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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 24, 2020

Vice President Pence’s Big Week

Vice President Pence Visits With Pope Francis 
by Newt Gingrich: As Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen, and their daughter-in-law Sarah got off Air Force Two in Rome this morning, it hit me what an action-packed week they have had.

Monday was a memorial service for Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. at Holy City Church of God in Christ in Memphis, Tennessee.

Thursday, the Pences were in Jerusalem at the Auschwitz Remembrance Day ceremony with leaders from 50 other nations.

Now, today, they are in Rome as the Vice President visits with Pope Francis and meets with leaders of the Italian government.

What is impressive about the range of activity of the week (in both geography and substance) is how strong Vice President Pence’s messages have been.

In Memphis, he articulated the importance of Reverend King for all of us – outlining the moral cause he represents and the need for each of us to be committed to a unified America in which every person truly has the opportunity to pursue happiness.

Here is Vice President Pence speaking to the Holy City Church of God:“Dr. King could see all that ahead because he had hope. And that hope came from his faith in God. As he said during his famous march in 1963, quote, ‘This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.’ He went on to say, ‘With this faith, we will be able to work together, pray together, struggle together, go to jail together, stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.’ For Dr. King knew: ‘Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.’

“So, in these divided times, let’s remember the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Let’s remember his leadership of a movement. Let’s remember his call to uphold our most cherished ideals. But let’s also remember his faith.

“Dr. King challenged the conscience of a nation to live up to our highest ideals by speaking to our common foundation of faith. He touched the hearts of millions of Americans, and his words continue to inspire through this day. …

“And as we mark this Founder’s Day at Holy City; tomorrow, as Americans remember the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I know in my heart of hearts that if we rededicate ourselves to the ideals that he advanced, if we strive to open doors of opportunities for every American, and if we more faithfully follow the one that he followed, we’ll see our way through these divided times, and we’ll do our part, in our time, to form a more perfect union in this one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
This was truly a powerful unifying message in our divided, troubled times.

Then, in Jerusalem, the Vice President spoke eloquently at the 5th World Holocaust Forum at Yad Vashem:“Here on Mount Herzl, we gather to fulfill a solemn obligation – an obligation of remembrance: to never allow the memory of those who died in the Holocaust to be forgotten by anyone, anywhere in the world.

“The word ‘remember’ appears no fewer than 169 times in the Hebrew Bible — for memory is the constant obligation of all generations.

“And today we pause to remember what President Donald Trump rightly called the ‘dark stain on human history’ — the greatest evil ever perpetuated by man against man in the long catalogue of human crime.

“The faces of a million and a half children reduced to smoke under a silent sky for the crime of having a single Jewish grandparent. The night Elie Wiesel called ‘seven times sealed’ consumed the faith of so many then and challenges the faith of so many still.

“Today we remember what happens when the powerless cry for help and the powerful refuse to answer….”
Vice President Pence went on to speak directly about Auschwitz and the more than 1.1 million who perished there at the hands of the Nazis.“As my wife and I can attest firsthand, from this past year, one cannot walk the grounds of Auschwitz without being overcome with emotion and grief. One cannot see the piles of shoes, the gas chambers, the crematoriums, the lone boxcar facing the gate to the camp, and those grainy photographs of men, women, and children being sent to their deaths without asking: ‘How could they?’”Turning from the past to the future, the Vice President announced that Prime Minister Netanyahu, along with Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz, will soon come to the White House to meet with President Trump to work out regional challenges and ways to return peace to the Holy Land.

Then, after all this, the Vice President and his wife joined us in Rome. Their endurance leaving Israel very early, landing in Rome, and going directly to a long audience with the Holy Father, was impressive to say the least.

The Associated Press described just how successful his visit was, reporting: “Pence’s visit and audience – at an hour’s length, a remarkably long one at the Vatican, especially for one not involving a head of state.”

As ambassador, my wife Callista has gotten to know the senior Vatican officials incredibly well. She reports that the meeting with the top Vatican officials after the audience with the Pope went very well and covered a number of practical topics where the United States and the Vatican can cooperate around the world. Vice President Pence and his wife Karen made an extremely favorable impression on the Vatican leadership and strengthened our position in working together on humanitarian issues and on religious liberty.

Since Rome contains both the Vatican and the capital of Italy, the Vice President extended his visit to include separate meetings with Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Premier Giuseppe Conte.

If this isn’t enough, they are traveling with their daughter-in-law Sarah, whose husband Michael is a captain in the Marines. The Second Lady is meeting with military spouses as they travel.

Finally, the Vice President was also going to broadcast a talk to the Right to Life March in Washington. His commitment to life, combined with President Trump becoming the first President to speak at the Right to Life March, makes this a truly historic date for those who want to protect the lives of innocents.

And, of course, as the Senate drones on in the most absurd impeachment effort in history, the Vice President has taken every opportunity to stand with the President and bluntly describe the phony and unconstitutional process the Democrats have undertaken.

It has been an amazing week for the Vice President and his family. They have worked steadily to strengthen causes of life, liberty, dignity, and justice.
----------------------
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, Vice President, Mike Pence, big week To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Joe Biden Warns Media Against 'Misinformation' About His Son

Free Press International News Service: In a memo from his campaign this week, Joe Biden warned the media that reporting on the allegations against his son Hunter Biden, a central figure in the impeachment case against President Donald Trump, would make them “enablers of misinformation.”

While he was vice president, and the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine, Biden forced the firing of Ukraine’s top prosecutor, who was investigating the Ukrainian company, Burisma Holdings, where Hunter Biden worked as a highly compensated board member despite a total lack of experience.

Nevertheless, the Biden memo calls the allegation a “conspiracy theory” and specifically blames investigative reporter John Solomon, who has been out front in the Joe Biden/Hunter Biden scandal coverage.

Even as the memo was being circulated, a report said that Hunter Biden was preparing in the event that he is called to testify in the Senate impeachment trial.

“Hunter is taking no chances, he knows that he could get called as a witness any day so he wants to be fully prepared, he’s going over every fine detail,” a source told the Daily Mail on Wednesday. “He’s taking the trial very seriously and wants to make sure he’s ready for whatever the Republicans throw at him.”

The Washington Post on Wednesday quoted Joe Biden himself as saying that it "looked bad" that Hunter Biden was on the Burisma board.

“No one has suggested my son did anything wrong,” Biden said, according to the Post. “There’s nobody that’s indicated there’s a single solitary thing he did that was inappropriate or wrong — other than the appearance. It looked bad that he was there.”

The Biden campaign memo claims there is no evidence that either of the Bidens' conduct raised any concern, and that Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin’s investigation was “dormant” when Joe Biden forced the prosecutor to be fired.

“But the memo omits critical impeachment testimony and other evidence that paint a far different portrait than Biden’s there’s-nothing-to-talk-about-here rebuttal,” Solomon noted in a Jan. 21 report.

Solomon went on to list the public evidence:

Fact: Joe Biden admitted to forcing Shokin’s firing in March 2016.

It is irrefutable, and not a conspiracy theory, that Joe Biden bragged in a 2018 speech to a foreign policy group that he threatened in March 2016 to withhold $1 billion in U.S. aid to Kiev if then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko didn’t immediately fire Shokin.

Fact: Shokin’s prosecutors were actively investigating Burisma when he was fired.

While some news organizations cited by the Biden memo have reported the investigation was “dormant” in March 2016, official files released by the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office, in fact, show there was substantial investigative activity in the weeks just before Joe Biden forced Shokin’s firing.

The corruption investigations into Burisma and its founder began in 2014. Around the same time, Hunter Biden and his U.S. business partner Devon Archer were added to Burisma’s board, and their Rosemont Seneca Bohais firm began receiving regular $166,666 monthly payments, which totaled nearly $2 million a year. Both banks records seized by the FBI in America and Burisma’s own ledgers in Ukraine confirm these payments.

In mid-February 2016, Latvian law enforcement sent an alert to Ukrainian prosecutors flagging several payments from Burisma to American accounts as “suspicious.” The payments included some monies to Hunter Biden’s and Devon Archer’s firm. Latvian authorities recently confirmed it sent the alert.

Shokin told both Solomon and ABC News that just before he was fired under pressure from Joe Biden he also was making plans to interview Hunter Biden.

Fact: Burisma’s lawyers in 2016 were pressing U.S. and Ukrainian authorities to end the corruption investigations.

Burisma’s main U.S. lawyer, John Buretta, acknowledged in a February 2017 interview with a Ukrainian newspaper that the company remained under investigation in 2016, until he negotiated for one case to be dismissed and the other to be settled by payment of a large tax penalty.

Documents released under an open records lawsuit show Burisma’s legal team was pressuring the U.S. State Department in February 2016 to end the corruption allegations against the gas firm and specifically invoked Hunter Biden’s name as part of the campaign. You can read those documents here.

Fact: There is substantial evidence Joe Biden and his office knew about the Burisma probe and his son’s role as a board member.

The New York Times reported in December 2015 that the Burisma investigation was ongoing and Hunter Biden’s role in the company was undercutting Joe Biden’s push to fight Ukrainian corruption. The article quoted the vice president’s office.

In addition, Hunter Biden acknowledged in an interview published in the New Yorker last July that he had discussed his Burisma job with his father on one occasion and that his father responded by saying he hoped the younger Biden knew what he was doing.

And when America’s new ambassador to Ukraine was being confirmed in 2016 before the Senate she was specifically advised to refer questions about Hunter Biden, Burisma and the probe to Joe Biden’s VP office, according to State Department documents.

Fact: Federal Ethics rules require government officials to avoid taking policy actions affecting close relatives.

Office of Government Ethics rules require all government officials to recuse themselves from any policy actions that could impact a close relative or cause a reasonable person to see the appearance of a conflict of interest or question their impartiality.

“The impartiality rule requires an employee to consider appearance concerns before participating in a particular matter if someone close to the employee is involved as a party to the matter,” these rules state. “This requirement to refrain from participating (or recuse) is designed to avoid the appearance of favoritism in government decision-making.”

Fact: Multiple State Department officials testified the Bidens’ dealings in Ukraine created the appearance of a conflict of interest.

In House impeachment testimony, Obama-era State Department officials declared the juxtaposition of Joe Biden overseeing Ukraine policy, including the anti-corruption efforts, at the same time his son Hunter worked for a Ukraine gas firm under corruption investigation created the appearance of a conflict of interest.

In fact, deputy assistant secretary of state George Kent said he was so concerned by Burisma’s corrupt reputation that he blocked a project the State Department had with Burisma and tried to warn Joe Biden’s office about the concerns about an apparent conflict of interest.

Likewise, the House Democrats’ star impeachment witness, former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovich, agreed the Bidens’ role in Ukraine created an ethics issue. “I think that it could raise the appearance of a conflict of interest,” she testified.

Fact: Hunter Biden acknowledged he may have gotten his Burisma job solely because of his last name.

In an interview last summer, Hunter Biden said it might have been a “mistake” to serve on the Burisma board and that it was possible he was hired simply because of his proximity to the vice president.

“If your last name wasn’t Biden, do you think you would’ve been asked to be on the board of Burisma?,” a reporter asked.

“I don’t know. I don’t know. Probably not, in retrospect,” Hunter Biden answered. “But that’s — you know — I don’t think that there’s a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden.”

Fact: Ukraine law enforcement reopened the Burisma investigation in early 2019, well before President Trump mentioned the matter to Ukraine’s new president Volodymyr Zelensky.

This may be the single biggest under-reported fact in the impeachment scandal: four months before Trump and Zelensky had their infamous phone call, Ukraine law enforcement officials officially reopened their investigation into Burisma and its founder.

The effort began independent of Trump or his lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s legal work. In fact, it was the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) – the very agency Joe Biden and the Obama administration helped start – that recommended in February 2019 to reopen the probe.

NABU director Artem Sytnyk announced that he was recommending a new notice of suspicion be opened to launch the case against Burisma and its founder because of new evidence uncovered by detectives.

Ukrainian officials said that new evidence included records suggesting a possible money laundering scheme dating to 2010 and continuing until 2015.

In March 2019, Deputy Prosecutor General Konstantin Kulyk officially filed a notice of suspicion reopening the case.

And Reuters recently quoted Ukrainian officials as saying the ongoing probe was expanded to allegations of theft of public funds.

The implications of this timetable are significant to the Trump impeachment trial because the president couldn’t have pressured Ukraine to reopen the investigation in July 2019 when Kiev had already done so on its own, months earlier.

Solomon’s complete timeline of all the key events in the Ukraine scandal can be seen here.
-----------------------
Free Press International News Service, akaFree Pressers (@FreePressers).

Tags: Free Press International News Service, Joe Biden, Warns Media Against, 'Misinformation' About His Son To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Impeachment Trial Day 3: Can We Get a Witness?

. . . Haggling over witnesses continues, Nadler blows it, and Schiff whiffs on the truth.
by Nate Jackson: As we reflect on Day 3 of the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, three things stand out:

Witnesses and the whistleblower
Senators continue to haggle over whether to call additional witnesses and who those witnesses might be. Democrats still want former National Security Advisor John Bolton and White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Republicans maintain that the House should have done its job in calling witnesses and that the Senate is responsible only to try the evidence at hand. Nevertheless, if witnesses must be called, they want to question Joe and Hunter Biden, and of course Adam Schiff and his so-called “whistleblower.”

As Mark Alexander notes: "The Democrats’ entire case hinges on Trump’s request that Ukrainian officials investigate how Hunter Biden landed his sweetheart deal with Burisma. Anyone with an IQ above 50 (which apparently excludes most House and Senate Democrats) can connect the dots between how Ukrainians wanted to purchase favor with then VP Joe Biden by giving Hunter $850,000. For Demos to resist putting the Bidens on a witness list is absurd.“

Democrats even opened the door to Hunter’s testimony by protesting a bit too loudly that he has nothing to do with corruption allegations against his father.

Alexander added: "And of course the so-called ‘whistleblower,’ Obama’s deep-stater Eric Ciaramella, and his handler Adam Schiff would also have to be on the witness list. If Schiff was questioned, that would reveal his collusion with Ciaramella and the whole case could unravel.”

Democrats are even more concerned about Ciaramella now that investigative journalist Paul Sperry revealed this inconvenient tidbit: “Barely two weeks after Donald Trump took office, Eric Ciaramella — the CIA analyst whose name was recently linked in a tweet by the president and mentioned by lawmakers as the anonymous ‘whistleblower’ who touched off Trump’s impeachment — was overheard in the White House discussing with another staffer how to remove the newly elected president from office, according to former colleagues.”

And Fox News’s Laura Ingraham reported that the whistleblower also has some extremely inconvenient connections to the Bidens and Burisma.

Clearly Democrats do not want any of them to see the light of day in this Senate trial – with the exception of Bernie Sanders, whose rising political fortunes will benefit from the Biden appearances.

Nadler’s accusation backfires
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, whose personal animus toward Trump dates back to the early 1980s, challenged Republicans on witnesses. “Will you bring Ambassador Bolton here? Will you permit us to present you with the entire record of the president’s misconduct?” he asked. “Or will you instead choose to be complicit in the president’s cover-up? So far, I’m sad to say, I see a lot of senators voting for a cover-up, voting to deny witnesses. [It’s] an absolutely indefensible vote — obviously a treacherous vote.”

That “cover-up” language is part of the Democrats’ strategy to win the Senate by accusing Senate Republicans of obstructing a fair trial. But, for now at least, Nadler’s hyperbolic charge appears to have backfired.

GOP senators rejected Nadler’s characterization. Susan Collins said she was “stunned by Congressman Nadler’s approach,” while Lisa Murkowski said she was “offended,” and Ron Johnson called it “offensive.”

Nadler may have just united Republicans against voting to call any witnesses. Nice work.

Schiff’s whiff
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff gave an impassioned speech Thursday to make the case against Trump, though he led with a “joke” about hoping senators “don’t choose imprisonment” over paying attention to him. He opined at length with an exceedingly mendacious interpretation of events before concluding, “If right doesn’t matter, we’re lost. If the truth doesn’t matter, we’re lost. The Framers couldn’t protect us from ourselves if right and truth don’t matter.”

To hear Schiff lecture on right and truth is laughably absurd. Schiff was completely wrong about FISA surveillance of Trump’s campaign, which launched impeachment charade No. 1. He’s the man who, as we mentioned, colluded with the whistleblower through his staffers and then lied about it. He knew the case against Trump was so weak he fabricated Trump’s conversation for dramatic effect.

Moreover, Schiff’s party calls a preborn baby a clump of cells that can be aborted. Schiff’s party says a man can claim he’s a woman and play women’s sports and use women’s bathrooms. Schiff’s party claims that marriage can mean two men. Schiff’s party believes that taking your money to pay someone else who doesn’t work is the moral thing to do. Schiff’s party believes that Trump is corrupt and that American voters can’t be trusted to weigh in.

Is this really the man or the party to judge the president or to lecture anyone about right and truth?
------------------
Nate Jackson is managing editor at The Patriot Post.

Tags: Hunter Biden, impeachment, trial day 3, can we get, a witness., Nate Jackson, The Patriot Post  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

‘Stories of Pain and Misery’ Moved Lawmaker to Take Action on Childhood Gender Transition

by Tony Perkins: State Rep. Fred Deutsch didn’t set out to be a trailblazer. He just wanted to protect kids. But if his South Dakota bill stops children from being mutilated, then all of the nasty emails will have been worth it.

At least in one state, hurting teens will have a chance at a normal life—not the suffering so many activists are pushing them toward.

When legislators bundled up for work Jan. 22 in Pierre, some of them were on their way to make history. For the first time in America, a state was holding a hearing on whether minors under 16 should be allowed to surgically or chemically alter their sex.

Deutsch says he didn’t really plan on authoring a bill like the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, but at some point, you just can’t turn away from the suffering these “treatments” are causing.

“You know, my involvement with this was … accidental,” he told me on “Washington Watch” Tuesday.

I just ran across stories of pain and suffering from young people on the internet and Twitter. And then I was led to a couple of sites on Reddit. I’d never been on there before … but it’s where a lot of these children who are hurting go, and they share their stories of pain and misery. And many of them didn’t understand what they were getting themselves into. So that moved me. You know, it’s not hard to be compassionate when you care about kids. And it [drove] me to research if any of this was being done in South Dakota—and I found out it was.He remembers that he was astonished to learn that children are being pushed into puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones that most of medicine hasn’t even studied for long-term consequences. And yet, Deutsch explains, doctors are prescribing testosterone to girls and estrogen to boys in “ultra-high mega-doses, as well as, [encouraging] mastectomies and what they call the bottom surgery. [All of which,]” he warns, are “irreversible.”

As Deutsch looked more and more into this fad, he was horrified by the number of young adults who’d gone through this and said it was a mistake.

“You know,” Deutsch explained, “the folks on the other side of the argument talk about puberty blockers as being a ‘pause button.’ And I’m saying, you know what? A much better possibility is just don’t give them the drugs or surgeries. Let them wait! Because according to the literature and all the studies over some 40 years, on average, about 85 percent of these kids will just come to acknowledge their normal natural [sex] that they’re born with if you don’t mess with them with drugs or surgery. So isn’t that a much better, ‘pause button?’ I think so.”

So does his South Dakota committee, which just voted 8-5 Jan. 22 to move his bill to the Statehouse floor.

And while critics say he’s intolerant, Deutsch explained that nothing could be farther from the truth. There’s “no contradiction,” he pointed out, between his respect for people who identify as transgender and his conviction “that irreversible and experimental surgical and chemical interference with a child’s sexual development is morally indefensible.”

Look, he told me, there may be opposition to this bill, but “if you care about kids, I think you have to prioritize them. And in South Dakota, we don’t allow mutilation of our children. I don’t care if it’s doctors. I don’t care if it’s parents.

You know, these kids on the internet, they share pictures of themselves that just blow you away—of all these surgical scars, and it’s terrible. That should not ever be allowed. To me, that’s a crime against humanity when these procedures are done by these so-called doctors … that dance on the edge of medicine …

You know, I’m the son of a Holocaust survivor. I’ve had family members killed in Auschwitz. And I’ve seen the pictures of the bizarre medical experiments. I don’t want that to happen to our kids. And that’s what’s going on right now.”
State Rep. Fred Deutsch didn’t set out to be a trailblazer. He just wanted to protect kids. But if his South Dakota bill stops children from being mutilated, then all of the nasty emails will have been worth it.

At least in one state, hurting teens will have a chance at a normal life—not the suffering so many activists are pushing them toward.

When legislators bundled up for work Jan. 22 in Pierre, some of them were on their way to make history. For the first time in America, a state was holding a hearing on whether minors under 16 should be allowed to surgically or chemically alter their sex.

Deutsch says he didn’t really plan on authoring a bill like the Vulnerable Child Protection Act, but at some point, you just can’t turn away from the suffering these “treatments” are causing.

In these trying times, we must turn to the greatest document in the history of the world to promise freedom and opportunity to its citizens for guidance. Find out more now >>

“You know, my involvement with this was … accidental,” he told me on “Washington Watch” Tuesday.

I just ran across stories of pain and suffering from young people on the internet and Twitter. And then I was led to a couple of sites on Reddit. I’d never been on there before … but it’s where a lot of these children who are hurting go, and they share their stories of pain and misery. And many of them didn’t understand what they were getting themselves into. So that moved me. You know, it’s not hard to be compassionate when you care about kids. And it [drove] me to research if any of this was being done in South Dakota—and I found out it was.

He remembers that he was astonished to learn that children are being pushed into puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones that most of medicine hasn’t even studied for long-term consequences. And yet, Deutsch explains, doctors are prescribing testosterone to girls and estrogen to boys in “ultra-high mega-doses, as well as, [encouraging] mastectomies and what they call the bottom surgery. [All of which,]” he warns, are “irreversible.”

As Deutsch looked more and more into this fad, he was horrified by the number of young adults who’d gone through this and said it was a mistake.

“You know,” Deutsch explained, “the folks on the other side of the argument talk about puberty blockers as being a ‘pause button.’ And I’m saying, you know what? A much better possibility is just don’t give them the drugs or surgeries. Let them wait! Because according to the literature and all the studies over some 40 years, on average, about 85 percent of these kids will just come to acknowledge their normal natural [sex] that they’re born with if you don’t mess with them with drugs or surgery. So isn’t that a much better, ‘pause button?’ I think so.”

So does his South Dakota committee, which just voted 8-5 Jan. 22 to move his bill to the Statehouse floor.

And while critics say he’s intolerant, Deutsch explained that nothing could be farther from the truth. There’s “no contradiction,” he pointed out, between his respect for people who identify as transgender and his conviction “that irreversible and experimental surgical and chemical interference with a child’s sexual development is morally indefensible.”

Look, he told me, there may be opposition to this bill, but “if you care about kids, I think you have to prioritize them. And in South Dakota, we don’t allow mutilation of our children. I don’t care if it’s doctors. I don’t care if it’s parents.

You know, these kids on the internet, they share pictures of themselves that just blow you away—of all these surgical scars, and it’s terrible. That should not ever be allowed. To me, that’s a crime against humanity when these procedures are done by these so-called doctors … that dance on the edge of medicine …

You know, I’m the son of a Holocaust survivor. I’ve had family members killed in Auschwitz. And I’ve seen the pictures of the bizarre medical experiments. I don’t want that to happen to our kids. And that’s what’s going on right now.”

A measure like this one that protects children from making the mistake of their lives, is one of the most important things state leaders can do. We applaud South Dakota and urge others to step forward and do the same.
-----------------------
Tony Perkins (@tperkins) is President of the Family Research Council . This article was shared on The Daily Signal.

Tags: Tony Perkins, FRC, The Daily Signal, ‘Stories of Pain and Misery,’ Moved Lawmaker, to Take Action on, Childhood Gender Transition To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump Stands For Life, The Deep State Scandal, The Wuhan Virus

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Trump Stands For Life
Today is one of my favorite days of the year – the annual March For Life. Every year hundreds of thousands of people come to Washington, D.C. -- in January! -- to march for the sanctity of life. That tells you something about the dedication of the pro-life movement.

Usually the "mainstream media" totally ignores the march. But they couldn't ignore this year's march because President Trump made history today by becoming the first sitting United States president to address the March For Life! Here are a few excerpts of the president's remarks:

"We're here for a very simple reason -- to defend the right of every child, born and unborn, to fulfill their God-given potential. For 47 years, Americans of all backgrounds have traveled from across the country to stand for life. And today as president of the United States, I am truly proud to stand with you. . .

"All of us here today understand an eternal truth – every child is a precious and sacred gift from God. Together we must protect, cherish and defend the dignity and the sanctity of every human life. When we see the image of a baby in the womb, we glimpse the majesty of God's creation. . . As the Bible tells us, each person is wonderfully made. . .

"To all of the moms here today, we celebrate you and we declare that mothers are heroes. Your strength, devotion and drive is what powers our nation. And because of you our country has been blessed with amazing souls who have changed the course of human history. . .

"We know this: Every life brings love into this world. Every child brings joy to a family. Every person is worth protecting. And above all, we know that every human soul is divine and every human life, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of Almighty God."


If you missed the president's March For Life address, you can watch it here:


And the president is continuing to lead on this critical issue. Today, the Trump Administration formally notified the state of California that it is violating federal conscience laws by mandating abortion coverage in all health insurance policies.

The state's abortion mandate was challenged by an order of Catholic nuns and Skyline Wesleyan Church. The state has 30 days to repeal the mandate or risk losing federal funds.

In related news, the Trump campaign announced its "Pro-Life Voices For Trump" coalition today. Having dedicated my entire adult life to defending the sanctity of life, I am proud to be an advisory board member of "Pro-Life Voices For Trump." This president has proudly stood for the unalienable right to life, and I am proud to stand with him!

Pro-Life America
A new Marist poll released this week finds overwhelming support for pro-life policies. For example:
  • 70% of those surveyed support significant limits to abortion.
  • Only 21% support abortion on demand.
  • 60% oppose taxpayer funding of abortion.
  • 75% oppose the use of their tax dollars to perform abortions overseas.
  • 62% believe the Supreme Court should allow states to regulate abortion.
In the coming weeks, the court will have an opportunity to do just that when it considers a challenge to a Louisiana law requiring abortionists to meet certain health and safety standards.

The Louisiana law is similar to Texas law the high court struck down in 2016 in a 5-to-3 vote after Justice Scalia had passed away. But the Supreme Court has changed significantly since then. President Trump nominated Justice Neil Gorsuch to replace Scalia and Justice Brett Kavanaugh to replace Anthony Kennedy, who was the deciding fifth vote in the Texas case.

The Deep State Scandal
Late yesterday there was breaking news that the Justice Department informed the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that it was wrong to renew the last two warrants to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Better late than never, I guess.

Many media outlets glossed over the news, often with tepid headlines that downplayed the importance of the story. We've just been told that the Deep State effort to investigate, undermine and delegitimize a duly-elected president, by spying on an innocent American who was part of the campaign, was illegal!

Every citizen should be outraged by this gross abuse of power and the gross politicization of our intelligence agencies. Once again, we're seeing that President Trump was right to fire James Comey, that all the hype about Russian collusion was an absurd hoax, that the Mueller investigation was a colossal waste of $30 million.

But don't hold your breath waiting for Rachel Maddow or Adam Schiff to apologize for misleading the country or accusing the president of being a Russian asset.

The Wuhan Virus
A few folks have asked me this week how concerned they should be about the coronavirus from Wuhan, China. For now, I think the answer is that we haven't been told enough yet to know how concerned we should be.

Chinese communist authorities are notorious for hiding the truth. We don't know for certain how many people are infected and how many have died. We don't know enough yet to know for certain if this is just another random flu or another Spanish flu, which killed 50 million people worldwide in 1918.

Rising additional concern is that communist China's reaction to this outbreak seems over-the-top based on what we know so far. To shutdown travel and isolate Wuhan, a city of 11 million people and bigger than New York City, does not seem like a reasonable reaction if just a variant of the flu is going around. According to the latest news, Beijing has now imposed restrictions on more than 30 million people.

Here's another curiosity: China announced that it is immediately constructing a new hospital -- just for the people stricken with the "Wuhan virus." It also closed 70,000 movies theaters across the country in order to discourage crowds. That makes sense if this is a "killer virus."

On the other hand, thousands of people may have contracted the virus but never got sick enough to go to the hospital and have since recovered. If that ends up being true, then this is just another viral flu.
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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, Trump Stands For Life, The Deep State Scandal, The Wuhan Virus To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump Champions Pro-Life Cause

by Bill Donohue: Other presidents have offered their support to the pro-life cause, but only President Donald Trump has decided to participate in the March for Life. His pro-life record, coupled with his record in defense of religious liberty, makes him the most important Christian voice in the United States. No president, including President Ronald Reagan, can match his stellar achievements on these twin issues.

By contrast, we have the likes of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, both of whom have endorsed infanticide: there are no penalties for doctors who intentionally allow an innocent baby to die if he or she survives a botched abortion. However, First Prize goes to California Governor Gavin Newsom: he out-Hitlerized both men.

Earlier this month, Newsom said he wants to stop euthanizing animals. “We want to be a no-kill state.” Yet last year he issued a California Proclamation on Reproductive Freedom, one part of which was designed to welcome “women to California to fully exercise their reproductive rights.” In other words, his enthusiasm for killing the least among us is so passionate that he extended an open invitation to pregnant women across the United States to have their babies killed in his home state.

It will surprise no one to learn that Newsom is also a proponent of assisted suicide. Indeed, he likes it so much that he boasts of his role in assisting a person to commit suicide in 2002. That person was his mother. [At that time assisted suicide was a felony in California—he put her down in San Francisco.]

It’s too bad Mr. “No-Kill State” Newsom didn’t think of his mother the way he thinks of hamsters.

These are sick times. Kudos to President Trump for standing up for the most defenseless human beings. He looks positively angelic next to these monsters.
Pro-life Editorial Cartoon by Gary Vavel
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Bill Donohue (@CatholicLeague) is a sociologist and president of the Catholic League. Gary Vavel pro-life cartoon added by ARRA News Service Editor

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Historians Say New York Times Gets History Wrong

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: We live in history-making times. Not so much because of the impeachment trial going on in the Senate, which will make history only if it routinizes impeachments of impolite presidents when their opposition party gets control of the House, but because of what looks like an ongoing battle for control of the central narrative of American history.

That battle was opened back in August when The New York Times ran the first several articles of its 1619 Project. Named for the year when the first African slaves were offloaded in the dozen-year-old colony of Virginia, the central theme is that slavery and its effects are the central driving force in American history, the underpinning of everything from corporate capitalism to suburban sprawl.

The latest salvo on the other side comes from Princeton historian Sean Wilentz, writing in The Atlantic. Wilentz makes mincemeat of The 1619 Project lead Nikole Hannah-Jones' contention that protecting slavery was a main motive of the American Revolution, of her statement that Abraham Lincoln "opposed black equality" and of her avowal that blacks fought "alone" for equal rights after the Civil War.

Wilentz was also a co-signer of a letter to The Times lamenting factual errors in its articles, along with Brown University's Gordon Wood, Princeton's James McPherson and City University of New York's James Oakes. Wood is a premier historian of the American Revolution. "I don't know of any colonist who said that they wanted independence in order to preserve their slaves," he wrote in a separate letter to The Times' editor-in-chief, as reported by the World Socialist Web Site, which has taken an interest in the controversy. "No colonist expressed alarm that the mother country was out to abolish slavery in 1776."

McPherson, the leading scholar of the Civil War, said he was "disturbed by what seemed like a very unbalanced, one-sided account, which lacked context and perspective on the complexity of slavery." Oakes, a leading historian of Reconstruction, calls the idea that "slavery or racism is built into the DNA of America" one of several "really dangerous tropes." He adds: "They're not only ahistorical, they're actually anti-historical. The function of those tropes is to deny change over time."

Which helps explain why The 1619 Project makes short shrift of black leaders and their white allies who led successful fights to make enormous change. "One of the many odd things about the New York Times's '1619 Project,' on slavery," notes Steven Hayward, author of the two-volume "The Age of Reagan," "is that Martin Luther King Jr is barely mentioned (ditto Frederick Douglass)." Nor is there mention of A. Philip Randolph, organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, or the 1920s Harlem Renaissance.

Wilentz, McPherson and Oakes aren't conservative polemicists; Wilentz is a strong partisan Democrat and supporter of the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Their point is that The 1619 Project is inaccurate in many important respects -- on certain facts and, even more so, in the overall lesson it seeks to teach, as The Times promotes its use in schools.

As Wilentz told The Atlantic's Adam Serwer, "To teach children that the American Revolution was fought in part to secure slavery would be giving a fundamental misunderstanding not only of what the American Revolution was all about but what America stood for and has stood for since the Founding." Anti-slavery ideology was a "very new thing in the world in the 18th century ... there was more anti-slavery activity in the colonies than in Britain."

Or, as McPherson explains, every human society has had slavery, and the British Atlantic seaboard colonies were one of the first societies to spawn an anti-slavery movement, with several voting to abolish slavery in the first years of the republic.

One peculiar thing about The Times' effort to seize control of the central narrative of American history is that it comes just a few years after American voters elected and reelected an African American president. Barack Obama was only the seventh president (and only the third Democrat, after Andrew Jackson and Franklin Roosevelt) to win a majority of the popular vote twice in the 188 years it had been the primary means of determining electoral votes.

The election of Donald Trump has been taken by many of his critics, not least of whom is The Times, as the election of a racist by a racist country -- an irremediably racist country, if you take the view promoted by The 1619 Project. Slavery determines everything and always will. Serious historians criticize The Times' inaccuracies because they know that sometimes things can change for the better, and have changed for the better. We should not forget.
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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.

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Hillary Puts Bernie Into Her Basket of Deplorables

by Patrick Buchanan: It is difficult to see how this acrimony inside the Democratic Party — over the character, record, ideology and alleged sexism of Sen. Bernie Sanders — ends well for the Democrats.

“Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician.” So says Hillary Clinton of her former Senate colleague and 2016 rival for the Democratic nomination, Bernie Sanders.

Her assessment of Sanders’ populist-socialist agenda?

“It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.”

Does that assessment still hold with Sanders now running strong in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, and having emerged, according to The New York Times, as “the dominant liberal force in the 2020 race”?

“Yes, it does,” said Clinton, who left open the possibility she might not support Sanders if he became the nominee.

In her interview with The Hollywood Reporter to promote a documentary that premieres Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, Clinton also tore into Bernie’s backers.

“It is not only him. It’s the culture around him. It’s his leadership team. It’s his prominent supporters. It’s his online Bernie Bros and their relentless attacks on lots of his competitors, particularly the women,” said Clinton. “It should be worrisome that he has permitted this culture — not only permitted (he) seems to be very much supporting it.”

From her own words, Clinton regards Sanders as a nasty man running a misogynistic campaign and a political phony whose achievements are nonexistent and who lacks the temperament to be president.

As Clinton describes Sanders, he seems to fit nicely into her Trumpian “basket of deplorables.” Reflecting the significance of Clinton’s attack, The New York Times put it on Page 1.

This comes one week after Elizabeth Warren, at the end of the last debate, confronted Sanders, who had denied ever telling her a woman could not win the presidency.

“I think you just called me a liar on national TV,” said Warren, twice. Sanders assuredly had. He then accused Warren of lying.

This is “a part of a pattern,” says Clinton, noting that Sanders said in 2016 that she was not qualified to be president.

What is Hillary up to? She is “hellbent on stopping Sanders,” says Obama strategist David Axelrod.

The bad blood between Bernie and two leading women in the Democratic Party calls to mind the battle between Nelson Rockefeller and Barry Goldwater, which did not end well for the Republican Party in 1964.

While the eventual GOP nominee, Goldwater, lost in a 44-state landslide to Lyndon Johnson, the liberal Republican establishment that Rockefeller led would never again be able to nominate one of its own.

It is difficult to see how this acrimony inside the Democratic Party — over the character, record, ideology and alleged sexism of Sen. Bernie Sanders — ends well for the Democrats.

Already, Bernie’s backers believe the DNC “rigged” the nomination in 2016 by feigning neutrality while secretly aiding Clinton. If Sanders now fails in the first primaries and loses his last chance for the Democratic nomination because of the Clinton-Warren’s attacks, it is difficult to see how Bernie’s backers enthusiastically support Warren.

As for Bernie backing Biden, the raison d’etre of the liberal-radical wing of the party to whom Sanders is a hero is that the Democratic establishment consistently sells out progressive values.

Sanders’ crowd consists of true believers, a trademark of whom is militancy. Such folks often prefer defeat behind a principled leader to victory for a corporatist Democrat they regard as the enemy within.

Assume Bernie defeats Warren in Iowa, bests Biden in New Hampshire, and then goes on to win the nomination. Would women, a majority of whom vote Democratic, and who are indispensable to party victory, surge to the polls to install a president whom Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren describe as a sexist who ruined their own presidential hopes?

Would Democratic women come out to vote for a candidate who was responsible, in two successive presidential elections, for keeping the glass ceiling firmly intact over the heads of the Democratic Party’s leading female candidates? Bernie has made some bad enemies.

Ten days before the Iowa caucuses, the great unifier of the Democratic Party remains Donald Trump. But now, with Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina dead ahead, the Democrats’ focus is becoming: Who should replace Trump?

The rival claims of the constituent elements inside the party are rising to the fore. And what they reveal is a Democratic Party that is a coalition of groups that seem to be dividing along the lines of ideology, politics, race, class and culture.

Consider the most loyal of Democratic constituents in presidential elections: African Americans. They are 13% of the electorate but a fourth of the national Democratic vote.

Yet, of the six candidates for the nomination on stage in the last debate, not one was African American. Not one was Hispanic or Asian. Four were white men, and two were white women.

The lone outsider rising in the polls is another white man, a multibillionaire who is willing to spend a billion dollars to buy the presidential nomination of the party of the common man.
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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.

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Trump Builds International Anti-Abortion Coalition

Alex Azar, U.S. Secretary
Health & Human Services
by Stefano Gennarini, J.D.: Last week, the Trump administration hosted an international strategy meeting for ambassadors, ministers, and other government officials to discuss a way forward for the pro-life cause internationally.

“I stated this fact at the United Nations this past September, and I’ll repeat it here: there is no international human right to abortion. On the other hand, there is an international human right to life,” U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said in remarks during a gathering at Blair House. The meeting was attended by representatives of 34 countries representing 1.7 billion people.

“President Trump has been clear, at the U.N. and on the world stage: Health care exists to improve health and preserve human life,” Azar emphasized.

He thanked the countries for their help in promoting a positive vision for women’s health, protecting the lives of the most vulnerable, defending the important role of the family, and parents in particular, in the health and well-being of their children, and promoting respect national sovereignty.

Azar described the group of countries at the gathering as a “pro-life, pro-family, pro-sovereignty coalition that is a force to be reckoned with” and invited countries to help grow the coalition.

“We cannot stand still, because we have much work to do in 2020 and beyond,” Azar said.

“If the other side’s goal of making abortion an international human right becomes a reality, it will mean all countries with laws protecting the unborn will be in violation of international human rights laws, with all the consequences that could carry,” Azar explained.

Azar urged countries not to be complacent and to see the covert campaign to promote abortion internationally for what it is.

“I am sure you are all familiar with the constant drumbeat in the halls of the United Nations and the [World Health Organization] to normalize the terms ‘sexual and reproductive health’ and ‘reproductive rights,’” Azar said.

“In this context, it is increasingly becoming clear that some U.N. agencies and countries want this to mean unfettered access to abortion, and we cannot let this threat go unanswered,” Azar concluded.

While setting high aspirations, Azar did not ask countries to aim for unattainable goals. He said pro-life diplomacy in multilateral settings must be strategic in order to advance the pro-life cause effectively.

“We can fight to insert language making it clear to U.N. agencies and other countries that national context and local laws take precedence on these matters, providing protections for our countries even when we don’t prevail on definitional issues,” he said.

He urged countries to work with Special Representative for Global Women’s Health, Valerie Huber on the next steps for the coalition in the coming months.

This latest coalition building initiative cements the unprecedented steps taken by the Trump administration over the last six months to build a coalition of countries to advance the pro-life cause internationally.

Last year, 24 of the 34 countries who attended the gathering issued public statements in support of U.S. pro-life diplomacy.

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway, Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs Katalin Novák of Hungary, and the Deputy Chief of Mission Minister-Counselor Fernando Pimentel of Brazil also spoke at the meeting. The meeting was not open to civil society.
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Stefano Gennarini, J.D. is the Vice President for Legal Studies at the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam). He represents C-Fam at UN headquarters in New York and researches and writes on international law and policy for C-Fam, advising UN delegations and liaising with pro-family organization around the world.

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Sen. Boozman Recognizes Military Service of Retired Veteran

Col. Jesse Lewis, U.S. Army-Retired
ARRA News Service: U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) recognized the military career of Col. (retired) Jesse Lewis, a veteran of the Vietnam War, in ‘Salute to Veterans,’ a series recognizing the military service of Arkansans.

Lewis grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, the home of Naval Station Norfolk. He learned firsthand about military service from his father who served in the Navy and continued serving his country as a civilian at the naval base after concluding his time in uniform. After graduating from Old Dominion University, Lewis worked at a Norfolk YMCA. When he recognized he was about to be drafted, Lewis considered a career change.

“I had a fraternity brother who was in Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Fort Benning, Georgia and he had written me a letter and told me OCS was great. I should join the Army,” Lewis said.

He took the test and qualified for an OCS appointment.

“Of course my dad was quite proud. He’d tried to get me to go in the Navy since he’d been in the Navy, but I decided to go to the Army. After I was in Vietnam I wish I’d listened to him. He always said he’d had three hot meals and a warm place to sleep and here we were eating C-Rations in the rain,” Lewis laughed.

He attended basic training and advanced individual training at Fort Gordon, Georgia. After finishing OCS, Lewis was assigned as an executive officer to Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

“I had a car so I drove from Norfolk, Virginia to San Diego and then flew to Oahu, Hawaii,” Lewis recalled. “About a month later my car arrived, so I was able to go around the island and visit all the touristy places.”

Lewis spent 18 months in Hawaii training soldiers for combat in Vietnam before he deployed there himself in 1967. In Vietnam, he served as a battalion liaison officer. During the day, he flew with the colonel to each of the units to gather information about the number of enemy wounded and killed, in addition to weapons captured. Lewis would travel by jeep or helicopter to brief division headquarters about the field operations.

Lewis miraculously remained unscathed in two instances where the helicopter he was riding in was shot down. When his aircraft was targeted the second time, he decided to rethink his plan to remain in the Army. “Officers were pulling two and three tours in Vietnam then. I felt I was fortunate at that point to not be wounded so I decided I was not going to stay in. The battalion commander was quite upset with me,” Lewis said.

After Lewis separated from the Army, he joined the Pennsylvania National Guard. When he relocated to Fort Smith to work for Dixie Products, he joined the U.S. Army Reserve. During his serving in the USAR, his assignments included commanding three different battalions and serving as Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics for the 90th Army Reserve Command. In 1997, he retired from military service.

“Col. Lewis had a long and distinguished military career. He dedicated his life to serving his country. His memories of his time in uniform are an important part of our history as much as his own story. I am pleased to be able to collect and preserve his stories,” Boozman said.

Boozman will submit Lewis’ entire interview to the Veterans History Project, an initiative of the Library of Congress’s American Folklife Center to collect and retain the oral histories of our nation’s veterans.
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U.S Senator John Boozman represent Arkansas.

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Into the Abstract . . .

. . . Schiff is trying to convolute and complicate non-impeachable offenses in order to interfere with the 2020 election.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Beware Virginia’s Mistakes Or Your State May Be Next

by Richard McCarty: In recent years, Virginia has made a number of grave mistakes by electing out-of-touch liberal Democrats who are unfit for office. With the Democrats’ recent success at buying the state legislature with out-of-state contributions, Virginia residents can expect to soon begin paying dearly for those mistakes.

In 2017, Virginia elected Democrat Ralph Northam governor. During the election, Northam was endorsed by liberal newspapers even though he smeared his opponents portraying them as violent racists.

Subsequently, voters learned that Northam had worn blackface, that his nickname was “Coonman” in college, and that he had a photo of someone dressed as a Klansman and someone in blackface on his page in his medical school yearbook. Although Northam initially admitted that he was in the photo in the yearbook, he reversed course the next day and denied it.

Ridiculously, Northam claimed not to know how he acquired his racist nickname in college or how the racist photo wound up on his yearbook page. Embarrassed, members of his party and the media joined Republicans in calling for his resignation, but Northam refused. Before long, his party and the media embraced him once again.

Unfortunately, electing Northam was not the only poor choice Virginia made in 2017. It also elected Democrat Justin Fairfax lieutenant governor. After the election, voters learned that two women, who are both Democrats, accused him of forcible rape. Disgracefully, Democrats in the state legislature refused to support hearings to examine the allegations. Also in 2017, Virginia reelected Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring, who refused to do his job. In addition, Democrat Lee Carter, who is a proud Socialist, was elected to the House of Delegates.

Two years later, Virginia made more poor choices. In a special election last year, Northern Virginia voters elected Democrat Ibraheem Samirah, an anti-Semite, to the House of Delegates. Samirah had posted on social media that he thought it was “worse” to give money to Israel than to the Ku Klux Klan, and he has ties to Hamas. Samirah was then reelected in the 2019 general election.

In that same election, Democrat Joe Morrissey, a statutory rapist and a disbarred attorney, was elected to the Virginia Senate. Morrissey previously served time in jail for having an illicit relationship with his 17-year-old secretary when he was 56 years old. In the wake of that scandal, Morrissey married the young woman; that was his first marriage despite the fact that he had fathered children with three other women. Furthermore, with their tidal wave of out-of-state cash, Democrats were able to flip a total of eight seats in the General Assembly in the general election giving them control of both chambers.

After seizing control of the state legislature, Democrats have wasted no time proposing one outrageous piece of legislation after another: infringing on gun owners’ rights, freeing violent felons, abolishing all safety regulations on abortion, expanding transgender rights, and banning spanking. As if that were not bad enough, Democrats have also proposed awarding Virginia’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote regardless of how Virginia votes, repealing Virginia’s Right to Work Law (which has been on the books for over 70 years), hiking the minimum wage, hiking taxes, hiking car fees, and allowing the use of speed cameras to more easily pick the pockets of motorists.

To protect their fragile, new majorities, it is likely that Democrats will gerrymander districts next year so they can continue to drag Virginia down. The good news is that this assault on Virginia can be halted next year if Republicans put forward a strong gubernatorial candidate with a compelling agenda.

Nonetheless, at the moment, Virginia now serves as a warning to other states. Democrats simply cannot be trusted with power. They have little to no interest in pursuing the common good and will devote the vast majority of their energies to pursuing a narrow, divisive agenda to pander to special interest groups at the expense of everyone else. Voters elsewhere should take heed and reject the far-Left Democrat Party of today that embraces socialism and Bernie Sanders and despises faith, family, and free enterprise.
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Richard McCarty is the Director of Research at Americans for Limited Government Foundation

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Catching Something

2019 Novel Coronavirus
by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Our civilization depends on our ability to move about and trade.

Which is based, in part, on trust and reciprocity and mind-your-own-business. The basic ‘deal’ is ‘I won’t hurt you if you don’t hurt me.’

But it’s not just manners and morality. When we fear that being around others, especially strangers, could lead to catching a severe or even life-threatening illness, the normal business of commerce breaks down.

Which becomes clear, now that a new disease in China threatens to break out worldwide.

Called the ‘2019 Novel Coronavirus,’ the illness has become widespread there, leading the government to quarantine the city of Wuhan, said to be the epicenter of the contagion.

“The lockdown follows fears that the respiratory disease could become a global epidemic,” writes Isabel van Brugen in The Epoch Times, “and as the United States this week became the fifth country outside of China — and the first outside Asia — to confirm a case of infection.”

“The closures,” said the municipal government, “will continue until further announcement.”

Pestilence and war are the two major reasons for this kind of collapse in normal commerce. But contagion may be less controllable even than war, so learning the lesson Wuhan’s inhabitants are now learning is something we can eagerly import from China right now.*

The lesson?

Have food on hand, in case a pandemic bars you from going to market for days or weeks on end.

Wuhan folk are scrambling for supplies now.

Take it as a cue to shop for staples: stock up on bottled water, beans, sterno cans, and, say — with a tip of the hat to the beset Chinese — rice.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* Since my first draft, two more cities have been closed to travel, and six countries outside of China have experienced cases of infection. And questions have been raised about how transparent totalitarian China will be.
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Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ) is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

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Trump’s Invitation Has Changed The Stakes Of The Election

Benny Gantz - Blue and White Party Head
by Caroline Glick: Leaks about the details of President Donald Trump’s peace plan are contradictory. Until the President releases his plan officially, we won’t know for certain what it involves. But from what we have experienced so far with the Trump administration generally and President Trump in particular, it is clear that Trump does not accept the premise that formed the foundation of the Oslo peace process with the Palestine Liberation Organization.

The 1993 Oslo framework for peace, and every peace plan that derived from it since, was based on the assumption that the PLO gets a veto over Israel’s right to secure its interests and assert its sovereign rights in Judea and Samaria.

Comments this week from Blue and White Party officials, from party head Benny Gantz on down the line demonstrated that Israel’s largest center-left faction, the party competing with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud for national leadership, adheres to this assumption unequivocally. Without the PLO’s permission, or what Gantz referred to on Tuesday as “coordination with the international community,” (which amounts to the same thing), Gantz and his colleagues assert that Israel mustn’t apply its laws to the Jordan Valley or to any other part of Judea and Samaria.

Trump’s sudden decision to summon Netanyahu to the White House for a meeting next Tuesday and his acceptance of Netanyahu’s request that Gantz also be invited, puts Gantz in a bind.

Clearly Trump’s move is dictated by U.S. electoral considerations. With the Democratic presidential primaries set to begin in just over a week, Trump cannot wait for the March 2 elections to make his move. By the time a government is finally formed in Israel – assuming the election results are conclusive this time around – Trump will be too busy with his reelection campaign to focus on Israel and the Palestinians.

Which brings us to Gantz and his invitation to the White House.

On the one hand, by agreeing to let Gantz join Netanyahu, Trump is granting the opposition leader the stature of a national leader, almost on par with Netanyahu.

But on the other hand, Trump is driving a wedge into the heart of Gantz’s party. Blue and White is not an organic party. It is a combined list of three different parties. Two of those parties lean left to various degrees. One leans right. To win over swing voters, Gantz has placed the right-wing candidates front and center and tried to keep the more leftist ideological majority of his party members on the sidelines.

The problem is that the left-leaning majority of his party cannot accept Trump’s rejection of the PLO veto. The likes of MKs Yael German and Ofer Shelah, who represent the majority of his party members have made clear that they will not accept any deviation from the Oslo line. They accept the anti-Israel narrative of the post-Zionist left and the “international community” which places all the blame on Israel for the absence of peace.

They believe that Israel must appease the PLO by giving up all – or nearly all – of Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem, even if that means mass expulsions of hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Jews from their homes. Moreover, as German made clear this week, as far as she and her colleagues are concerned, if the PLO won’t agree to a deal, then Israel should repeat its 2005 unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in Judea and Samaria. The fact that Hamas was quick to seize control over the Gaza Strip after Israel’s withdrawal is of no concern to her.

For Gantz to accept Trump’s peace plan, he will have to break away from the anti-Israeli narrative of the post-Zionist Left, held by the majority of his party members. Doing so would help him win the election. But it will also unravel his party.

If Gantz chooses instead to reject Trump’s plan and stand with Garmen and Shelah and the rest, if he rejects the administration’s pro-Israel approach which negates the notion that Israel’s enemies get to decide if Israel can assert its rights and secure its interests as a sovereign state, Gantz’s chances of winning the elections will diminish.

It’s hard to know how Gantz will respond. What we know for sure is that Trump’s abrupt invitation changed the face of the election.

Until Thursday evening, the third election in a year was nothing more than an annoying beauty pageant where Israelis, already weary and fed up with our politicians, were expected to choose from a list of unattractive options. After Thursday evening, the March 2 vote was transformed into a referendum about national sovereignty and Zionism.

While we still don’t know what the Trump plan entails, we know for sure that things just got a lot more interesting.
-------------------------
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’s Invitation, Has Changed, The Stakes, The Election, Benny Gantz To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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