely sought data on banking practices to encourage lenders to practice fairness in granting mortgages.

But President Bill Clinton, in 1995, added teeth to the CRA. Economists Stephen Moore and Lawrence Kudlow explained: “Under Clinton’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) secretary, Andrew Cuomo, Community Reinvestment Act regulators gave banks higher ratings for home loans made in ‘credit-deprived’ areas. Banks were effectively rewarded for throwing out sound underwriting standards and writing loans to those who were at high risk of defaulting. If banks didn’t comply with these rules, regulators reined in their ability to expand lending and deposits.

“These new HUD rules lowered down payments from the traditional 20 percent to 3 percent by 1995 and zero down-payments by 2000. What’s more, in the Clinton push to issue home loans to lower income borrowers, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made a common practice to virtually end credit documentation, low credit scores were disregarded, and income and job history was also thrown aside. The phrase ‘subprime’ became commonplace. What an understatement.”

But is it true that banks were discriminating against minority borrowers?

CATO, in 1999, said despite widespread accusations and lawsuits alleging discriminatory lending, the facts show otherwise. CATO said: “Researchers using the best available data find very little discernible home-mortgage lending discrimination based on area, race, sex or ethnic origin. …

“Other well-structured studies also found no evidence of redlining or unwarranted geographic discrimination. Thus, the claim that lenders redlined or were biased in making loans for the purchase of homes in central cities is not supported. Nor did the studies find that financial institutions discriminated against actual or potential borrowers on the basis of the racial or ethnic composition of neighborhoods.”

What caused this narrative that racist banks refused would-be minority borrowers?

Enter lawyers like then private citizen and attorney Barack Obama. In 1995, Obama, representing 186 blacks, filed a class action mortgage discrimination lawsuit against Citibank. The case was settled, and his clients got mortgages. But, according to the Daily Caller in 2012, just 19 of Obamas 186 clients still had their homes. About half had gone bankrupt and/or had their homes in foreclosure.

Incredibly, at least two of his former clients now believe banks should be prevented from lending to people who otherwise cannot afford their homes. One client said: “If you see some people don’t make enough money to afford the mortgage, why should you give them a loan? There should be some type of regulation against giving people loans they can’t afford.”

Lending standards became so lax that virtually anyone who could fog up a mirror got a home. Then along came the recession, and a lot of people lost homes that they would not have bought in the first place but for lax lending standards. The result? According to the Federal Reserve, from 2010 to 2013, white household median net worth — a household’s assets minus its liabilities — increased 2.4%. But black net worth fell from $16,600 to $11,000, a four-year drop of 34%. As another of Obama’s former clients put it, “(Banks) were too eager to lend money to many who didn’t qualify.”

In 1999, the Cato policy paper on the CRA made the following recommendation: “The Clinton administration wants an even stricter CRA. But more than two decades of its operation suggest that repealing rather than tightening the act would be the economically and socially responsible thing to do.”

Too bad nobody listened.
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Larry Elder (@larryelder) is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host, an American lawyer, writer and radio and television personality who is also known as the "Sage From South Central." To find out more about Larry Elder. Visit his website at LarryElder.com for list of other articles.

Tags: Larry Elder, commentary, The Great Recession, ‘Reparations’ Gone Bad To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Media Lawyer Explains Why CNN Settlement in Libel Case Is a Big Deal

by Jarrett Stepman: Will media outlets learn the right lessons after CNN settled in a lawsuit with Nick Sandmann, the MAGA-hat wearing teen who became the center of a widely botched, viral story?

“No. They don’t learn.”

That was the answer from Charles Glasser, a lawyer who teaches media ethics and law at New York University and the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York, in an interview with The Daily Signal.

Sandmann became the center of a media storm nearly one year ago after a viral video emerged of him wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat and standing in front of a Native American man at the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

A deluge of media outlets portrayed Sandmann as the aggressor and a racist before more facts emerged to disprove that narrative.

“I keep wishing and I keep hoping that they will learn their lesson, that being responsible instead of being first wins the day,” Glasser said.

Glasser, who is also a legal adviser to The Daily Signal and former global media counsel to Bloomberg News, said that the media’s handling of the Sandmann story was very similar to what happened to Richard Jewell.

Jewell, who is now the subject of a recently released movie directed by Clint Eastwood, “Richard Jewell,” became the center of a similar media controversy when the Atlanta Journal-Constitution connected him to a bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

Jewell was eventually cleared of any wrongdoing.

“This is playing out, at least so far, both legally and in the real world, very much like the trials and tribulations of Richard Jewell,” Glasser said, where one outlet publishes a false story and then numerous other publications follow suit.

Jewell took legal action and sued a variety of media outlets.

“What Jewell did, and we’re seeing it here … the plaintiff’s team [is] pushing for a settlement on those republishers,” Glasser said.

A Strange Argument on Racism
What is particularly interesting and mostly overlooked about the CNN case, Glasser said, is the legal arguments it was using to avoid legal repercussions.

“[CNN] initially filed a motion to dismiss, making the argument that calling somebody a ‘racist’ is not a provable fact and therefore does not rise to the level of libel,” Glasser said. “I think it’s extremely telling—it really got overlooked—that CNN argued that there can’t be a factual basis for calling somebody a racist.”

Glasser cited CNN’s argument in a short article on Instapundit. CNN argued:
Courts treat statements characterizing people as “racist” as nonactionable opinion because they cannot be proved true or false. … Sandmann cannot as a matter of law base a defamation claim on this statement as it offers an expression of opinion so subjective as to be unprovable.The problem with this line of argument, Glasser said, is that CNN analysts frequently call President Donald Trump and others racist as a statement of fact.

“It’s fascinating that there is a news organization that will look the [audience] right in the eye and say, ‘We report facts and the fact is, Trump is a racist,’” Glasser said. “To go into court and say that it’s not a possible fact, it can’t be a fact, that’s a disconnect that really deserves, from a societal standpoint, some thought and discussion.”

Though CNN is in the news business, and frequently labels Trump a racist, in court it argues that calling someone racist is not fact-based, but an opinion, Glasser said.

“So you’ve got this political, societal section that says that being a racist is bad … and at the same time they go into court and say it’s not provably true, calling somebody a racist,” Glasser said. “I find that stunning.”

Glasser explained why he thinks CNN settled in its case with Sandmann, which ended up being for an undisclosed amount of money, instead of trying to win outright.

“The sympathy out there and the attitude of the American jury pool no longer sees reporters as Woodward and Bernstein crusading, but instead they think of Jayson Blair and Sabrina Erdely who make things up to suit their own agenda,” Glasser said.

Blair was a New York Times reporter who resigned in 2003 over making up information in stories, and Erdely was a reporter for Rolling Stone Magazine whose story about a student who claimed to be raped at the University of Virginia turned out not to be true.

CNN’s desire to avoid discovery, a legal process in which the court may obtain emails and other communications that can act as evidence in the trial, could also be a reason for settling out of court rather than continuing the fight.

“A lot of material, it may have been embarrassing or case-killing, it could have been discoverable,” Glasser said. “I’m not saying that there was anything like that, I’m not aware of anything like that, but it certainly goes into the mix.”

The Right Outcome?
Glasser said he is not a proponent of heavy-handed financial costs for media outlets, which could hamper the field of journalism. He instead argued that the best solution in the Sandmann case would be for outlets to issue a public apology:
If I were Sandmann, instead of asking for money … my big ask would be an on-air correction and an on-air apology, and, you know, something in the permanent record of the internet, that they would publish a retraction and apologize. I think that’s the equitable thing and that’s the right thing.At the end of the day, media outlets can protect themselves by focusing on getting the facts correct before publishing rather than rushing to be first, Glasser said, especially in cases where there isn’t a compelling public interest in running the story.

Nevertheless, the media has an obligation, especially in cases where a minor is involved, to report in a clear and precise way.

“That’s where they took a wrong turn,” Glasser said.
--------------------
Jarrett Stepman (@JarrettStepman) is an contributor of The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of History podcast.

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