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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, October 09, 2020

Biden Can't Get out of Dodge on Courts

by Tony Perkins: If it was attention Joe Biden was trying to avoid, he failed. "You'll know my opinion on court packing when the election is over," the former vice president said, standing in an airplane hanger with his running-mate. "You know the moment I answer that question, the headline in every one of your papers will be about that." Turns out, they were all about that anyway, because his massive dodge is making the American people worry a lot more about what Joe Biden isn't saying than what he is.

"I'll be happy to lay down in detail what I'm going to do after [the election]." In other words, when it's too late. Sort of like the 2020 version of "you have to vote for it to find out what's in it." But on something as fundamental as burning down our co-equal branches of government and rebooting America as an activist oligarchy, even Democratic voters aren't going to be quite so enthusiastic In a pair of new polls, most people are not only against expanding the number of justices, they also think Amy Coney Barrett should be confirmed! In a sure sign that the Left is losing the messaging war, Morning Consult warns, support for the president's nominee jumped 10 points among Democrats over the last week -- and nine points total.

Just as significant, at least to people who care about the last 240 years of constitutional governance, is Biden's refusal to be forthcoming on his stand on the Senate filibuster. That too, the presidential candidate said, would "depend." Every position he's taken over the past 47 years now seems to "depend." In this case, Andrew McCarthy warns, the filibuster, we're talking about wiping every minority party power of objection. "If that were done, the entire Democratic Party agenda could be imposed with the signature of the new Democratic administration." This is the minefield Biden is walking with the radical Left. They aren't interested in a "timid" agenda, Michael Daughtery points out. "The Left wants de-Trumpification, and they will steal Joe Biden's electoral mandate for themselves."

In the case of one of America's most important (and volatile) institutions -- the Supreme Court -- that's a dangerous proposition. "Their message is shameless," Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Nebr.) insists. "'Give us what we want, or we'll blow up the court!' This is the ugly consequence," he said, "of politicians treating the Supreme Court like a Super-Congress instead of a fair and dispassionate court." Even the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose death the Left is supposedly attempting to avenge, was clear in 2019 that neither side should try to change the status quo. "Nine seems to be a good number. It's been that way for a long time. I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court."

And yet, Sasse shakes his head, this is how "in line" Harris is, in particular, with the woke Left. They want "to make the Supreme Court 13 or 15 people to import some of the craziest radical ideas... into our jurisprudence," he argued on "Washington Watch." We're talking about a full-scale war on "the First Amendment, on religious liberty, on free speech and free assembly. And I think that's the number one issue on the ballot November 3rd. And it's why maintaining a majority in the U.S. Senate [makes this] the most important election before us."

At the end of the day, no matter how many times Joe Biden assures Americans otherwise, this would be Kamala Harris's administration. They've both said as much -- accidentally or not. So while he may play coy with the "suburban wine moms," as Doughterty calls them, she feels no such compulsion. "In the primaries," he reminds everyone, "Biden ran against constitutional extremism. During the debates, Kamala Harris laughed in his face when he cited the constitutional limits on the executive branch. He said during the primary that Democrats would 'rue the day' they packed Supreme Court." If they are elected, she will laugh in the face of our separation of powers, our Constitution, our very rule of law.

"Court packing would douse these last rule-of-law embers. It would be an unambiguous, despotic act of directing the judiciary to decide cases politically -- and, naturally, in accordance with the political preferences of the radicals who expanded the bench for that explicit purpose. And that would just be the start of the radical coup, not the end. That's the agenda Joe Biden and Kamala Harris avoid talking about..."

But it's an agenda that the American people deserve to know. And if they won't explain it, we will. Take the time to read through FRC Action's "What Biden and Harris Would Do on Our Issues." Then, check out Ken Blackwell's new column in the American Thinker, "C'mon, Man: Biden Must Answer Court-Packing Question."
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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.
Tags: Tony Perkins, Joe Biden, Can't Get out of Dodge, on CourtsTAGS To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Pelosi's Plot, Another Plot Disrupted, Good News

by Gary Bauer: Pelosi's Plot
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is still plotting to remove President Trump 25 days before the election! Today, she introduced legislation to create a commission that could invoke the 25th Amendment to remove the president of the United States.

This legislation comes in the wake of Pelosi suggesting that the president is "in an altered state right now" after receiving treatment for COVID-19.

This is beyond absurd. It can't pass the legislative process. But her effort is revealing. While the media are peppering the president with questions about accepting the results of this election, the left still hasn't accepted the results from 2016!

They hoped Robert Mueller would give them evidence of Russian collusion. When he proved that was the hoax Trump said it was, Pelosi then tried to impeach Trump over a phone call. That failed, as everyone knew it would. So, now she's concocting some plot to remove him based on his physical and mental health.

Keep in mind that the White House was negotiating with itself on an additional stimulus bill. The president and his negotiators went the extra mile to include funds to save the airline industry and another round of checks to individuals and families. They also included extra funds to support the states and schools.

But Pelosi wasn't moving at all. No matter what the White House offered, it was never enough. So the president called her out on it, and signaled his support for separate bills to address the issues where there is broad, bi-partisan agreement, but Pelosi shot that down.

And what is her priority today? A commission to remove the president 25 days before the election.

Every editorial board and news cast should be condemning her for this blatant partisan waste of time. Needless to say, I am not holding my breath.

P.S. There are reports today that a stimulus deal is still possible.

Another Plot Disrupted
Yesterday the Trump Justice Department and FBI broke up a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Thirteen people have been charged.

Instead of thanking President Trump for the actions of his Justice Department and FBI, Gov. Whitmer lashed out at President Trump, saying he encouraged "white supremacists and hate groups" during last week's debate. Joe Biden piled on too.

For the record, President Trump has condemned white supremacy multiple times. Here's a list. As Vice President Pence noted in this week's debate, President Trump has Jewish family members and grandchildren. Would Hershel Walker be friends with a racist? This vile smear speaks volumes about the left.

By the way, there is a video of one of the plotters with an anarchist flag behind him calling Trump a tyrant. He has been described as a "leftist insurrectionist anarchist who hates President Trump." At least one other man indicted in this plot also fits that description.

But once again, we see how the political left, whether it's the coronavirus or a kidnapping plot, will exploit any situation to acquire power. They have been completely corrupted by their desire to rule and reverse the accomplishments of the Trump presidency.

Make no mistake about it: They intend to rule with the goal of making it impossible for conservatives to ever govern again.

Good News
According to the latest Gallup poll, 56% of Americans say they are better off today than they were four years ago. That's an astonishing finding all things considered right now, and it's the highest percentage ever recorded by Gallup in a presidential reelection year. That should bode well for November!

New Book On Trump's America
A lot of people on the left still don't understand the Trump phenomenon that led to his shocking upset election in 2016. But journalist Daniel Allott, also one of our consultants, understands it well and describes it in an excellent new book titled, "On The Road In Trump's America."

Allott spent three years traveling through nine counties across the country that voted for Barack Obama in 2012 and then switched to Donald Trump in 2016, often by huge margins. That fact alone is amazing.

I highly recommend "On The Road In Trump's America" to anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the men and women who live in the key places that could well determine this election too.

Never Again?
Christians United for Israel is releasing a powerful documentary in select theaters exposing the evil of anti-Semitism. "Never Again?" features Holocaust survivor and my good friend Irving Roth and former anti-Israel radical Kasim Hafeez as they travel through various countries, including Poland, Israel and America.

I strongly encourage you to see "Never Again?" with friends and family members, especially as we are witnessing a disturbing rise in anti-Semitism and a disturbing lack of knowledge about the Holocaust among today's youth.

This is a limited release for three days only – October 13th, 15th and 19th. Rest assured that the theaters screening "Never Again?" are employing strict health and safety protocols to ensure a clean and safe environment. Click here for more information and to find theaters in your area.

Personal Note
As many of you know, I was honored to be at the recent White House event for "superstar" Supreme Court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett. The media ridiculously labeled it a "COVID super spreader event."

We have heard from many of you who were concerned for my health. I just wanted to let you know I was tested for the virus and my results are negative. Thank you for your prayers!

Chag Same'ach
Carol and I wish all of our Jewish friends and supporters celebrating Simchat Torah a happy and joyous holiday!
Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Pelosi's Plot, Another Plot Disrupted, Good News, Chag Same'ach To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Left-Wing Religious Leaders Like Biden

by Bill Donohue: It is being reported that the Biden campaign is bragging about the support the Democratic presidential candidate is getting from 1,600 faith leaders. They shouldn’t. Vote Common Good is a motley crew of left-wing activists who are more a liability than an asset to the Biden campaign.

For example, there is an embarrassing letter to pastors, clergy and faith leaders featured on the website of Vote Common Good that is anything but the kind of statement we would expect from religious leaders. It is a vicious ad hominem attack on the president.

Instead of praising Biden or criticizing President Trump’s policies, the letter speaks with derision about Trump’s supporters and descends into an assault on his alleged “amorality.” It also encourages religious leaders to play the race card by using the pulpit to hammer the “white Christians” who voted for Trump in 2016.

The executive director of Vote Common Good is Doug Pagitt, a left-wing Christian who has worked closely with Jim Wallis, the former Marxist who founded Sojourners. In August, this mainline Protestant publication was forced to pull an article effectively calling U.S. bishops racists.

Under Pagitt, his organization has given much profile to the subject of race. It claims to be anti-racist and even sponsors something called the “Racism Allyship Certification Program.” But no one takes them seriously, not when they learn that its members rallied outside the White House at Black Lives Matter Plaza (named after the racist group) before joining with Al Sharpton. Sharpton is one of the most polarizing race-baiting preachers in the nation.

Vote Common Good has won the support of two Catholic notables. Sister Simone Campbell of “Nuns on the Bus” fame and Patrick Carolan, another Catholic dissident. Both of them vigorously disagree with the Catholic Church’s teaching on abortion. They implore us to keep it legal.

If this isn’t enough to discredit Vote Common Good, learning who funds it finishes the job. Yup, they get their underwriting from George Soros, the self-hating Jewish billionaire who funds anti-Catholic organizations. And yes, Soros also greases Sojourners.

Biden is in deep trouble with the faithful and this gambit doesn’t help. He would have been better advised not to seek the endorsement of any religious leaders if this is the best he could do. Meanwhile, most people of faith voted for Trump last time, and they are likely to do so again. Joe will have to depend on mobilizing the atheists.
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Bill Donohue (@CatholicLeague) is a sociologist and president of the Catholic League.
Tags: Bill Donohue, Catholic League, Left-Wing Religious Leaders, Like Biden 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 Party of Pinocchio

by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: You watched the vice-presidential debate this week between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris. I know you did.

The candidates defined the massive ideological and moral divide in our country right now, and I found myself reducing that difference to one single thing: honesty.

One one side you have Republican Mike Pence, a very devout Christian who is so scrupulously honest that he has never once joined a woman in a room without his wife present. Pence does not lie. Pence CANNOT lie. He would explode if he ever told a lie, and he wears his faith proudly on his sleeve.

On the other side you have Kamala Harris, who grew up in the Democrat culture of dishonesty. She launched her political career by sleeping with San Francisco mayor and state assembly speaker Willie Brown, who was married at the time and 41 years her senior. Brown then appointed her to two political posts.

The debate moderator, Susan Page of USA Today, framed every question in a way that was critical to President Trump and his policies. One of her questions stated that despite a fragile economy (not mentioning Trump’s record success before the China Virus) the Biden/Harris website declares their intention to implement the $4.1 trillion “Green New Deal”. She asked Harris to elaborate. Harris responded, “Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact! That is a fact!” She was either caught in a whopper of a lie, or her campaign’s website is dishonest. There is no wiggle room between the two.

Harris declared at one point that, “On day one, Joe Biden will repeal Trump’s tax cut” and later insisted that “Joe Biden will not increase taxes on anyone making less than $400 thousand dollars per year.” Pence about came out of his shoes, pointing out that eliminating the Trump tax cut would instantly raise taxes for the lowest earners by at least $2000 per year. Harris’s face revealed her embarrassment at being caught again in a bald-faced whopper.

Pence later asked Harris point-blank if she and Biden intended to “stack” the Supreme Court. After several attempts to divert, she shook her head and mumbled a sheepish laugh. Busted again.

Sticking to the Democrat playbook, Harris repeated the Charlottesville quote where Trump said there are “fine people on both sides” of the protest and she conveniently left out the next line in which Trump condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Is there any American so uninformed that they still fall for that lie of omission?

The brazenness of Harris’s dishonesty was shocking and icky to Pence, as it should have been to any alert viewer. It makes one want to wash his hands, regardless of any virus. Exaggeration is expected in a political campaign, and vague promises are commonplace. But in the past, outright lies by candidates had consequences with the voters if proven. Democrats no longer fear having lies blow up in their faces, because, to them, the end now justifies the means, and apparently at least half of Americans no longer value the truth either.
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Tom Balek (@TomBalek) is a fellow conservative activist, blogger, musician and contributes to the ARRA News Service. Tom resides in South Carolina and seeks to educate those too busy with their work and families to notice how close to the precipice our economy has come. He blogs at Rockin' On the Right Side
Tags: Tom Balek, The Party of Pinnochio To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Lockdown Enthusiasts' Risk Aversion Is Producing a More Unequal Society

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Now that Donald Trump exited from Walter Reed Hospital and the vice presidential debate aired, let's turn to an apolitical analyst to understand what's happening. Vaclav Smil, 76, native of communist Czechoslovakia and former University of Manitoba professor for four decades, has written 39 books on energy, technology and demography. "Nobody," says Bill Gates, who has read every book, "sees the big picture with as wide an aperture as Vaclav Smil."

What Smil sees now, he writes in a characteristically terse IEEE Spectrum essay, he finds puzzling. The COVID-19 death rate per million is about one-fifth that of the 1957-58 Asian flu and one-third that of the 1968-70 Hong Kong flu. Yet these earlier pandemics had only "evanescent economic consequences" and did not "leave any deep, traumatic traces in memories" of the 350 million people who, like Smil (and me), were 10 or older during both. "Countries did not resort to any mass-scale economic lockdowns, enforce any long-lasting school closures, ban sports events, or cut flight schedules deeply," Smil writes.

Why not? "Was it because we had no fear-reinforcing 24/7 cable news, no Twitter, and no incessant and instant case-and-death tickers on all our electronic screens?" asks the non-cellphone owner Smil. "Or is it we ourselves who have changed, by valuing recurrent but infrequent risks differently?"

Some of both is my tentative answer. As I've written before, Americans' child-rearing practices, as Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff have documented, are increasingly risk-averse. But not entirely consistently: Kids are kept in car seats till age 9 and then encouraged to ride bicycles in heavy traffic a few years later.

And some Americans are more risk-averse than others. Polls show that political liberals are more likely than political conservatives to wear masks and support extended lockdowns (except for "mostly peaceful" demonstrations against police).

Partisan politics and personal distaste for President Donald Trump play a role. As ProPublica's Alec MacGillis documented in a searing New Yorker article, teachers-union members didn't adamantly oppose reopening schools until Trump called for it. A Trump tweet saying that the sun rises in the east would, it seems, move many Americans to head out to the Pacific coast and wait for it to rise there.

But one-dimensional risk aversion has produced extended lockdowns with significant public health costs: reduced cancer and cardiac screenings, fewer childhood vaccinations, undue skepticism toward any COVID vaccine. And it's plainly damaging liberals' own causes.

Thus, Democrats, unlike Republicans, have been refraining from door-to-door campaigning -- until Oct. 1, when Democrats decided they needed the personal touch.

Similarly, Democratic pols encouraged their voters' aversion to voting in person, until they realized that there would be many spoiled or undelivered ballots in states with voters and officials unfamiliar with postal voting.

Lockdowns, more stringent in Democratic states than Republican states, have produced higher unemployment and greater drops in state revenues. Keeping unionized public schools closed is driving parents to private schools, home schooling and improvised pods.

As New York Times columnist Ross Douthat notes, schools are now open for approximately half of white pupils but only one-quarter of black and Hispanic pupils. For many minority children, he writes, "a key legacy of 2020 may be a well-intentioned liberal betrayal of their interests, a hollowing-out of the institutions that protect and serve them, and the deepening of America's racial inequalities." But extreme risk aversion imposes few costs for affluent liberals who can work comfortably and for full pay on home computers.

Which leads back to Vaclav Smil's question: Why do we have economic lockdowns, school closures and empty stadiums and airliners when we didn't before? My answer is a paraphrase of former President Bill Clinton's explanation for his sexual adventures in the White House: Because we can.

In Clinton's 1990s, we didn't have smartphones, Wi-Fi, Zoom. Now we -- the affluent "we" have been the lockdown's biggest backers -- do. In my email today, I got an ad for a $16 million house in the Hamptons, complete with home office, gym and sauna. No need to go into Manhattan.

Meanwhile, in Baltimore, 12-year-old Shemar, whom Alec MacGillis had been tutoring, is staying up late watching TV and sleeping in, unable to log in to the virtual classes the city's unionized public schools are providing. "Broadband internet," wrote a respondent on MacGillis's Twitter feed, "is actually sabotaging our kids. Without it, there wouldn't even be 'virtual learning' as an option, and every school in the country would have no choice but to take every kid back and just make the best of it."

Vaclav Smil is right in documenting how technological progress has vastly improved ordinary people's lives. But excessive risk aversion can make for exceptions.
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Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, Rasmussen Reports, Lockdown Enthusiasts,' Risk Aversion, Is Producing, More Unequal Society To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Putin’s Got His Problems, Too

by Patrick Buchanan: While our Beltway elites are obsessed with Russia and Putin, seeing in them a mortal threat to our democracy, close observers are seeing something else.

Before the first Trump-Biden debate, moderator Chris Wallace listed the six subjects that would be covered:

The Trump and Biden records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, the economy, race and violence in our cities, and the integrity of the election.

According to a recent Gallup survey, Wallace’s topics tracked the public’s concerns — the top seven of which were the coronavirus, government leadership, race relations, the economy, crime and violence, the judicial system, morality and family decline.

As an issue, national security did not even break Gallup’s Top 10. It ranked below education and homelessness, just above climate change.

Which raises a question:

Can a nation as divided as we are and as distracted as we are by the most lethal pandemic in 100 years, the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and the worst racial crisis since the 1960s, conduct a global policy to contain the ambitions of two rival great powers on the other side of the world and to create a U.S.-led democratic world order?

Can we build, lead and sustain alliances of dozens of nations to contain Vladimir Putin’s Russia and Xi Jinping’s China as we did the Soviet Union during more than 40 years of the Cold War?

Are we still up to it? And must we Americans do it?

Or should we let the internal problems and pressures on these two nations do the primary work of containing their external ambitions?

Case in point: Vladimir Putin’s Russia. While our Beltway elites are obsessed with Russia and Putin, seeing in them a mortal threat to our democracy, close observers are seeing something else.

“Putin, Long the Sower of Instability, Is Now Surrounded by It,” runs a headline in Thursday’s New York Times. The theme also appears in The Financial Times in a story headlined, “Putin Watches as Flames Engulf Neighborhood.”

Consider the situation today in Russia’s “near abroad,” the former republics of the USSR that broke from Moscow’s rule between 1989 and 1991.

The Baltic States — Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia — are already in the U.S.-led NATO alliance. Georgia in the Central Caucasus, the birthplace of Stalin, fought a war against its Russian neighbor in 2008 and is now a friend and de facto ally of the United States.

Ukraine, the most populous of the 14 republics to break away from Moscow, is now the most hostile to Moscow, having watched its Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea be amputated by Putin in 2014.

Now, Belarus, Russia’s closest neighbor to the west, is in a political crisis with weekly demonstrations demanding the ouster of Putin’s ally, longtime autocrat Alexander Lukashenko, after a fraudulent election.

Putin could be forced to do what he has no desire to do — forcefully intervene to put down a popular uprising that could cause Belarus to follow Ukraine into the Western camp.

Now, in the South Caucasus, two former republics of the USSR, Azerbaijan and Armenia, are again in an open war over Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave wholly within Azerbaijan.

While Armenia, an ally of Russia, is pleading for intervention by Moscow to halt the war, Turkey is aiding the Azeris militarily, and they seem to be gaining the upper hand.

Four thousand miles away, in Russia’s Far East, in the city of Khabarovsk, which is as close to China as Dulles Airport is to D.C., anti-Putin rallies have become a constant feature of politics.

Last summer, Putin’s political rival Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent developed in Soviet laboratories. Navalny has now become a live martyr and more potent adversary as the Kremlin has failed to come up with a satisfactory explanation for what appears to have been an attempted assassination. New German and French sanctions on Russian officials could be forthcoming.

Russians are tiring of Putin’s 20-year rule. His popularity, though high by European standards, is near its nadir. And Russians have suffered mightily from the coronavirus and what it has done to their economy.

Now, the pro-Putin regime in Kyrgyzstan on the Chinese border appears to have been overthrown after another fraudulent election, and Beijing is telling everyone to stay out.

And how have Putin’s imperial adventures gone?

While his intervention in Syria saved the regime of Bashar Assad and Russia’s sole naval base in the Mediterranean, the war continues to bleed Mother Russia.

Putin’s intervention on the side of the rebels in Libya, however, has not gone well. Last year’s rebel drive to capture the capital of Tripoli failed, and the rebel forces have been forced to retreat back to the east.

Meanwhile, Russia’s economy remains only one-tenth the size of China’s economy, and its population is also only one-tenth that of China.

Perhaps time is on America’s side in the rivalry with Russia, and war avoidance remains as wise a policy as it was during the Cold War.
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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, Putin’s Got His Problems, Too To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Why Biden’s Threat to Pack the Supreme Court Matters

by Catherine Mortensen: After Joe Biden and Kamala Harris dodged debate questions about “packing the courts,” Biden, when pressed further finally said, “You’ll know my opinion on court packing when the election is over.”

Biden is playing games with the American people on what could be the most consequential issue of the election and here is why this matters.

Presidents are constitutionally bound to fill vacancies on the courts including the Supreme Court which has been set to nine justices since 1869. It is expected that they will nominate judges who share their views on the constitution. Naturally, these presidential appointments can have far-reaching impacts on the nation.

What is not normal, expected, or natural is to “pack the court.” Packing the court is a different thing altogether. It is when a president attempts to increase the number of judges on any given court in order to get a desired political outcome.

“Packing the court” was coined by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and was a slang term for the Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937.

Roosevelt sought to reform the number of Supreme Court justices in an effort to obtain a favorable ruling for the New Deal legislation.

The central provision of the bill would have granted the president power to appoint an additional justice to the Supreme Court – up to a maximum of six – for every member of the court over the age of 70 years and six months.

Roosevelt’s bill went nowhere. The public and Congress rejected it, seeing it for what it was, a power grab. No president has ever tried it since. At least not with the Supreme Court.

However, during the Obama-Biden Administration, Senate Republicans accused the White House and Senate Democrats of trying to pack the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. This court is often referred to as the second highest court in the land because it hears important cases concerning the federal government.

In 2013, The 11-panel court had three vacancies which Obama sought to fill. But Republicans pointed out that the court did not handle enough cases to warrant 11 judges and sought to reduce the number to 9.

Republican leaders tried to make the case that “the most underworked appeals court in the country should not be manipulated by the president and his political allies to advance their agenda.”

According to an October 2013 Senate Republican Policy Committee memo, an unnamed D.C. Circuit Court Judge said, “I do not believe the current caseload of the D.C. Circuit or, for that matter, the anticipated caseload in the near future, merits additional judgeships at this time. … If any more judges were added now, there wouldn’t be enough work to go around.”

That same memo noted, “Senate Democrats and their allies have been quite clear: they are pushing to make more appointments to the D.C. Circuit — not because they are needed, but because they want judges who will rubber-stamp the President’s agenda.”

Ultimately, the Obama-Biden Administration succeeded in appointing four judges to that court in which Democrats now hold sway.

This matters because the D.C. Circuit has sole responsibility for deciding cases having to do with the balance of powers of the branches of government and decisions made by government agencies affecting issues such as health care, national security, and energy development.

“In 2013, when Obama attempted to pack that court, his administration had a problem,” explained Rick Manning, president of Americans for Limited Government. “There were a number of disputes involving the power of the executive branch that were headed to the federal district court of appeals, and that court was philosophically evenly divided. Fearing that the courts would curtail their power, the Obama-Biden team schemed to add three left leaning judges to the district court of appeals. They sought to guarantee that the executive branch would win all legal challenges.”

The fact that Biden has been involved in what looks like court packing in the past, should concern every American. If he is allowed back into the White House, and his party gains control of the Senate, he could very likely abolish the filibuster in order to push through a Roosevelt-type scheme to politicize and pack the Supreme Court.
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Catherine Mortensen is the Vice President of Communications at Americans for Limited Government.
Tags: Biden Threat, Pack the Supreme Court, Matters, Catherine Mortensen, Americans for Limited Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Don't Be Complacent - Vote - Vote - Vote

& NOT Pelosi's Radical Agenda
by John Porter, Contributing Author: Definition of complacency:1: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies When it comes to safety, complacency can be dangerous.
2: an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction.
I think there are too many people believing that President Trump is going to win re-election by a landslide. That is by far the number one reason he could be defeated! The attitude that, "I'm not going to worry about voting, Trump will win big without my vote," is the biggest danger President Trump faces.

It's not the Socialist Democrats. It's the COMPLACENCY of his supporters.

Please, I urge you in the strongest way I can, do not be one who helps him get defeated by being COMPLACENT and staying home.

Believe me, he is going to need all the help we can give him, EVERYONE OF US!!

President Trump and America needs every freedom loving American to pour into the polls on election day or if early voting has started where you live, do so now and vote for the re-election of Donald Trump and Constitutional freedom.

If at all possible, vote in person.

Anyone who is still undecided, providence has provided you with an excellent reason to cast your vote for President Donald Trump & VP Mike Pence.

Also at risk is the U.S. Supreme Court, Will appointees be people who will make rulings using the Constitution as it is written or will they make laws based on how the court thinks it should have been written.

I hope everyone reading this will share it so as many people as possible. Radical Democrats are doing and will do everything they can to keep President Trump (our president) from remaining in office. If successful, far more damage will be done to American and your rights.

The outcome is up to us!   VOTE!, VOTE! VOTE! IN PERSON IF POSSIBLE!
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John Porter is an Americans first, constitutional conservatives second. His allegiance is to the Constitution. He seeks to help save America from the grips of socialism and an all powerful, intrusive government, and from the evil of Islam. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service.
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Shut Door Policy

. . . Joe Biden will not answer the question, will he stack the court with a radical leftist if he is elected.

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Shut Door Policy, Joe Biden, sthe courts, editorial cartoon, AF Branco 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 Want You To Pay The Media’s Bills

by Daniel Greenfield: The media is dying. Its business model is defunct. Its bias has alienated most of the country. In the latest Pew survey, the only group that still trusts the media are Democrats.

And while so many millions are out of work, Democrats are bailing out the media.

The wave of consolidations and bankruptcies is sweeping like a fire through major papers. Cable news will be a casualty of demographics and the end of bundling. The end of network television is less than a decade away. Brand names like CNN and MSNBC will soon be where Time, Newsweek, and other news magazines ended up once subscriptions collapsed.

The media is dying, but it’s not about to die gracefully. It just needs to find money. Lots of it.

Big Tech billionaires have bought classic newspapers and magazines like Time, The Washington Post, and The New Republic, but those are vanity projects and even Jeff Bezos doesn’t have enough money to subsidize the entire ossified infrastructure of the media.

But the only people who have more money than the Amazon CEO are the American people.

The media’s Plan A has been sponging off Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook, pressuring them to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into its operations. Its Plan B is blurring the line between lefty activist non-profits and its newsrooms with organizations like Report for America being funded by Facebook and Google to embed activists into local newspapers.

Is that going to pay the media’s bills? No. That’s why there’s Plan C. And Plan C is you.

H.R. 7640: The Local Journalism Sustainability Act was introduced in Congress, backed by a coalition that includes Report for America and the National Newspaper Association, and would offer tax credits for newspaper subscriptions and tax credits for paying the salaries of the radical activists working there. There's also a $5,000 tax credit for advertising in newspapers.

At a time when millions of Americans are out of work, when families are faced with losing their homes and businesses, Democrats have decided that they should aggressively subsidize a dying industry at the expense of everyone else whose jobs are seen as “non-essential”.

The countless stores, gyms, bars, salons, and other small businesses going out of business in the epidemic of Democrat lockdowns and lootings could use this kind of bailout. But the Democrats insist that their media messaging operations are vital and should be subsidized.

While Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who introduced the bill, claims that it will fund “local newspapers”, those local newspapers are largely owned by national operations and hedge funds. While actual local businesses go out of business, Democrats are proposing a bailout for media investors.

Rep. Kirkpatrick’s press release touts support from from the News Media Alliance whose board is stacked with the heads of McClatchy and USA Today, huge national chains with a combined thousands of papers, not to mention the CFO of the New York Times, and a VP at the Washington Post. Are these the local small businesses Democrats want to subsidize?

The Local Journalism Sustainability Act has over 40 Democrat sponsors and nearly 20 Republican sponsors. Democrat sponsors include some of the House's most extreme figures like Rep. Ted Lieu, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Eric Swalwell, and Rep. Andre Carson.

H.R. 7640 would be an outrage at any time, it’s a particular outrage when so many Americans are out of work and so many small businesses are going under that Democrats and some Republicans want to provide a $250 tax credit for newspaper subscriptions, a tax credit covering half of $50,000 salaries for media hacks, and $5,000 credits for advertising in newspapers.

Companies that own dozens, hundreds, and thousands of papers are lobbying Congress. They keep claiming that the bill will help save “local journalism”. But how does the Local Journalism Sustainability Act define local journalism? Not based on the paper, but the readers. As long as 51% of the paper’s readers live in the same state, it’s considered a local paper. Even if the paper is a subsidiary of a national chain whose real headquarters is in New York or D.C.

Or alternatively, they live within 200 miles of each other. Depending on how you measure, Washington Post readers in New York and New York Times readers in D.C. would be “local”.

That’s some “local” journalism. And it’s no accident that it was written this way.

There’s nothing local about this bailout. It will mostly go to subsidize the huge newspaper chains that are lobbying for it, while bribing businesses and readers to fund their failed business model.

Even while Democrats are destroying businesses with viable business models, they’re trying to keep the media alive by exclusively offering tax credits for their political allies.

It’s sleazy, it’s slimy, and it’s just the beginning.

Democrat organizations like Acronym’s Courier Newsroom have been setting up fake local papers while Report for America has been hollowing out papers by embedding radical activists into newsrooms. The Local Journalism Sustainability Act is testing the business model for converting the media into a bunch of political non-profits backed by taxpayers and lefty donors.

Beyond media associations, backing for the Local Journalism Sustainability Act comes from Report for America, and the American Journalism Project, which is advocating the transformation of the media to a non-profit model. Report for America is an initiative of the GroundTruth Project which is backed by the Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Ford Foundation. The Ford Foundation is a leading backer of Black Lives Matter.

While these donors already back a network of radical messaging operations, proposals like the Local Journalism Sustainability Act allow the media to ease into the transition by having it both ways, maintaining corporate ownership, while having their operations subsidized by tax credits.

As the Left sets up new complex interplays between corporate media and its non-profits, the line between journalism and political advocacy blurs into a strange twilight zone in which non-profits subsidize media operations and taxpayers subsidize corporate chains as if they were non-profits, while creating something that looks very much like a state media operation.

The internet has been slowly digesting the separate parts of the media, and it doesn’t pay the bills. The ads and subscriptions that funded local newspapers were wiped out by the internet. Streaming dooms cable channels and local news, leaving behind a lot of online video. But even digital media is being crushed by social media. Vox, Vice, the Huffington Post, and all the digital lefty outlets were hit with layoffs after facing the impossibility of actually turning a profit.

The media can’t survive on its own terms. Its business model is defunct. Its shakedown strategies aimed at Google and Facebook have silenced countless conservative voices, while pushing social media to spam its content, but won’t preserve the media as a viable institution. The hedge funds and private equity firms that own the media will cut costs, consolidate, and dump. The tech and communications firms that come into possession of media outlets will shrink and then dispose of them. That doesn’t mean that the media will die. It will ‘Pravdaize’.

CNN, MSNBC, and the Huffington Post will be deemed “essential” forms of journalism that must be protected by subsidizing their operations, much as newspapers would be subsidized.

The media will become a public institution. Its funding will come from taxpayers in a thousand different ways and the Local Journalism Sustainability Act is the least of it. Media activists have been cooking up a large package of tax credits, subsidies, law changes, tax code restructurings, and assorted proposals to transform the media from corporate properties into state media.

Imagine PBS and NPR multiplied by a million.

Congress should not be bailing out media tycoons while Americans go hungry. If Americans want local papers, they can buy them. And if they aren’t, maybe it’s time that the big chains asked why they’re losing subscribers and why Americans aren’t buying what they’re selling.

A majority of Americans don’t like and don’t trust the media. They’ve divested from it. The Local Journalism Sustainability Act wants to bribe Americans to read the paper with their own money.

A better idea might be to have the media pay its taxes and let Americans keep their money.
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Daniel Greenfield @SultanKnish is a journalist investigating Islamic terrorism and the Left. He is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His website.
Tags: Daniel Greenfield, Democrats, Media Bias 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 Contracts COVID-19; What Happened to Compassion?

Larry Elder
by Larry Elder: Comedian Chris Rock, hosting “Saturday Night Live,” summarized the feelings shared by much of President Donald Trump-hating America when he quipped, “President Trump is in the hospital from COVID and I just wanna say my heart goes out to COVID.” The audience then erupted in laughter.

During the Barack Obama administration, the country faced the H1N1 virus, or swine flu. Did the Obama administration, unlike the Trump administration, respond to that crisis with scientific-based action that saved the lives of untold Americans? Joe Biden aide Ron Klain, who served Biden in the White House during the Obama administration, candidly admitted no.

At a 2019 forum at the National Press Club, Klain said: “I was in the White House in 2009 and 2010. I was working for Vice President Biden. I wasn’t involved directly in the H1N1 response, but I lived through it as a White House staffer, and what I would say about it is: A bunch of really talented, really great people were working on it, and we did every possible thing wrong. And 60 million Americans got H1N1 in that period of time, and it’s just purely a fortuity that this isn’t one of the great mass casualty events in American history. It had nothing to do with us doing anything right. It just had to do with luck.”

Trump’s enemies are accusing him of purposefully mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic. But this is par for the course in the Trump era. After all, about 29% of the Democratic congressional delegation boycotted Trump’s inauguration; several never attended any of the president’s State of the Union speeches; Democrats attempted to invoke the 25th Amendment by arguing that the new president was mentally unfit for the job; Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., accused him of violating the emoluments clause; there was a 2 1/2-year Russia-Trump collusion investigation; Trump was impeached; and somehow, The New York Times acquired several years of his income tax returns, apparently revealing that Trump paid little or nothing in federal income taxes for many years.

And Trump has routinely been compared to Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, a dictator, a tyrant, a grifter and other things unsuitable for family consumption. As to Trump’s handling of the coronavirus, Democrats, like Democratic presidential rival Joe Biden, literally accuse Trump of all but personally murdering more than 200,000 people.

Trump, to the consternation of medical experts and Democratic politicians, frequently appeared maskless and continued to hold rallies and gatherings where social distancing and mask-wearing were not observed. Former Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein calls Trump’s coronavirus response “homicidal negligence.”

Goodness, does this make Dr. Anthony Fauci a co-conspirator? In a “60 Minutes” episode that aired on March 8, Fauci expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of wearing masks: “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences: People keep fiddling with the mask, and they keep touching their face.”

Is Biden a co-conspirator in this mass homicide for criticizing Trump, who, at the end of January, announced travel restrictions on aliens who had been in China in the preceding 14 days, preventing their entry into the U.S.? The next day Biden tweeted: “We are in the midst of a crisis with the coronavirus. We need to lead the way with science — not Donald Trump’s record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering. He is the worst possible person to lead our country through a global health emergency.” Let us not forget that China lied to the world about when it first learned of the coronavirus and lied when it denied that there was human-to-human transmission of the deadly virus. As a result of those lies, the rest of the world played catch-up from the very beginning.

Furthermore, according to a recent study by the University of California, Los Angeles, the virus may have been in America months sooner than initially thought. Therefore, we may be underestimating the number of Americans who have already contracted the virus. UCLA Health writes: “UCLA researchers and colleagues who analyzed electronic health records found that there was a significant increase in patients with coughs and acute respiratory failure at UCLA Health hospitals and clinics beginning in late December 2019, suggesting that COVID-19 may have been circulating in the area months before the first definitive cases in the U.S. were identified.”

Expert medical advice continues to evolve during the course of this pandemic. Trump, as he told The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, wanted to project an image of calm. Trump also recognized that dealing with this crisis, like most things in life, requires trade-offs. Shutting down the economy has unintended costs, including but not limited to divorce, alcoholism, drug addiction and domestic violence. Not an easy call for Trump to make.

In the meantime, can even Trump-haters pray for his full recovery? Or, at least, pretend to?
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Larry Elder (@larryelder) is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host, an American lawyer, writer and radio and television personality who is also known as the "Sage From South Central." To find out more about Larry Elder. Visit his website at LarryElder.com for list of other articles.
Tags: Larry Elder, Trump Contracts, COVID-19, What Happened to, Compassion? To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Who Will Deal With Turkey?

by Caroline Glick: For the past several months, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has busily dispelled any residual doubts about his hostility toward the U.S. and its allies in NATO and the Middle East. He has accomplished this in multiple ways. Erdogan purchased Russia’s S-400 surface-to-air missile system and, in a swipe at the U.S. and NATO, announced his intention to test the system next week.

He threatens and seeks to subvert Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. He has destroyed his nation’s longstanding strategic alliance with Israel.

He has cast his lot with the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world, and with Iran against his Arab enemies. Indeed, Erdogan has effectively appointed himself the head of the Muslim Brotherhood. An associate of his recently published a map of a new Ottoman Empire, or “Greater Turkey”—with Erdogan as sultan. It included vast territories spanning from northern Greece to the east Aegean islands, half of Bulgaria, Cyprus, most of Armenia and large swaths of Georgia, Iraq and Syria.

Erdogan is fighting on behalf of Sunni jihadists in Syria and in Libya.

On the positive side, Erdogan’s fights in Syria and Libya place Turkey in confrontation with Russia, which is siding with the opposite side in both wars. Erdogan started a new fight with Russia over the past couple of months, which now threatens to transform into a major war. Erdogan is fighting with Azerbaijan against Russia’s client Armenia for control over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area that both Armenia and Azerbaijan claim.

How is the U.S. supposed to deal with Erdogan, the head of NATO member Turkey—a strategically placed ally, traversing two continents, that Washington has long viewed as indispensable?

The Pentagon rejects calls to walk away from Turkey. And a brief look at the map makes clear the generals’ reluctance. Perched on Russia’s backyard, Turkey’s massive landmass provides U.S. forces with easy access to key theaters in Asia, the Middle East and Russia.

To uphold the alliance, the U.S. has consistently bowed its head in the face of Turkish aggression against its allies and partners. In 2019, the U.S. agreed to ditch the Kurdish forces in Syria, despite their central role in assisting U.S. efforts to destroy ISIS’s caliphate, in order to avoid a direct confrontation between U.S. and Turkish forces. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo just visited Greece and told its leaders to stand down against Turkey and seek a diplomatic solution to Turkey’s aggression.

Owing to Turkey’s strategic importance, the U.S. has turned a blind eye to its sponsorship of Hamas. The U.S. has not called Turkey to account in a serious way for its willingness to permit ISIS to use Turkey as its logistics and mobilization base, or economic hub, during the years that the murderous jihadist group controlled large portions of Syria and Iraq.

During Barack Obama‘s presidency, kowtowing to Erdogan was of a piece with Obama’s foreign policy vision. Obama and his vice president, Joe Biden, sought to restructure the U.S. alliance system in the Middle East away from Israel and the U.S.’s traditional Sunni Arab allies and toward Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood. Given its radical thrust, it made sense when Obama told an interviewer in 2012 that he spoke with Erdogan more than any other foreign leader.

The Obama administration was sympathetically inclined toward the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. It pushed for the overthrow of U.S. ally and long-serving Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 2012, and supported the Muslim Brotherhood regime that took power in 2013. Like Erdogan, the Obama-Biden administration was livid when, following mass protests throughout the country and the drying up of Egypt’s financial reserves that brought the country of 90 million to the brink of starvation, the Egyptian military ousted the Muslim Brotherhood from power and installed Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as president.

Throughout their second term, Obama and Biden did nothing to stop Erdogan’s efforts to destabilize and subvert Sisi’s government and return the Muslim Brotherhood to power. Today, some 20,000 members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood are living in Turkey, which has become their center of operations just as the nation serves as the operational center of Hamas.

The Obama-Biden administration also did not seriously object to Erdogan’s efforts on behalf of Iran when he transformed Turkey into a major economic hub for Iranian sanctions busting. Obama’s decision to appease Tehran through the nuclear deal that gave Iran an open road to a nuclear arsenal and enriched the mullocracy by abrogating the UN economic sanctions against it made him, by consequence, supportive of Turkey’s outreach and support for the Iranian regime.

The Obama-Biden desire to appease Iran precluded their administration from taking effective action against Syrian President, and Iranian and Russian client, Bashar Assad. Obama’s unwillingness to confront Iran empowered Russia to deploy forces to Syria for the first time since 1982. Obama’s supine policy in Syria also played a role in Erdogan’s decision to begin negotiations regarding the purchase of Russia’s S-400 system, which drove a stake into the NATO alliance.

Biden has pledged to reinstate Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East and worldwide if he is elected next month.

On the surface, Trump’s policies toward Turkey don’t appear that different from Obama’s. He has not challenged Turkey’s membership in NATO. He has bowed to Turkey’s demands in Syria. Although he did block the delivery of F-35s to Turkey, he has refused to-date to sanction Turkey for its aggressive behavior toward Greece and Turkey. He hasn’t removed U.S. forces and nuclear warheads from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. And he continues to refer to Erdogan as a leader he respects.

But in practice, Trump’s policy is very different from the Obama-Biden policies. Trump is not an ideologue except insofar as “America First” can be considered an ideological position. His commitment to advancing U.S. interests has compelled Trump to set aside traditional policies if they do not conform to realities on the ground. Traditionally, for instance, it has been considered impossible to forge peace between Israel and the Arab states so long as the Palestinian conflict with Israel remains unresolved. Trump saw, however, that Israel and several Gulf Arab states and Egypt were maintaining intense, friendly ties and realized that the traditional perceptions of the Middle East were wrong.

From the time of Ronald Reagan, the prevailing wisdom in Washington was that the U.S. had to cut a deal with the ayatollahs in Iran. Trump realized that no one had succeeded because the Iranian regime seeks to destroy the U.S.—not make peace with it. The Iranians even refused to sign their nuclear deal with Obama, lest they be perceived as making peace with “the Great Satan.”

The consistent themes of Trump’s foreign policies in the Middle East and throughout the world are that he has insisted on judging leaders by their deeds, and not their words; judging policies by their success in making the U.S. and its allies better off, and not by the support they receive from the foreign policy establishment; and basing U.S. partnerships with foreign states on the presence of shared interests, rather than relying on formal alliance structures to advance American interests and goals.

All of these aspects of Trump’s foreign policies are vital for developing and maintaining a successful U.S. policy toward Erdogan’s Turkey, as Erdogan exposes himself as a foe interested in pitting all sides against one another to enable his efforts to construct a new Ottoman Empire. Many commentators advocate expelling Turkey from NATO. But it isn’t clear that a head-on confrontation with Erdogan would neutralize him. It could well empower him by helping him to rally the Turkish public behind him at a time when Turkey’s economy stands on the brink of collapse.

Given Erdogan’s multipronged aggression, the first goal of a realistic policy would be to diminish his power by severely weakening Turkey economically. This may mean imposing economic sanctions on Turkey for its aggression against Greece and Cyprus. Or it may mean simply giving Turkey a gentle push over the economic cliff.

Without raising the issue of removing Turkey from NATO, the U.S. can simply not sell Turkey advanced platforms while demonstrating its support for Greece and Cyprus, as well as Israel and its Arab partners.

True, China is already seeking to supplant the U.S. in sponsoring the Turkish economy and selling Turkey arms—but by keeping Turkey in NATO, the U.S. still has more leverage over Turkey than China.

A passive-aggressive policy for diminishing Erdogan’s power and the threat he can mount is right up Trump’s alley. Trump doesn’t often directly attack his opponents. He embraced North Korean leader Kim Jong-un even as he imposed the harshest economic sanctions ever on North Korea and redesignated it a state sponsor of terrorism. He has acted similarly with Putin and with Erdogan himself.

Erdogan’s belief that he can rebuild the Ottoman Empire while attacking EU and NATO members, the U.S., its key allies in the Middle East as well as Russia, owes to his narcissism that Obama and Biden did so much to feed.

With Erdogan now openly threatening multiple U.S. allies, it is increasingly apparent that the largest and fastest rising threat to stability and peace in the Middle East is Turkey—and the victor in next month’s U.S. presidential election will have no lead time to deal with it.

Trump’s reality-based foreign policy, his preference for indirect confrontations and empowerment of U.S. partners to defend themselves from aggression, rather than dictating their actions or fighting their battles for them, give the president the flexibility to diminish Erdogan’s maneuver room, his economic independence and his popularity at home—while also empowering U.S. allies directly affected by the strongman’s aggression to stand up to him effectively, with or without direct U.S. involvement.
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Caroline Glick is the Senior Contributing Editor of CarolineGlick.com and the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project.
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Vice Presidential Debate Recap

by Mike Huckabee: With the one and only Vice Presidential debate over, and I think it’s safe to say that Mike Pence did to Kamala Harris what Tulsi Gabbard did to her in the primary debates. But before I get into any details, here’s a link to watch the whole debate.

Here’s a write-up of the highpoints.

And for background, fact-checking and just fun, here are the live blogs of the debate from PJ Media, Townhall and Redstate, all worth scrolling through.

There was plenty of post-debate commentary, but rather than point you to partisan analyses, here’s one that hits on what I thought was the major takeaway of the night: the vitally important questions that Kamala Harris simply refused to answer.

Like her silence on whether they would try to pack the Supreme Court and her denial that Biden will ban fracking (see them both promise to do that very thing at this link)…

…Or her denial that Biden will raise people’s taxes “on day one” (he claims he won’t raise taxes on anyone making under $400,000, but he’s also vowed to reverse the Trump tax cuts, which he misrepresents as a “tax cut for the rich” – which Democrats call all tax cuts – when most of the benefits actually went to the middle class.)

At least somebody finally asked the Democrat these long-overdue questions, even though it often fell to Pence to ask them, since the moderator certainly wasn’t going to do it.

Both sides are claiming that their candidate obviously won, but flash polls showed viewers thought Pence was the winner by as much as 2-1. It was pretty clear to the undecided voters in Frank Luntz’s focus group that Pence won decisively. And these were actual undecided voters, not the kind in NBC’s recent Joe Biden townhall who were only undecided about whether to get their “Biden 2020” tattoos on their arms or their faces.

Those viewers appreciated that the debate was more cordial than the last one (a low bar indeed!), but didn’t like when questions were dodged. Their impression of Pence was that he seemed tired but presidential, while Harris seemed abrasive and condescending. That’s probably because of the smirking, eye-rolling and inappropriate laughter during Pence’s comments. I know some are claiming that’s sexist, and that women are held to impossible standards of presentation, but I refer you to the Bush-Gore debate where Gore rolled his eyes and sighed dramatically and everyone agreed that he came across as an arrogant jackass.

The best thing about this debate for me was that Pence got a chance to calmly explain what the Trump Administration has really accomplished on a variety of fronts, cut through the Democrat/media narrative that they’ve botched or failed at everything, and compare it to Biden’s dismal record, from the coronavirus to the economy to trade deals to China and the Middle East.

For instance, he finally got to remind viewers that while it’s tragic that over 200,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, the world was blindsided with a new and deadly disease from CHINA (really glad to hear someone say that), and there was a tremendous public-private effort to study the disease while ensuring there were adequate supplies of ventilators, masks, hospital beds, etc., so that the predicted shortages and 2.2 million deaths never occurred. And he destroyed Biden’s claim that he would handle pandemics better by pointing out that Biden’s own health advisor admitted that if H1N1 (swine flu) had been as lethal as COVID-19, millions of Americans would have died under Obama/Biden’s feckless response.

As for Harris’ claim that Biden “has a plan” (they “have a plan” for everything, but don’t seem to want to share some of them), Pence noted that his plan is all things that the Trump Administration is already doing (I loved the dig about Joe's familiarity with plagiarism.) This is what I meant after the last debate when I said that Trump missed opportunities to correct a lot of false narratives. Pence grabbed those opportunities over and over and gutted the falsehoods like a trout.

Another highpoint came when Pence refuted the nonsensical rumors about Trump not accepting the results of the election by pointing out all the damage done by Democrats for 3-1/2 years because they still don’t accept the results of the 2016 election.

Harris followed Biden’s lead in repeating a number of debunked “fake news” stories and questionable partisan claims as if they were fact. To list just a few off the top of my head:

* That Trump called our soldiers “suckers” and “losers” (from an anonymously-sourced hit piece refuted by over 20 people who were actually there, including my daughter)…

* That Trump derided soldiers in Arlington Cemetery, saying, “’What’s in it for them?’ Because of course, he only thinks about what’s in it for him.” (Ripped wildly out of context; Trump was praising them for their selflessness and sacrifice.)

* That Trump “called Mexicans rapists and criminals” (he was specifically referring to MS-13 gang members, who are rapists and criminals.)

* That Trump refuses to denounce white supremacists (he’s done it over 20 times; here’s a video of 17 of them).

* That Trump said there were “fine people” among the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville (he said there were fine people on both sides of the debate about removing Confederate monuments but that the neo-Nazis should be “condemned totally.”) This has been debunked repeatedly, even by liberal outlets; and the only excuse for repeating it now is that you’re either an idiot, a cynical liar or senile. I don’t believe Biden and Harris are idiots or that Sen. Harris is senile.

It was like a greatest hits list of debunked anti-Trumper stories. Judging from those statements, Harris and Biden believe everything they read on Alyssa Milano’s Twitter feed, which isn’t comforting when you think of them having access to the nuclear button.

A real debate moderator would’ve thrown a red flag on statements that are not spin or opinion but verified lies and fake news. I’m thinking of forwarding this list to the next moderators so they have no excuse for not doing their jobs when they inevitably come up again.

Speaking of bald-faced lies, Harris tried to dodge the Court-packing question by claiming that Abraham Lincoln declined to nominate a Justice until after the election. She said, “Honest Abe said, ‘It’s not the right thing to do. The American people deserve to make the decision about who will be the next President of the United States and then that person can select who will serve for a lifetime on the highest court of our land.'”

That’s patently false. That Court opening occurred in October, 1864, while the Senate was out of session, and back then, it didn’t reconvene until after the election, on December 5. Lincoln nominated Salmon Chase and he was confirmed, all on day one of the next Senate term.

I don’t think anyone will be nicknaming her “Honest Kamala” anytime soon.

Finally, here are the questions I would have asked Sen. Harris: You recently traveled to Wisconsin to sit by the bedside of a man accused of sexual assault who was shot while resisting arrest and tell him you were proud of him. You’ve previously said that women who make rape accusations should be believed (you even said it of Biden’s accuser before becoming his running mate), so should we not believe his accuser? And secondly, when two police officers in your home state of California were shot at point-blank range by a cop-hating criminal, did you fly to their bedsides to tell them you were proud of them?

Least Suprising Debate Story During the Vice Presidential debate, Chinese TV censored Mike Pence’s comments about China, but aired Kamala Harris’. That speaks volumes that they probably didn’t intend.

Upadate on President Trump's Health Good news from his doctors, who reported Wednesday that he is free of symptoms, he hasn’t had a fever in four days, his vital signs are all stable and normal, and he now has detectable levels of COVID-19 antibodies.
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Mike Huckabee, Morning Edition, October 8, 2020
Tags: Mike Huckabee, Morning Edition, Vice Presidential Debate Recap To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Supreme Court Acts to Protect Election Integrity in South Carolina

by Hans von Spakovsky & Zack Smith: The U.S. Supreme Court acted in the best interests of the voters of South Carolina on Monday by dissolving a preliminary injunction issued by a lower court.

The high court responded to an emergency appeal. The injunction from U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs, an Obama appointee, would have prevented South Carolina from applying its requirement for a witness signature to absentee ballots, a basic security protocol intended to deter fraud with absentee ballots.

The only explanation given for the Supreme Court’s stay in the short, two-page order in the case of Andino v. Middleton was a concurrence by Justice Brett Kavanaugh. In it, Kavanaugh pointed out two reasons for overturning the decision by Childs, which she had said was based on the dangers posed by COVID-19.

First, Kavanaugh said that the Constitution entrusts the safety and health of state’s residents principally to the “politically accountable officials” of that state. Thus, he said, it follows that “a state Legislature’s decision either to keep or to make changes to election rules to address COVID-19” should “not be subject to second-guessing by an ‘unelected federal judiciary,’ which lacks the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people.”

To support this proposition, Kavanaugh cited Chief Justice John Roberts’ statement earlier this year denying relief to a church from California’s onerous restrictions on religious liberty, making clear that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

Second, Kavanaugh made clear that “for many years, this Court has repeatedly emphasized that federal courts ordinarily should not alter state election rules in the period close to an election,” citing a 2006 precedent, Purcell v. Gonzalez.

at “by enjoining South Carolina’s witness requirement shortly before the election,” Childs “defied that principle and this Court’s precedents.”

The opinion by Childs actually already had been stayed by a three-judge panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in a 2-1 decision Sept. 24. But a majority of the entire 4th Circuit overturned the panel decision the next day, granting en banc review (a review by all of the judges of the court), and reinstating the injunction.

The two judges on the original 4th Circuit panel who had dissolved Childs’ injunction, J. Harvie Wilkinson and Steven Agee, issued a stinging dissent pointing out that it represented “a stark interference with South Carolina’s electoral process right in the middle of the election season,” and that the plaintiffs who sued had “a legally unsupportable case.”

Wilkinson and Agee added that under Art. I, § 4, cl. 1, the “Constitution makes it clear that the principal responsibility for setting the ground rules for elections lies with the state legislatures.” Thus, the Constitution “provides States–not unelected federal judges–the ability to choose among many permissible options when designing elections.”

Childs’s decision, they said, “upends this whole structure and turns its back upon our federalist system.”

Wilkinson, appointed by Ronald Reagan, and Agee, appointed by George W. Bush, also criticized their fellow judges on the 4th Circuit for reinstating Childs’ injunction, saying that their “disregard for the Supreme Court is palpable.” The Supreme Court, they said, “has repeatedly cautioned us not to interfere with state election laws in the ‘weeks before an election.’”

Although Wilkinson and Agee said they “shared” the concerns about COVID-19’s “potential impact” on the election, the “pandemic does not give judges ‘a roving commission to rewrite state election codes.’”

In fact, requiring the signature of a witness on an absentee ballot is “commonplace and eminently sensible,” The two judges said it is “designed to combat voter fraud, a fight which ’the State indisputably has a compelling interest’ in winning.”

Wilkinson and Agee clearly were surprised by Childs’ suggestion, often repeated by the mainstream media, that South Carolina’s “interest in preventing voter fraud” was “not legitimate” because there is “an utter dearth of absentee voter fraud.”

Childs should try telling that to the voters of her neighboring state. As Wilkinson and Agee pointed out in their dissent: “Just last year, the election in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District was overturned on the basis of absentee ballot fraud.”

As explained by The Heritage Foundation in “Four Stolen Elections: The Vulnerabilities of Absentee and Mail-In Ballots,” one of the factors cited by the North Carolina State Board of Elections when it overturned that election was the forgery of witness signatures to hide the fraud. The election, the board said, was “corrupted” by “concerted fraudulent activities related to absentee by-mail ballots.”

The voter fraud in North Carolina is just one of the cases in Heritage’s Election Fraud Database, which includes almost 1,300 proven cases of fraud across the country, many involving absentee ballots.

Childs ignored evidence of voter fraud presented by South Carolina, even though the state had no need to produce such evidence.

As Wilkinson and Agee correctly noted, South Carolina is “not required to produce evidence of voter fraud to demonstrate it has a legitimate interest in maintaining the integrity of its elections” since the Supreme Court “has repeatedly held that a State ’indisputably has a compelling interest’ in combatting voter fraud.”

The two dissenting judges also noted “all the areas in which law requires witnesses and notaries to inspire trust in official documents and acts and to convey their authenticity.” Therefore, they wrote, it is “unsurprising that the courts of appeal have resisted overturning these laws,” citing cases from the 7th and 1st Circuits.

Wilkinson and Agee also said that all three branches of South Carolina’s government “have addressed whether absentee voters should be required to have a witness,” and all have answered in the affirmative. Yet, they wrote, a federal district judge and the 4th Circuit had taken it upon themselves to overturn those decisions:No member of our Court now holds elected office, much less an elected or appointed office of the State of South Carolina. By substituting its own policy choice for that of the representatives of the Palmetto State, the district court’s injunction robs South Carolina of its sovereign prerogative to determine the rules for its elections.The witness requirement is not a burden on voters even in the midst of COVID-19. South Carolina produced testimony from the director of the infectious diseases division of the Medical University of South Carolina, who said that the witness requirement did not “pose a significant risk” because “it takes little time and can be done with facemasks, social distancing, and proper hygiene.”

Finally, Wilkinson and Agee pointed out a stark truth about the unprecedented number of lawsuits filed this year trying to overturn laws governing the election process and the danger they pose to the judiciary. In concluding that the injunction was “not in the public interest,” they said it appears “more and more” thatpolitical parties seem to be bringing these election law challenges in an effort to gain partisan advantage. This trend is deeply disturbing. Selective interventions by the courts in these cases will create the appearance of partisanship. They undermine our most valued asset, the public’s trust and confidence in the judiciary. They also create confusion and make it more difficult for the States to run their elections.That admonishment is absolutely correct. And Wilkinson and Agee are also correct that their fellow judges should refrain from overstepping their roles, interfering in state sovereignty, and engaging in “judicially created confusion” by “changing voting rules shortly before elections.”
-------------------------
Hans von Spakovsky (@HvonSpakovsky) is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform. Zack Smith (@tzsmith) is a legal fellow in the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation. More ARRA News Service articles by or about Hans von Spakovsky.
Tags: Hans von Spakovsky, Zack Smith, Supreme Court, Acts to Protect, Election Integrity, South Carolina 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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