Report on my meeting with Jordan’s Ambassador to the U.S. this morning. @AmbBouran

Meeting with Her Excellency Alia Bouran, Jordan's Ambassador to the U.S.

Meeting with Her Excellency Alia Bouran, Jordan’s Ambassador to the U.S.

(Washington, D.C.) – This morning I had the honor of meeting with Jordan’s Ambassador to the U.S., Her Excellency Alia Bouran, at the Jordanian Embassy here. She is a lovely and gracious woman, and an experienced diplomat – having previously served in Brussels and London – and I enjoyed our conversation a great deal.

With the Ambassador’s help, I am hoping to visit the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan soon to meet with various leaders and get a fresh look at the enormous challenges facing the Kingdom, including the influx of more than 600,000 Syrian refugees.

I have been to Jordan numerous times and have fallen in love with the country and its people. The Kingdom has a vibrant Christian community. It also has a rich Biblical heritage, with fascinating historic sites like Mount Nebo where Moses died, the site where the Lord Jesus Christ was baptized, and the remarkable Petra, which some scholars believe will play a role in Bible prophecy. Indeed, I believe God has a very special place in His heart for this country.

Christians around the world need to be praying faithfully for Jordan’s King Abdullah II, his government, and the people of Jordan. They are strong allies of the United States and the free world and work with us on many economic, social and security issues. They have signed and maintain an important peace treaty with the State of Israel. They are vital players in trying to help forge a true and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. His Majesty has also taken a strong stand against the extremists in the region who are perennially trying to kill Muslims, Jews and Christians and sabotage any prospects for peace and prosperity.

At the moment, I’m doing research for a future book in which Jordan plays a significant element. I’ll keep you posted on my upcoming trip and how it goes.

UPDATE: Jordan’s Ambassador to Libya was kidnapped this morning. Please pray that he would be released and returned to his family and nation safely and quickly.

>> Who to watch in 2014 — King Abdullah II of Jordan

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

STUDY: U.S. policy has moved increasingly left over the last 70 years

Matt Grossman is a political scientist at Michigan State University. Last week he published an interesting op-ed in The Washington Post enttitled “U.S. policy has gone liberals’ way for 70 years.”

It shreds the establishment Republicans’ claims that moderate, centrist positions are a path to electoral victory. The reason?

Conservatives in Congress are the prime suspects in Washington’s dysfunction. Veteran congressional watchdogs Norman Ornstein and Thomas Mann called the previous session the “worst Congress ever,” and they did not hold back in assigning blame: “The Republicans are the problem,” they said. After a fruitless government shutdown last fall, even House Speaker John Boehner lashed out at conservative groups and passed bills over the opposition of his caucus.

In response, conservatives make two simple claims: Most policies under debate are liberal, and Republican leaders sacrifice conservative principles when they compromise. History shows they are right on both counts.

The reason: the progressive left has framed the debate and the playing field for decades leaving the GOP to play non-stop defense.

…Of the 509 most significant domestic policies passed by Congress, only one in five were conservative, in that they contracted the scope of government funding, regulation or responsibility. More than 60 percent were liberal: They clearly expanded government. The others offered a mix of liberal or conservative components or took no clear ideological direction. When significant policy change occurs in the executive branch, it is even less likely to be conservative; only 10 percent of the executive orders and agency rules that policy historians cited were conservative.

Even labeling as conservative policy government expansions in pursuit of conservative goals, such as traditional values or tougher sentencing,
makes little difference in this conclusion; few significant policy changes fall into this category, though we hear about them often in campaigns…

In other words, when Congress acts it is almost invariably expanding government, not constraining it.

There is a good reason why conservatives are often charged with obstruction. When government is more active, it is usually moving policy to the left. When Congress has doubled its normal productivity, many more liberal laws pass but not necessarily more conservative laws. There was only one session of Congress, the two years after the Republican takeover in 1994, that was both active and conservative, but it did not last. Under President Ronald Reagan, the executive branch made more conservative policy changes only during the first two years of his presidency. Productive policymaking means more domestic spending, more business regulation and wider government responsibility.

The view that normal legislating and bipartisan compromises lead to expanded government is no tea party illusion; it is an accurate reading of the past 70 years.

…the federal government has continually expanded its role in education, civil rights, the environment and health care — and Republican presidents have played large roles in this. Nixon entrenched the Great Society and oversaw the environmental revolution. Reagan was less active domestically but signed more government expansions than contractions. President George H.W. Bush brought us landmarks such as the Americans with Disabilities Act, and his son brought us No Child Left Behind and a new Medicare entitlement.

This history does not bother some Republicans, who see opportunities to fashion new ideas and bargain in pursuit of conservative objectives. But even past policymaking designed to promote markets, safeguard morality and protect the homeland usually expanded government. If contraction is the goal, a positive policy agenda is unlikely to succeed…. The arc of the policy universe is long, but it bends toward liberalism. Conservatives can slow the growth of government but an enduring shift in policy direction would be unprecedented. History shows that a do-nothing Congress is a conservative’s best-case scenario.

All of this tells me that the only way to constrain government is to convene an Article V Convention of the States and to pass amendments similar to those described in The Liberty Amendments.

The federal government seems incapable of controlling itself, so it is incumbent upon the states to do so.

Hat tip: Mark Levin

Doug Ross @ Journal

DANGER ZONE: As Russia Violates Arms Treaty, Obama Continues Slashing U.S. Nuclear Deterrent

Guest post by Investor’s Business Daily

Disarming America: The U.S. has announced plans to place 50 nuclear missiles in storage as part of its commitment to the New START Treaty signed with Russia, ignoring Moscow’s violation of another arms treaty.

The Pentagon announced Tuesday the United States’ Strategic Force Structure designed “to comply with the New START Treaty,” as a Defense Department press release notes. It means that 50 Minuteman III missiles — out of a current force of 450 — will be removed from their silos and stored away.

The silos will be kept “warm,” that is, available for future use and for re-insertion of the missiles.

But it is doubtful that an administration that has as its goal a world without nuclear weapons and that promised the Russians “flexibility” in the gutting of U.S. missile defense would ever even contemplate such a move. The missiles are gone.

The Air Force now deploys three ICBM wings on its bases in Wyoming (Francis E. Warren), North Dakota (Minot), and Montana (Malmstrom). Each operates 150 ICBMs, with a squadron consisting of 50. The Obama administration proposes getting rid of one of those squadrons.

The remaining 400 deployed ICBMs would be the lowest number since 1962, according to a history of the ICBM force written by Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists.

He says that the U.S. had 203 deployed ICBMs in 1962, at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, with the force expanding rapidly to 597 the following year and topping 1,000 in 1966.

The question is why. The New START Treaty was designed for a bipolar world that no longer exists. It ignores China’s rapidly growing and increasingly deadly military and missile force as well as threats from an unstable North Korea and a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran.

The president has said he dreams of a world without nuclear weapons, but so far it seems to mean only a world without U.S. nukes.

Meanwhile, Russia is taking the other route, making sure that its arsenal is updated and ready. It recently had its strategic forces carry out a large-scale military drill that included the test-launch of two land-based ICBMs and two submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Russia has also been testing the Yars-M ballistic missile, a weapon with a range prohibited by the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The INF prohibits America and Russia from developing, testing or possessing ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

Russia is suspected of developing such intermediate-range ballistic missiles, or IRBMs, by claiming they’re really intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, to replace older weapons.

The Yars-M missile, also known as the RS-26, is a clear and blatant violation of the INF Treaty, according to Mark Schneider, a specialist on Russian missiles at the National Institute for Public Policy in Virginia.

As former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and former Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance and Implementation, reported in Foreign Policy magazine’s website, Russia is also developing, testing and possibly ready to deploy the R-500 cruise missile.

Not only are our land-based ICBMs being slashed, but also the other two legs of our nuclear “triad,” ballistic-missile submarines and strategic bombers. The Air Force is trimming its bomber fleet from the current deployed total of 93 to 60 — including 19 B-2 stealth bombers. And by 2018, the Navy will reduce the number of deployed and nondeployed submarine-launched ballistic nuclear missiles to 280 from the current 336.

Some of the missile tubes aboard the Navy’s 14 Ohio-class ballistic submarines will be altered so they can no longer launch ballistic missiles.

This is insanity and a clear departure from President Ronald Reagan’s doctrine of peace through strength. Weapons do not start wars, but appeasement of tyrants does.


Read more at Investor’s Business Daily

Doug Ross @ Journal