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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, April 24, 2020

Govs Get Their Priorities Out in the Re-Open

by Tony Perkins: They got in line at Peach Tree Battle Barbershop at 7 a.m. For a lot of them, it was the first haircut they'd had in a month and a half. "I certainly don't want to spread it to anyone," customer Matt Maddox said, "so I've got a mask. But I'm not concerned." Others, like Atlanta restaurant owner Hugh Acheson, understands that staying closed will hurt, but argues, "Now is not the time for fine dining." Either way, their governor, Brian Kemp (R), is giving them a choice -- which is more than a lot of Americans can say.

The eyes of the whole country will certainly be on states like Georgia, who flipped the signs to "open" on businesses like salons, tattoo parlors, gyms, bowling alleys, and more for the first time this morning. But that's not to say things are even remotely the same as before. Local officials can't flip a switch and tell people to go back to normal. But what they can do is allow Americans to make those decisions themselves based on how the churches, stores, and restaurants respond. As Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y.) said earlier this week, "It's one thing for government to say, 'Okay, it's safe to go out. [But] if people don't believe it's safe, they're not going to go."

As Scott Rasmussen and I talked on "Washington Watch" Thursday, "Everybody has a role to play in governing society." He's in New York City, where the virus is still a major concern. But, he said, "When they [do] open up restaurants in our city here, some people will be excited and run right out the door. But many are going to hold back, and they're going to wait for the restaurant owners to demonstrate that it's safe. Maybe the tables aren't quite as close together as they used to be, or maybe some other steps have been taken. And by the way, those restaurant owners are also going to have to convince their employees that it's safe to come back to work... This is going to be a process, where we collectively will learn how to behave in this new environment."

After 40 days in isolation, people are going to take the threat seriously. They're going to be cautious. But, as Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) pointed out, the Founders' model was "Let's trust the people." Of course, that freedom requires accountability. But there's a way to do this that ensures people -- and the economy -- are protected. "It's not a binary choice, that's for sure." That's why the best approach is the one the president has taken. He's given governors the tools, the resources, suggested benchmarks, but in the end, he's made it clear to the states: You know what's best for your community.

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kans.), a medical doctor in his own right, has been up close and personal with the virus. He's talked to people who will be scarred for life after their work with patients in the ICU. And he still believes there is a "responsible and safe way to start opening certain parts of the country." What does that look like? "Well," he said, "What we need is more testing availability -- and probably more Personal Protective Equipment as well... And then, we need a community [commitment] to responsibility."

One way to make sure we're doing this right, Dr. Marshall suggests, is to start partnering with the people who know best. "I've been challenging the health care folks in each community to reach out to their own businesses around town. There [are] infectious disease nurses at hospitals, at county health clinics, [who] are some sharp, sharp people. We need to get them involved out in the private sector. [They could be] talking to the local schools and to the local businesses. What does [this] look like going forward?" As he agreed, "This will not be solved at the federal level. It's going to be solved at the local community level now."

At the end of the day, FRC's Ken Blackwell said, "The American people are smart people. We don't hide in the midst of a crisis. We push back intelligently against it." This is not, he reminded listeners, "an either-or." "It's not a public health strategy versus an economic strategy..." We understand all sides and the importance of a measured, consistent approach. "But at the end of the day, it's no accident why we are the most prosperous and the most free democratic constitutional republic in the history of the world. It's because we cherish liberty, and we trust people." And now, more than ever, our leaders need to do both.

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Tony Perkins (@tperkins) is President of the Family Research Council . Article on Tony Perkins' Washington Update and written with the aid of FRC senior writers. Ken Blackwell is a contributor to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Ken Blackwell, Tony Perkins, Family Research Center, FRC, Family Research Council, Govs Get Their Priorities out in the Re-open To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Great Experiment Begins

** Update: The opening of the zoo has been postponed till May 4 **

by Newt Gingrich: This Friday, ZooMontana will reopen in Billings, Montana.

This small event by a small zoo (the only one in Montana) is symbolic of America beginning a great experiment in managing the coronavirus while reopening society.

Since most of the zoo is outdoors, visitors can socially distance themselves and minimize the threat of spreading the virus.

This decision for Billings, which has a population of 109,000, will not work everywhere. A similar hypothetical decision to reopen the Central Park Zoo in the middle of Manhattan would be disastrous. The Manhattan population is more than 1.6 million, while New York City’s is nearly 8.4 million. What works in one place may not work in another.

In fact, the entire state of Montana (147,040 square miles) has a population of just over 1 million. This is less than the island of Manhattan’s population, which is 22.7 square miles.

Montana has had 442 cases of coronavirus and 14 deaths, with 13 people hospitalized as of Wednesday. New York City has had 146,000 confirmed cases, with 11,267 deaths.

Clearly, a policy which makes sense for Montana would be a nightmare in New York City. However, the initial one-size-fits-all approach to shutting down America was as inappropriate for Montana as reopening would be for New York City. America is a huge country, and there are many different characteristics depending on where you are and what you are doing.

Montana’s ability to make a local decision based on local circumstances is a tribute to President Trump’s move to decentralize the reopening process to the states and their governors. Having a Washington bureaucrat decide when every zoo in America could open would be an invitation to calamity. The same would be true if Washington bureaucrats had the power to decide for every restaurant, bowling alley, and beauty shop.

As Christopher DeMuth pointed out in a brilliant article in The Wall Street Journal entitled “Trump Rewrites the Book on Emergencies:”

“Wash­ing­ton’s re­sponse to the COVID-19 pan­demic is up­end­ing one of the most durable pat­terns of Amer­i­can pol­i­tics. Through­out his­tory, na­tional emer­gen­cies have led to a more pow­er­ful and cen­tral­ized fed­eral gov­ern­ment and to the trans­fer of fed­eral power from Con­gress to the ex­ec­u­tive branch. This time, the fed­eral re­sponse rests largely on state and lo­cal gov­ern­ment and pri­vate en­ter­prise, with a wave of dereg­u­la­tion clear­ing the way. The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has seized no new pow­ers, and Con­gress has stayed en­er­get­i­cally in the game.”

DeMuth went on to note, “as soon as the mag­ni­tude of the epi­demic was grasped, it was man­aged and sub­dued through vig­or­ous lo­cal­ism, pri­vate en­ter­prise and pro­fes­sional ded­i­ca­tion, with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment pro­vid­ing es­sen­tial na­tional lead­er­ship but stay­ing within its con­sti­tu­tional rails….Di­ver­si­fied cen­ters of au­thor­ity and ini­tia­tive aren’t lux­u­ries. They are the keys to re­silience in the face of emer­gen­cies large and small.”

Some states will reopen cleverly and with minimum problems. Other states will reopen clumsily – and have more health problems. Yet other states will try to avoid reopening while they suffer growing societal and economic pain. The contrast between the successful states and the locked down states will bring enormous pressure on governors who are slower to reopen their communities.

Ideally, a clearinghouse will be developed for best practices at the state and local levels. This same clearinghouse can also keep track of worst practices, which may be even more important to our awareness.

Even though there is real risk involved in beginning to reopen America, we have no choice. We cannot be frozen for months by the threat of the virus. Our society and economy will collapse, our people will grow ungovernable, and our capacity to work and innovate will be shattered.

Furthermore, if the experts are right about a potential second wave of the virus in the fall, it is vital that we learn to manage it through containment rather than risk a second round of closing everything. Dr. Anthony Fauci made the threat clear recently when he said, “we will have coronavirus in the fall. I am convinced of that because of the degree [of] transmissibility that it has, the global nature. What happens with that will depend on how we are able to contain it when it occurs.”

By this fall, we must have new therapies, tests, and abilities to contain the virus and track infected people without halting society again.

As we look around the country, we begin to see glimmers of hope. The president has announced US National Parks will be reopened.

As Berman and Company has reported, different states are startling to move partway toward reopening. They cite Alabama, Georgia, Montana, and Oklahoma as states that have outlined plans to reopen restaurants in the next ten days.

Inch by inch, we will learn how to rebuild society while reducing the threat of the pandemic. President Trump’s decision to place the governor’s in charge of reopening will prove to be one of the most important decisions of his presidency.
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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, The Great Experiment Begins To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Summer To The Rescue, New York's Results, The Chinese Threat, More Good News, The Moderate Myth

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Summer To The Rescue
There was potentially great news in yesterday's coronavirus briefing. But the media are largely ignoring it because I think they want us to remain huddled in our homes, unable to do anything but listen to our "masters" tell us how to live.

The good news is that scientists at the Department of Homeland Security have been conducting research on the effects of sunlight and humidity on the coronavirus. What they discovered is that more sunlight, producing higher temperatures and more humidity, otherwise known as summer, is very deadly to the virus.

Specifically, in summer-like temperatures and humidity, the virus only survives two minutes on surfaces and 90 seconds in the air. We shouldn't leap to conclusions, but this seems to be optimistic news about the potential for the summer months to seriously suppress this virus.

Another thing that researchers are watching is what could happen in the fall. Will Covid-19 make a resurgence in the fall, just like the regular flu?

Well, here's some more encouraging news: Countries in the southern hemisphere, like Australia, are going into fall right now, and there appears to be no surge in the disease. It's still early, but over the next four to eight weeks, scientists will be monitoring those nations for clues as to what we can expect come October.

New York's Results
Yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the results of random antibody testing in New York. Researchers discovered that 14% of the state's residents and 21% of New York City's residents tested positive, meaning they had the virus and recovered.

So far, there have been 141,754 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York City, and 15, 411 deaths. Look at those two figures. That would suggest that the death rate in New York City is nearly 11%. (City officials are including more than 5,000 "probable" deaths in that total.)

Now, let's consider the results of the antibody testing.

There are 8.4 million people in New York City. If 21% of city residents have had Covid-19, that means 1,764,000 were infected.

If 11% of the people who get the virus die, 11% of 1.76 million would be 194,000 deaths. But there's only been 15,411 deaths. Where are all the other bodies?

Clearly, the death rate isn't anywhere close to 11%. If 1.76 million people were infected and 15,411 have died, that suggests the mortality rate is closer to 0.87%. To be certain, that's high.

But every study done -- in Germany, in Massachusetts, in Los Angeles -- has found the same thing – that the virus is far more wide-spread than we realize. For the vast majority of people, it amounts to little more than a cold.

For certain segments of the population, the elderly and those with serious pre-existing conditions, it is a real threat, and those people should continue to self-quarantine and take serious precautions.

The Chinese Threat
While the nation battles the coronavirus, there's an even greater threat we must confront, and it's the Chinese communists themselves, who are responsible for this crisis.

The Chinese government refused to share information about the make-up of the virus in the early days of the pandemic. They also hoarded medical supplies and threatened to suspend exports of vital drugs to the United States. Make no mistake: Every American will be enlisted in this battle.
  • U.S. corporation with factories in China should implement policies now to bring those factories and jobs home.
  • Congress must act now to safeguard America's medical supplies to ensure that we are not dependent on an adversary when the next emergency strikes.
  • College students should find out if their university has a Chinese-sponsored Confucius Institute on campus. These institutes are being used by the Chinese communists for espionage and propaganda against our country.
  • Every consumer, whenever possible, should buy goods made in the USA.
  • Fly the American flag proudly, and redouble your efforts to instill patriotism in your children and grandchildren.
If we do these things, we will be better prepared when the next crisis comes out of communist China. More Good News It seems that it is possible to shame corporate America and academia. Harvard, Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania have announced that they will return money from the emergency small business program to the Treasury. So too will Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and a number of other large corporations.

The Moderate Myth The "moderate" Joe Biden said yesterday that he believes President Trump will come up with some way to delay or cancel the election. This is the kind of conspiracy nonsense we're used to hearing from the fringes of the far left. But he's thought it through. Biden suggested that Trump may not bail out the Post Office and will resist efforts to force states to adopt the vote-by-mail procedures that the left is demanding. And in the fevered minds of the left, no mail-in voting means canceling the election. The Post Office has been in dire straits for decades. The White House is demanding significant reforms before it gets another taxpayer bailout. For Biden to suggest that those needed reforms are evidence that the president is a dictator who wants to cancel the election is insane!
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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, Summer To The Rescue, New York's Results, The Chinese Threat To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

CARES Act Hurts Small Businesses

by Thomas Gallatin: One of the most common occurrences when Congress rushes to fix a problem is that there are unintended or unforeseen consequences created by the “solution.” In fact, the bigger the “fix,” the greater the probability for it creating more problems than it solves. Congress’s recent $2.2 trillion CARES Act provides yet another classic case reinforcing this principle.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a part of the CARES Act that provides forgivable loans to “small” businesses to help them stay afloat and retain their employees throughout the China Virus-induced economic shutdown, has been undercut by other provisions within the overall legislation.

For example, “The Cares Act created a perverse incentive not to work,” write Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) and Emily Williams Knight, CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association. “Because the Cares Act pays an additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits, many restaurants will find it difficult to get employees back on the job. And if they don’t, restaurants can’t receive loan forgiveness.” Furthermore, Roy and Knight note, “The PPP requirement that 75% of the forgivable loan be spent on payroll puts restaurants with expensive rent in an untenable position. That requirement doesn’t account for differences in business structures.”

The PPP was ostensibly aimed at helping small businesses, but in several ways it’s making it harder for many small businesses to get back to business because they’re competing with government to retain their employees. For instance, the CARES Act’s overly generous unemployment compensation disincentivizes employees from going back to work. They’re getting more money for staying on unemployment than working.

As The Resurgent’s David Thornton observes, “For workers who have been locked into low-paying jobs for long periods, however, the choice might not be so easy. This is especially true when the unemployment benefits continue for an extended period, such as the 26 weeks granted in Washington. The difference in take-home pay would be YUGE for a low-income worker who earns an extra several hundred dollars per week on COVID unemployment for six months. It isn’t a matter of being lazy, it’s a sound financial choice, at least in the short-term.”

The problem is that by not going back to work, these workers prolong a recession, which will then only make it harder for them to find a job when their time collecting unemployment benefits runs out. Furthermore, a prolonged stay on unemployment suspends any opportunity for upward mobility and salary increases, as well as stunts retirement benefits.

The trouble moving forward is that Democrats will demand that these unemployment benefits be extended beyond the initial six months, pointing to the economic recession as justification. Then, any action extending unemployment benefits will slow the economic recovery in a vicious cycle. It’s a classic example of Democrats working to get and keep as many people as possible on the government dole.
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Thomas Gallatin is a Features Editor at The Patriot Post.

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Don't Look for Coronavirus Consensus

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: In the clashing commentary about whether lockdowns and stay-at-home orders should continue, or whether businesses and stores should be reopened, one senses a yearning for consensus. Why can't everybody just agree?

One reason is that we continue to be ignorant on many important points. How many people have been infected with the disease? Some fragmentary evidence has come in, but since many infected people are asymptomatic, no one knows the death rate per infection.

How is the virus disseminated in different environments? No one really knows. Some attribute the high number of deaths in New York to transmission in the subway. Others disagree. One governor is blocking superstore shoppers from buying garden equipment and seeds.

The yearning for definitive information and the assumption it will produce policy consensus are understandable but deeply wrongheaded. In this crisis, as in the other unanticipated, regime-shaking crisis of the post-Cold War era, the financial crisis of 2008-09, the facts are unclear and change so rapidly that even the most experienced experts cannot be sure what's happening. In such circumstances, mistakes are not just possible but inevitable.

Consider the financial crisis. The Federal Reserve chairman then was Ben Bernanke, the leading economist historian of the Great Depression of 1929-33. Yet even he did not predict the crisis.

Neither did the Treasury secretaries of 2008-09 -- Hank Paulson, former head of the premium investment bank Goldman Sachs, and Timothy Geithner, former president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank. Impeccable credentials, imperfect foresight.

President Donald Trump's leading infectious disease expert is Dr. Anthony Fauci, who filled similar roles in the administrations of former Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. No one has superior credentials or greater accomplishments. Yet in February, relying as he had to on Chinese government information, he said COVID-19 wasn't a pandemic.

It's possible to argue further that these two crises were the product -- perhaps the inevitable product, in retrospect, though unrecognized at the time -- of public policies enjoying broad bipartisan consensus.

The policy behind the 2008 financial collapse was encouraging homeownership by easing requirements for obtaining mortgages, especially for Hispanics and blacks supposedly barred from the market by racial discrimination. Clinton and Bush administration regulators rewarded firms that issued such mortgages and sanctioned the packaging of the often-shaky results in mortgage-backed securities that became worthless when, contrary to consensus expectations, housing prices crashed nationwide.

The COVID-19 pandemic can be seen as resulting from the policy followed by the United States and other Western nations for almost half a century: opening up trade with China, interlacing our economy with China's, integrating China into a keystone position in the world economy. A key moment came in 2000 when Congress, urged on by then-President Clinton and then-Gov. George W. Bush, voted for normal trade relations with China.

The consensus argument -- the hope -- was that China would embrace free markets, the rule of law and ultimately some form of democracy. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened. China concealed and lied about the virus and let it spread around the world.

In this crisis, experts at centralized government agencies have failed at their tasks.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, failed to develop working tests for the coronavirus, as has been documented by extensive Washington Post and New York Times reporting.

The Food and Drug Administration rigid bureaucracy prevented private firms from developing tests. Its nitpickers delayed approval of antibody tests by, as Wall Street Journal columnist Andy Kessler noted, requiring that a copy be submitted "by paper mail with a CD-ROM with the files burned on it."

It's easy to criticize such bureaucratic incompetence, just as it's easy to criticize what in retrospect seems to be the failure, in February and into March, of President Donald Trump, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and many others to recognize the potential of the pandemic. Not many experts got it right either.

But private profit-making firms and nonprofit research institutions have stepped into the lurch, researching and developing tests and vaccines. "Part of the genius of America," as Bush administration official and advocate of many consensus policies Robert Zoellick recently wrote, "is not what comes out of the White House, it's what comes out of the private sector and our institutions."

And part of that genius is a recognition that one-size-fits-all consensus policies don't always work well in a nation that has always been economically, culturally and ethnically diverse. We don't need a consensus on when to move from lockdown to reopening. We need, as Trump seems to recognize, to let states and governors grapple with the question and learn from the results.
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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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The One Certain Victor in the Pandemic War

by Patrick Buchanan: Now, standing patiently in line for their bailouts, are the states — and America’s cities and counties. These governmental units are virtually all certain to face falling tax revenue and expanded social demands, leading to exploding deficits. Their case: You bailed out the businesses and the hospitals. What about us? When does our turn come?

“War is the health of the state,” wrote the progressive Randolph Bourne during the First World War, after which he succumbed to the Spanish flu.

America’s war on the coronavirus pandemic promises to be no exception to the axiom. However long this war requires, the gargantuan state will almost surely emerge triumphant.

Currently, the major expenditures of the U.S. government, as well as a growing share of total federal spending, are Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

None of these programs will be curtailed or reduced this year or next. And if the Democrats win in November, the nation will likely take a great leap forward – toward national health insurance.

Republicans are calling for a suspension until 2021 of payroll taxes used to finance Social Security and Medicare. While that would provide an economic stimulus, it would also blow a huge hole in federal revenue and further enlarge the deficit and national debt.

Even before the virus struck with full force in March, that deficit was projected at or near $1 trillion — not only for fiscal year 2020 but for every year of the new decade.

The next major item of the budget is defense, considered untouchable to the Republican Party. Hence a confident prediction: This generation will never again see a budget deficit smaller than $1 trillion.

Indeed, the $2 trillion lately voted on to save businesses and keep paychecks going to workers will lift the deficit for 2020 above $3 trillion.

As of March 1, 2020, the nation was at full employment, with the lowest jobless rates among women and minorities in our history.

Less than two months later, 26 million Americans are out of work.

These workers will soon begin picking up unemployment checks, a new burden on the federal budget, to which will be added the cost of expanding food stamps, rent supplements and welfare payments.

Consider education.

Though Harvard, with its $41 billion endowment, was shamed into returning the $8.7 million in bailout money coming its way, does anyone believe the stream of U.S. revenue going into higher education will ever fall back to what it was before the pandemic?

As for that $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, is it more likely that vast sum will be paid back by those who incurred the debt, or that it will be piled atop the federal debt?

Congress has already voted to bail out our stressed hospitals.

Now, standing patiently in line for their bailouts, are the states — and America’s cities and counties. These governmental units are virtually all certain to face falling tax revenue and expanded social demands, leading to exploding deficits.

Their case: You bailed out the businesses and the hospitals. What about us? When does our turn come?

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, anticipating the mammoth bill for bailing out states and cities, has suggested that governments be allowed to use bankruptcy laws to write down and write off their debts.

Probably not going to happen.

Recall what happened when President Gerald Ford told New York City that Uncle Sam was not going to bail out the Big Apple. “Ford to City: Drop Dead!” was the famous headline splashed across the front page of the New York Daily News.

Ford recanted but did not recover. His perceived callousness in the face of New York City’s crisis — though that fiscal crisis was entirely of the city’s own making — factored into his defeat by Jimmy Carter.

Donald Trump is not going to give Red State governors facing gaping budget deficits because of the coronavirus crisis the wet mitten across the face. For his political future will be decided by those states.

Still, the cost of bailing them out promises to be enormous and to create a precedent for bailouts without end.

Then there is the clamor, already begun, from, and on behalf of, the Third World. The IMF, World Bank and the West, it is said, have a moral obligation to replace revenue shortfalls these nations are facing from lost remittances from their workers in the developed world.

There is talk of hundreds of billions of dollars in monetary transfers from the world’s North to the world’s South.

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist once famously declared: “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

What is more likely to be drowned in that bathtub is the philosophy: “That government governs best which governs least.”

What is more likely to be drowned in that bathtub is the philosophy that champions small government, the primacy of the private sector, a belief in “pay as you go,” and that “balanced budgets” are the ideal.

Call it Robert Taft conservatism. Today, it appears irrelevant.

Indeed, the one certain victor in the coronavirus pandemic war will likely be Big Government. As John Donne wrote, “No winter shall abate this spring’s increase.”
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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, The One Certain Victor, in the Pandemic War
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As the Virus Slows Down, Congress Grants Trump’s Request for Another $370 Billion . . .

. . . to save small businesses in Main Street rescue plan.
by Robert Romano: Congress has passed another round of relief to save as many of the 30 million small businesses nationwide as possible, with another $310 billion on top of the $350 billion that was already spent. An additional $60 billion is going to small businesses in the form of the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), $10 billion of which will be grants, coming atop $10 billion of EIDL loans already given. The total rises to $730 billion going to the backbone of the American economy, the Main Street small businesses.

The funds could not come more quickly. Every day and week of dragging their heels, Congressional Democrats watched as millions more jobs were lost to COVID-19 government-directed closures, now up to more than 26 million job losses in a little over a month.

When added to the 5.8 million who were already unemployed when the pandemic struck the U.S., that means more than 30 million are jobless right now. Effective unemployment could already be more than 20 percent, even if the reported rate will come in lower than that next week.

Even as the spread of the Chinese coronavirus has been slowed and is waning across the country, the situation economically that is emerging could be the worst recession of our lifetimes, with the job losses more than tripling the 8.3 million lost in the financial crisis and Great Recession more than a decade ago.


For perspective, it took more than two years to lose all those jobs before labor markets bottomed in Dec. 2009. More jobs were lost than that in two weeks in this crisis.

And how long it goes on is anyone’s guess. My greatest worry is that even after states reopen, the job losses could mount, property values could take a hit and Americans could wind up upside down on their mortgages again, and we could be struck by another financial crisis.

Sadly, even with the supports Congress put in place, it is still more cost effective for many businesses large and small to simply lay workers off. The ones toughing it out right now and going for the payroll protection and EIDL loans therefore are indeed heroic, and actively seeking to maintain ties to their employees and very patriotic for doing their part to help to save the U.S. economy from otherwise certain ruin.

That is neither to deride the action Congress and the Trump administration are taking, or to those businesses who simply could not survive this cataclysm. We’re all in this together.

That likely means Congress will have to reconvene soon for phase four legislation that will seek to shorten the duration of time it takes to recover all the jobs that have been lost and rebuild the economy from what could be compared to an asteroid striking it.

Unfortunately, it’s a lot easier to burn down a house than it is to build one. In the aforementioned Great Recession, it took almost five years to recover the jobs that were lost.

So, does triple the jobs lost mean triple the time to recover the job losses no matter what government does? We better hope not. If that were the case, we’d already be looking at 15 years to recover, but with millions of jobs being lost every week, the 26 million already lost might not even be the extent of it.

Still more attention needs to be focused on problem areas. Top of the list are the strong dollar, which every month that goes by gets stronger relative to other currencies as financial institutions and central banks stockpile and will most certainly contribute to deflation for as long as that remains the case. Strong action by the Federal Reserve to ensure price stability could not be more urgent, especially after years of leaving the dollar too strong, for too long.

Additionally, even if property values do not plummet and households don’t get behind on their mortgages, state and local government revenues will surely plummet and create real pressure in municipal bond markets. Similarly, corporate bond markets are threatened. Fortunately, the original $2.2 trillion bill that Congress provided for in part does allow the Federal Reserve to support state and local governments and corporate debt with lending available up to $6 trillion.

Therefore, the longer the closures last, certainly the worse the economy will get. That is why Americans for Limited Government has launched www.ReopenAmericaNow.org to urge the American people to contact their governors and state legislatures to reopen their economies as soon as they possibly can. The actions taken to save lives to date by President Trump, governors and the American people have already helped save hundreds of thousands of lives, and now, as the virus begins to wane, it is time for America to begin to get back to work.
------------------------
Robert Romano is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

Tags: Robert Romano, Americans for Limited Government, As the Virus Slows Down, Congress Grants, Trump’s Request, for Another $370 Billion 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 Divide

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: The current pandemic panic and crisis, Brian Doherty noted in Reason, "is a harshly vivid example of Americans' inability to understand, fruitfully communicate with, or show a hint of respect for those seen to be on other side of an ideological line."

Mr. Doherty, who profiled me in his book Radicals for Capitalism, calls the two major positions "Openers" versus "Closers."

They do not trust each other, and their respective policy prescriptions -- opening up society to normal commerce versus keeping it closed, under lockdown -- are poles apart.

Doherty doesn't mention how we treat experts. Virologists, medical doctors and epidemiologists also form ranks on both sides, and these experts sure seem to be talking past each other, too.

Which seems neither professional nor scientific.

Doherty concludes by asserting that, even after obtaining answers to questions regarding "the disease's spread, extent, and damage" or coming to an eventual conclusion regarding "the long term damage to life and prosperity the economic shutdown is causing," we must admit that "human beings of goodwill and intelligence might come to a different value judgment about what policy is best overall."

Sure. But, looking over the divide as he presents it, I am afraid I see one side -- the Openers -- concerned about a broad number of possible disasters (economic dislocation and even mass starvation in addition to illness and death) while the other -- the Closers -- obsessing about fighting a disease about which there remains limited knowledge and little agreement.

The Openers seem a whole lot more open to diverse considerations.

Including the possibility that freedom might result in a better collective response than orders issued by mayors and governors and the president.

Which strikes me as more like Common Sense.

I'm Paul Jacob.
---------------------
Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ) is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, The Great Divide To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Brews Brothers

. . . Pick your poison, Bernie socialism or Bernie socialism light, not much difference in today’s Democrat party.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Brews Brothers, Pick your poison, Bernie socialism, or Bernie socialism light, not much difference, in today’s Democrat party To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

COVID-19 and the Radical "Green" Agenda

Ken Blackwell
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: I've heard many shocking statements and watched many acts of outlandish behavior in my time as an elected official, activist and commentator, but the Left's recent actions during the COVID-19 pandemic rank among the worst that I have ever witnessed.

It is truly hard to believe - with more than 26 million people out of work, families struggling to make ends meet and thousands of small businesses closing, radical environmentalists, liberal politicians and the left-wing media are celebrating America's industrial and manufacturing slowdown that is resulting in massive unemployment. As cities and towns across the nation work to curtail the spread of the coronavirus, the "Green" Left says look to a "silver lining" of clearer skies and waterways.

Liberals and environmental activists are high-fiving each other over how skies are a bit clearer due to millions of fewer cars on the roads, industrial operations slowed or shuttered and workers idled. CNN recently touted the coronavirus pandemic as helping “humanity buy some time against global warming.” Scientific American Magazine declared in an article yesterday that “The Green New Deal Is More Relevant Than Ever.”

Green New Deal co-sponsors Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are using the pandemic as an opportunity “bury” the oil industry and push the Green New Deal. “We’ve had enough. Let’s bury the fossil fuel industry once and for all,” Markey tweeted yesterday. Ocasio-Cortez posted on Twitter, "you love to see it” when oil markets crashed, putting many good paying jobs and businesses in danger. AOC then deleted the Tweet and later chimed in: "Fossil fuels are in long-term structural decline. This along w/ low interest rates means it‘s the right time to create millions of jobs transitioning to renewable and clean energy.”

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), the third ranking Democrat in the House openly admitted how Democrats want to use billions in COVD-19 rescue finds to “restructure things to fit our vision.”

Make no mistake about the COVID-19 outbreak; progressives are very happy with millions of people out of work and heavy industry stalled. Take the words of Oxford professor Peter Frankopan - "Pandemics are terrifying but they can make the world better" and "...the world's lungs are already breathing more easily thanks to the collapse of industrial production."

The Heartland Institute released a report exposing just how out-of-touch the radical Left is with reality. The report uncovers the Left's agenda in this time of crisis -clearly their goal is to capitalize on the pandemic by promoting the trillion-dollar Green New Deal and other green policies that would further sink our economy.

Steve Milloy of the Heartland Institute notes how the radical Left is doubling down on the pandemic panic, "... the alarmists aren't taking displacement by coronavirus lying down. In fact, many climate alarmists are trying to use coronavirus as a means of advancing their agenda."

A quick look at prominent progressive groups on Twitter supports this claim. Democrat Socialists of America Tweeted - "The coronavirus pandemic makes what we've already known clear: we need a Green New Deal to stop climate change." Democracy for America agrees. It posted social media content saying passage of a stimulus package to get Americans back to work proves it's "absolute fiction" to believe America cannot afford the Green New Deal. And a "Sunrise Movement" tweet said, "In times of peril, we need bold solutions to fix big problems and that's what the Green New Deal is."

It's a known fact that America and other industrialized nations can lower carbon emissions and still generate massive growth. Dozens of the world's largest companies have reduced carbon emissions by 12 percent, and major oil companies report their methane emissions have declined by 40 percent while oil production is steadily increasing. Free market innovation are what we need, not job crippling policies – or pandemics.

We are not through this pandemic by any means, but model projections for COVID-19 related fatalities are dropping and the Trump administration is taking decisive steps to protect Americans. In this time of crisis, politicization by the Left must stop. Environmental activists and politicians who attempt to leverage the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to enact their liberal agenda should be called out and their efforts must fail. And the liberal press should stop fueling these efforts by ignoring such distractions and instead focus coverage on real, substantive ways to responsibly end this pandemic and get America working again.
-----------------------
Ken Blackwell (@kenblackwell) is a former ambassador to the U.N., a former Domestic Policy Advisor to the Trump/Pence Presidential Transition Team, and former Ohio State Treasurer and mayor of Cincinnati who currently serves on the Boards of Directors of the Club For Growth and National Taxpayers Union. He is a member of the National Leadership Council of the Save Our Country Coalition. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service
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Tags: Ken Blackwell, COVID-19, Radical "Green" Agenda To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

American Jewry’s Organizational Crack-Up

by Caroline Glick: Last week an event occurred will be remembered as a key moment in the disintegration of organized American Jewish support for Israel and American Jewish organizational life itself.

Last Friday, the leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations announced that the Conference’s nominating committee had selected Dianne Lob, the immediate past president of HIAS to run unopposed for the position of Chairman of the Conference’s Executive Board. Her election is scheduled to take place on April 28.

The Conference of Presidents – an umbrella group that comprises 53 Jewish American organizations — is widely viewed as the most important Jewish organization in the United States.

Why is Lob’s selection important? On the face of things, it was unremarkable. People who have known Lob for decades describe her as a garden variety New York Jewish liberal whose views on Israel are in keeping with the views of the vast majority of American Jews.

Members of the Conference of President for their part claim not to know her at all. During her term as Chairman of HIAS from 2016-2019, she didn’t participate in major Conference events like its trip to Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Lob’s selection is an earthquake in American Jewish organizational life is not because of anything she has said or done, but because of her organizational affiliation to HIAS.

HIAS was established at the end of the nineteenth century under the name Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society to assist the hundreds of thousands of penniless Eastern European Jews who were immigrating at the time to the U.S. The last major group of Jewish immigrants HIAS was involved in resettling in the U.S. were the Jews who left the Soviet Union between the 1970s and 1990s.

In 2014, HIAS officially set its Jewish roots aside. It abandoned its full name in favor of its acronym. HIAS CEO and President Mark Hetfield claimed that the world “Hebrew” is exclusionary.

As the Zionist Organization of America documented in a letter to the heads of the Conference of Presidents following Lob’s selection, in a declaration before a U.S. federal court, HIAS attested that the refugees they serve today come from “Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Ukraine, Bhutan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Burundi, South Sudan, Uganda, Russia, Belarus, and Burma, among other countries. Many of these clients are Muslim.”

Lob herself attested that 90 percent of the Syrians and 60 percent of the Iraqis that HIAS brings to the U.S. are Muslim.

HIAS’s contribution to Muslim immigration to the U.S. is significant for two key reasons. First it is indisputable that many of the Muslims immigrating to the U.S. are anti-Semitic. As ZOA noted, “according to the ADL Global 100 Antisemitism Index, in 16 Muslim majority Middle Eastern countries, 74% to 93% of the population is antisemitic.”

So by bringing Muslims from Syria and Iraq to the U.S., HIAS is in all likelihood bringing anti-Semites to America.

The second reason HIAS’s efforts to bring Muslims to America is significant is because in its work in this arena HIAS has collaborated with Islamic groups associated with Islamic terrorist organizations. For instance, HIAS has worked with Islamic Relief. Islamic Relief is a branch of Islamic Relief Worldwide, (IRW). As the ZOA noted, Israel outlawed IRW because of its terrorist activities, including financing of Hamas terror. HIAS has also worked with the Council on American Islamic Relations, (CAIR) which was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holyland Foundation trial where the Holyland Foundation was found guilty of funding Hamas.

HIAS collaborates with nominally Jewish anti-Israel groups like Jewish Voice for Peace and IfNotNow. Both groups are leading actors in the anti-Semitic BDS campaign against American Jews and Israel.

In June 2017, Hetfield and HIAS Vice President Rabbi Jennie Rosenn joined JVP, IfNotNow and other pro-BDS groups in signing a letter defending Linda Sarsour, the anti-Semitic Democratic political activist who has called for Israel’s destruction. Sarsour has publicly supported Hamas and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who himself is a vocal supporter of Adolf Hitler.

In Israel, HIAS works with other leftist extremist groups to prevent the deportation of illegal aliens from Sudan and Eritrea. This week they launched a protest with the Anti-Defamation League in Israel demanding that Israel expand the rights of illegal aliens who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Does Lob, who was the chairman of the board of HIAS from 2016-2019 support the close cooperation with terror affiliated groups and anti-Semites that HIAS maintained under her leadership?

She says she doesn’t.

According to sources briefed on the details of Lob’s meetings with the Conference’s Nominating Committee, Lob said she was not involved in Hetfield and Rosenn’s decision to sign the letter defending Sarsour.

In a letter Lob sent to the members of the Conference after she was nominated to run unopposed for the chairmanship of the Conference’s Executive Board next Tuesday, Lob expressed a deep commitment to Israel and opposition to efforts to delegitimize the Jewish state. She referred to the BDS campaign as “reprehensible.”

There are two ways to square this circle. It’s possible that Lob is lying and it’s possible that she’s telling the truth.

If Lob lied to the nominating committee and in her letter to the Conference members, and if she secretly shares the extreme pro-anti-Semite and anti-Israel positions of the extremists who control HIAS, then next Tuesday, leadership of the Conference of Presidents will be transferred to a woman who opposes the values shared 95 percent of American Jews.

If Lob told the truth to the nominating committee then she is shockingly incompetent. Because if she is telling the truth that means that for three years, she oversaw an organization that openly collaborated with groups with known ties to terrorist organizations and supported anti-Semites actively involved in the “reprehensible” BDS campaign against American Jews and against Israel. Presumably, Lob will bring the same incompetence with her to the Conference of Presidents when she takes over as chairman on Tuesday.

Conference officials say that even if Lob wants to transform the organization into a HIAS knockoff she won’t be able to. The conference’s bylaws and regulations and the rules of its executive committee obligate conference leaders to operate in line with the Jewish consensus.

Assuming these officials are right, the best-case scenario is that starting Tuesday, one of the most important organizations in the American Jewish community will be paralyzed. Lob and her colleagues won’t be able to advance anti-Israel and pro-anti-Semitic policies. But with her at the helm, the Conference won’t be able to advance significant measures to support Israel and fight anti-Semites and anti-Semitic groups like Sarsour and Hamas. Such efforts will be stymied by Lob and her colleagues who will claim that they are “outside the American Jewish consensus.”

Lob’s selection came as a complete surprise to Conference insiders. She beat out two candidates with far more organizational experience and centrist credentials. But in truth, her selection is of a piece with recent developments in other key organizations.

Her rise doesn’t reflect a major radicalization of American Jews. Rather, it is the product of a long-term effort by a small cohort of deeply radical hard leftists within the American Jewish organizational world. They are anti-Zionist and pro-anti-Semitic. They are sympathetically inclined towards the BDS campaign. They are often hostile towards traditional Judaism and Orthodox Jews.

And they are scope-locked on their goal of taking over or neutralizing the large American Jewish organizations.

Facing these activists are the leaders of the large organizations. Many are retirement age or nearing retirement age. Many have failed to cultivate or recruit competent successors. Many are simply weak. The constituents these leaders serve – or don’t serve – are largely uninvolved, and unaware of what is happening.

Six years ago, these radical activists tried to bring J Street, (the anti-Israel group that supports the Palestinians and supports the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran) into the Conference of Presidents. Their efforts failed. Only 17 of the conference’s 52 members voted in favor. The activists behind the move reacted with rage to the vote. Conference of Presidents leaders and leaders of member organizations were vilified in the media. Most of them are unwilling to relive the experience. And whereas the J Street vote was by secret ballot, Tuesday’s vote will be a rollcall vote on a Zoom meeting.

So six years after their J Street defeat, not only is the anti-Israel left expected to gain a foothold in the Conference of Presidents on Tuesday. It is expected to take over the Conference of Presidents.

The Conference of Presidents isn’t alone. In 2014, Abraham Foxman retired from his position as president of the Anti-Defamation League after 28 years. Foxman did not groom a successor. In the event, he was replaced by Jonathan Greenblatt, an Obama White House alumni and environmental activist with no history of Jewish organizational work.

Since taking over, Greenblatt has transformed the ADL into a post-Jewish political group. Rather than fight anti-Semitism on the right and on the left, the ADL makes light of rising anti-Semitism on the left while exaggerating the political power of anti-Semites on the right to advance a clear political agenda. ADL was one of the groups that nominated Lob for the chairmanship.

Then there is AIPAC. Since J Street was established in 2007 to compete with AIPAC and began lobbying Democratic lawmakers to diminish their support for Israel, AIPAC has been steeped in existential crisis.

Most of AIPAC’s members and donors are Democrats. Consequently, AIPAC’s leaders have shied away from opposing the party’s abandonment of Israel. In the rare instances where AIPAC has stood up to the rising anti-Israel forces in the Democratic Party, its protests have been followed rapidly by groveling apologies.

AIPAC President Betsy Korn was a member of the nominating committee that selected Lob.

At the rate the radical left is taking over major Jewish organizations, we can assume that within five years there will be a steep rise in the number of American Jewish groups that advocate on behalf of BDS. Our notion of a “friendly organization” will change from an organization that advances Jewish interests and supports Israel to an organization that doesn’t work against Jewish interests and opposes Israel.

Israel can fight this trend. But to do so it needs representatives in the U.S. that will be willing to confront powerful, Jewish extremists on the left and empower and inspire the silent, exhausted and uninvolved Jewish majority.
-----------------------
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, American Jewry’s, Organizational Crack-Up To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Democrats Put Iran Ahead of America

by Daniel Greenfield: On April 9th, as California passed 500 Wuhan Virus deaths and 19,000 cases, Senator Dianne Feinstein dispatched a letter on Senate stationary to the President of the United States.

The letter did not ask for help for California, but for Iran.

Senator Feinstein wrote to express her unhappiness that President Trump had blocked Iran from getting $5 billion from the International Monetary Fund. She urged him to help the Islamic terror state, which has murdered countless Americans, get the money in the "interests of international security".

While Americans were dying, the Senate Terror Caucus was hard at work… for Iran.

In late March, Connecticut's two Democrat Senate members, Chris Murphy and Dick Blumenthal, along with Hawaii's Schatz, Maryland's Van Hollen, New Mexico's Udall, Maryland's Cardin, Virginia's Kaine, Vermont's Leahy, Oregon's Merkley, Delaware's Carper, and Ohio’s Brown, had dispatched a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urging lowering economic sanctions on Iran and Venezuela while claiming that easing up on two terror states was “the right thing to do from a national security perspective.”

Two days earlier, Leahy, Udall, Carper, Brown, Merkeley, and Van Hollen had sent another letter to the Secretary of State on behalf of Hamas, claiming that “as of March 24, the first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Gaza Strip" and insisted that it is, “in the national security interest of the United States” to help the Hamas territory.

Joining the Tehran Six were Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders.

The only reason Bernie Sanders hadn’t signed the Tehran Six letter was that he thought that it didn’t go far enough. Instead he joined Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and other terrorist supporters in calling for a suspension of sanctions on Iran.

In an embarrassing moment, the draft text of the letter was posted on the website of NIAC: described by many as the Iran Lobby in the United States. Earlier this year, Senator Tom Cotton, Senator Ted Cruz, and Senator Mike Braun had sent their own letter asking Attorney General Barr to investigate NIAC for acting as an agent of the Islamic Republic.

While Republicans wanted to hold NIAC accountable, Democrats were collaborating with it.

After Iran’s attack on our military bases, Sanders and Warren had participated in a conference call with NIAC. House Dem participants had included Rep. Ro Khanna and Rep. Barbara Lee.

The Cotton letter noted that, “NIAC's Swedish-Iranian founder, Trita Parsi, had arranged meetings between Javad Zarif, Iran's former ambassador to the United Nations and current foreign minister, and members of Congress.”

The Democrats who met with Zarif included members of the Tehran Six, Senator Murphy, who had initiated the Iran letter, and Merkeley, and Van Hollen. Murphy has spoken at NIAC events and the Iran Lobby group had described the Democrat as a “fearless ally” of its cause.

Lobbying for an Islamic terror state during a pandemic is “fearless” all right.

While the calls for suspending sanctions were couched in claims that Iran needed to be able to fight the Wuhan Virus, the proposals by Tehran Democrats went far beyond the virus.

The Sanders-Cortez-Omar letter demanded a suspension of sanctions that would “encompass major sectors of the Iranian economy, including those impacting civilian industries, Iran’s banking sector and exports of oil.”

Why does Iran need to export oil to fight the coronavirus?

Signatories to the letter calling for Iranian access to the banking sector, which it has used to fund terrorism, and to export oil, likewise, included longstanding members of the Democrat Senate and House Terror Caucus including Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Ed Markey, Rep. Joaquin Castro, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Marc Pocan, Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Gerry Connolly, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Rep. Debbie Dingell, Rep. Ro Khanna, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, and, Rep. Hank Johnson: who had compared Jews to termites.

In total, 34 House and Senate Democrats, had signed an Iran Lobby letter during one of the worst crises in American history, where many of their own constituents were dead or dying.

Official endorsees on Bernie’s Senate site included NIAC.

While the Sanders letter had started out as an extreme position, a few days later, Joe Biden, the presumptive Democrat nominee, urged President Trump to ease sanctions on Iran and “streamline channels for banking”. The beneficiaries of such measures wouldn’t be ordinary Iranians, but the regime’s terror elite and their international financial partners.

Within the space of a week, a fringe position advocated by Sanders, Cortez, and Omar had become incorporated into the official stance of the Democrat nominee for the White House.

The rapid pace at which suspending sanctions and sending billions to an Islamic terror state had become a mainstream position conveyed the incredible influence of the Iran Lobby on D.C. There are only two or so Senate and House Republicans who lobby for Iran, but a multitude of Democrats who don’t even bother asking, “how high” when the Iran Lobby tells them to jump.

To measure the scope of that influence, 6 out of 10 Democrat members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had signed their names to some version of the Iran Lobby letters.

A majority.

In the middle of a nationwide pandemic, the Iran Lobby was able to swiftly corral House and Senate Democrats into dispatching multiple letters as part of their pressure campaign.

There are two Americas. There’s the country we know and the bubble in Washington D.C.

During a pandemic, top Democrats were ignoring their dying constituents while laboring frantically to meet the demands of the Iran Lobby.

Whom do these Democrats serve?

While their letters insisted that American national interests were served by suspending sanctions on an Islamic terror state, giving it access to the banking system, and letting it export oil, none of this was in our interest, but in the interests of some of our worst enemies.

The Terror Caucus consists of many of the same members who put the interests of terrorists ahead of Americans. Rep. Ilhan Omar and Rep. Rashida Tlaib are only some of the more visible figures among bland Terror Caucus members who often represent Islamic constituencies. And since South Carolina, Omar’s ally, Rep. Jim Clyburn, the Farrakhan fan who handed the state to Joe Biden, is increasingly setting the tone for the Biden campaign.

The Terror Caucus is not a minority among the Democrats. It is driving the clown car off the cliff.

After the attacks of September 11, Joe Biden proposed, “this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran.”

His future boss would go on to illegally send billions in foreign currency on unmarked planes.

But Biden’s remark didn’t come out of nowhere. In 2002, shortly after his $200 million check proposal, he addressed the American Iranian Council. The AIC had been founded by Housang Amirahmadi, who ran for the presidency of Iran. Three times. Later that year, Biden was raising big money from Iran supporters and urging that Iran be allowed to join the WTO.

Biden is not a pawn of the Terror Caucus. He’s a founding member.

Joe Biden had celebrated the Islamic takeover of Iran. During the Iran Hostage Crisis, he had opposed the rescue of American hostages. In the nineties, he had called for an end to US broadcasts into Iran.

"Biden's political games have made him Tehran's favorite senator," an opinion piece in the Washington Post noted. Now he can be Tehran’s favorite president.

After his old boss.

Nothing conveys the deep corruption of the Terror Cause better than the frenzied Democrat lobbying for Iran in the midst of a national crisis. Even while Biden and Bernie were still battling for the nomination, they took time from their schedules to lobby for sanctions relief for Iran.

The Democrat Terror Caucus isn’t just selling out this country it’s putting terrorists ahead of Americans. At a time when President Trump and Republicans have put everything into fighting the Wuhan Virus, the Democrats are fighting just as hard to get more money to Iran.

If this is what the Terror Caucus does during a pandemic, imagine what it will do afterward.
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Daniel Greenfield (@Sultanknish) is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an investigative journalist and writer focusing on radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

Tags: Daniel Greenfield, Sultan Knish, Democrats, Put Iran, Ahead of America 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 Left's Long War on Parents

A Harvard law professor argues that the state,
backed by progressive faculty such as herself,
has an exclusive right to educate the young.
by Jarrett Stepman: An Ivy League professor says we need to end homeschooling, because parents who homeschool their children are “authoritarian.”

In an article in Harvard Magazine‘s latest issue, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Bartholet, faculty director of the Law School’s Child Advocacy Program, blasts homeschooling as “dangerous” and appealing to those who seek “authoritarian control over their kids.”

The article by Erin O’Donnell is part of the lead-up to a Harvard summit on homeschooling scheduled for June.

O’Donnell’s article and interview with Bartholet have garnered a good deal of attention, some say unduly. It is an important window into a mindset perhaps more common at our nation’s elite institutions than many would like to believe.

In the interview, Bartholet says that parents of homeschooled children tend to be “extreme religious ideologues” who don’t believe in science, keep women subservient, and believe in white supremacy.

Bartholet is doing little more than perpetuating a malicious and lazy stereotype.

As Mike McShane, the director of national research at the nonprofit EdChoice, writes:In 2019, the National Center for Education Statistics published results from a survey of homeschoolers who found that the number one reason for homeschooling was not ‘a desire to provide religious instruction’ (that came in third) or even ‘a desire to provide moral instruction’ (that came in seventh), but rather ‘a concern about school environment, such as safety, drugs, or negative peer pressure.’ Number two was ‘dissatisfaction with the academic instruction at other schools.’It’s true that many homeschooling families tend to be religious, but this absurd and, frankly, bigoted view of who they are reveals exactly what Bartholet wants when she calls for ending homeschooling.

What Bartholet clearly worries about is that homeschooling undermines Tolerance, with a capital “T.”

Her mindset is that public schools are a vital component of the state to carry out vast, progressive social engineering. If even a small minority of young people don’t accept the left’s views on say, sexuality, transgenderism, religion, or American history, according to this way of thinking, then they need to be indoctrinated to embrace these views.

The public schools, at least in the way Bartholet portrays them, are simply a tool to “veto” any potentially troubling beliefs of parents.

For an example of a homeschool family, she points to the 2018 memoir “Educated” by Tara Westover, who wrote about how she was raised and abused by Idaho survivalists who never sent her to school.

Extrapolating this single experience to indict homeschooling is ridiculous, especially given the ample evidence of abuse and other terrible things taking place in public schools.

And given the ridiculous caricature by which Bartholet defines the majority of homeschool families, that means she finds a whole lot of Americans in need of a reeducation.

In the interview, Bartholet says that children should “grow up exposed to … democratic values, ideas about nondiscrimination, and tolerance of other people’s viewpoints.”

If that’s the case, then children are better off being homeschooled or in private schools.

According to research by Albert Cheng of the University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform, “members of the very group for which public schooling is believed to be most essential for inculcating political tolerance (i.e., those who are more strongly committed to a particular worldview and value system) actually exhibit at least as much or more tolerance when they are exposed to less public schooling.”

Cheng defines tolerance as “the willingness to extend civil liberties to people who hold views with which one disagrees.”

Of course, this doesn’t seem to be what Bartholet would define as tolerance.

It’s ironic that she labels homeschooling families as “authoritarian,” since her mindset is far closer to what is common in authoritarian regimes that treat citizens like wards to be indoctrinated and aggressively stamp out all dissent.

This is a corruption of what education should look like in a free society.

Society has an interest in the education of young people. After all, as Thomas Jefferson and many other Founders insisted, an educated citizenry is essential to maintaining a republic.

If a government of the people, by the people, and for the people is to make informed decisions, widespread knowledge and instruction in basic civics—among many other things—is essential. An education in the moral and practical components of citizenship is essential to maintaining and perpetuating our free institutions.

As an aside on that count, our vast system of public schooling—still the primary way by which young Americans get a K-12 education—clearly is not fulfilling this need.

A 2018 study by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation found that only 1 in 3 Americans actually can pass the U.S. citizenship test, which asks only basic questions about our history and how our government works. The study found that young people do particularly poorly in civics knowledge.

We certainly have a great need, as Americans, to reverse this worrying trend of declining civics knowledge.

However, believing that the community has a role in creating its next generation of citizens does not necessarily include thinking that parents and families should be cut out of decision-making in that equation, or that children “belong” to the community and the state.

What Harvard’s Bartholet argues in the interview is that the state, backed by progressive college faculty such as herself, of course, has an exclusive right to educate young Americans.

Perhaps this is why so many parents look to homeschooling, private schooling, and various school choice programs as a way to escape a public K-12 system that some left-wing social engineers clearly see as their personal fiefdom.
------------------------
Jarrett Stepman (@JarrettStepman) is a contributor to The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of History podcast.

Tags: Jarrett Stepman, The Daily Signal, The Left's Long War on Parents 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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  • 11/15/15 - 11/22/15
  • 11/22/15 - 11/29/15
  • 11/29/15 - 12/6/15
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  • 12/20/15 - 12/27/15
  • 12/27/15 - 1/3/16
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  • 1/24/16 - 1/31/16
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  • 2/21/16 - 2/28/16
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  • 5/22/16 - 5/29/16
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  • 6/5/16 - 6/12/16
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  • 8/21/16 - 8/28/16
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  • 12/18/16 - 12/25/16
  • 12/25/16 - 1/1/17
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  • 1/8/17 - 1/15/17
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  • 1/22/17 - 1/29/17
  • 1/29/17 - 2/5/17
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  • 5/21/17 - 5/28/17
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  • 12/17/17 - 12/24/17
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  • 12/31/17 - 1/7/18
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  • 1/14/18 - 1/21/18
  • 1/21/18 - 1/28/18
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