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Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Dreaming of Positive Happenings
by Patrick Booth, Contributing Author: I’ve been searching, unsuccessfully, for weeks for something positive or even funny to write about. Hard to do. Lots of negatives around and the nation continues to deteriorate. So what would constitute positive news?
I suppose Obama could resign but there’s a greater chance of Christ’s return. He could start negotiating with the GOP. The House has passed over 200 bills that neither the senate nor the president will consider. The Dems could fold Up Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank since the banking industry doesn’t lack for regulation though it does lack the right type of regulation. Sarbanes Oxley was supposed to fix fraud at publicly traded companies. Dodd-Frank was supposed end too big to fail. Both pieces of legislation fail at their primary mission and make Wall Street more complicated thereby costing the public monies.
Obama could approve the Keystone Pipeline which isn’t about Canadian tar sand oil, it’s about opening the U.S. to further development of light, oil and gas thereby removing our dependency upon the Arabs. Along with that, he could begin evaluating all legislation and executive action for job costs. There’s probably ten million jobs in the Keystone pipeline, after accounting for post construction US shale development. Estimates are that if shale oil is fully developed, US Gross Domestic Product could grow an additional 2-5 percent per year -- that’s $300 to $800 billion in extra growth…every year…compounded -- lower global energy prices, and ---with NatGas thrown in-- add at least a million jobs to manufacturing that are now just going to energy costs.
The nation could rebel against its gangster democrat leadership and retire a bunch of inept moronic politicians. Just think how that would benefit Chicago and Detroit, not to mention New York, California, and the entire national education system. But there are just too many people now dependent upon government handouts to expect such a miracle of conscience.
Russia could suddenly decide to remove its own Mafia and KGB goons now running their country and get out of the expansionist mode her president represents. Europe could find some moral courage of its own and begin controlling the Muslims and Socialists endangering that area. In fact, Islam could reform and begin following a path of peace and righteousness. And maybe some long lost relative I’ve never heard of nor known could leave me several millions of dollars so that I could begin a benevolent philanthropy. I can dream, anyway.
------------- Patrick (P.L.) Booth is a constitutional conservative Christian activist, blogger, and contributor to the ARRA News Service. He blogs at The Blue Eye View. Tags:democrats, dreams, righteousness, good and evil, Obama, resignation, Patrick BoothTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:President Obama, golfing, on course, lost healthcare, Keystone XL Pipeline, jobs, California drought, AF Branco, editorial cartoonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: A close relative of mine has been spending months job-seeking and the news from the White House in the first week of March was that the President was playing golf in Key Largo while Joe Biden was in the Virgin Islands soaking up the sun. It’s not that they don’t deserve some down time, but down time for the unemployed is full time. The U.S. has 866,000 fewer people employed today than when the recession began in the wake of the 2008 recession.
Since Obama became President in 2009, there has been a 3.5 million increase in jobs, but 12 million new working age people. This is supposed to be a “recovery” according to the White House but the job numbers are not keeping pace with the job-seekers.
It’s not widely reported, but the labor force participation rate of 63% remains stuck at or near its lowest point since the late 1970s. There are two million fewer Americans in the labor force today than a year ago. The number of long-term unemployed, six months or more, rose by 203,000.
While Obama keeps bloviating about income inequality, too many Americans have no income at all.
At the same time, thanks to Obama, the U.S. debt, according to the U.S. Treasury’s Bureau of Public Debt, has increased $6.666 trillion since he took office on January 20, 2009. As of January 31, 2014, the total debt stood at $17,293,019,654,983.61. While he has been President, the U.S. has accumulated as much new debt as it did in the first 227 years.
This is a President who has been pushing to raise the minimum wage, but according to the Congressional Budget Office, raising it to $10.10 an hour would cost the U.S. economy a half-million new jobs by 2016.
In an article by Michael D. Tanner that was published by the New York Post in August of last year, he noted that “The federal government funds 126 separate programs targeted towards low-income people, 72 of which provide either cash or in-kind benefits to individuals.” In addition, state and local governments have welfare programs as well. Who funds these programs? Those with jobs. Welfare benefits are not taxed.
“There is no evidence that people on welfare are lazy,” wrote Tanner. “Indeed, surveys of them consistently show their desire for a job. But they are not stupid. If you pay them more not to work than they can earn by working, many choose not to work.”
Former Presidents have encountered recessions when they entered office and those such as Kennedy and Reagan put an end to them. When taxes are lowered it puts more money into the economy and that stimulates it. There is no such talk from Obama and, indeed, his 2014 budget adds billions more that he wants to add to government revenue and spending.
A March 10th Rasmussen survey found that the President’s proposed new $3.9 trillion federal budget that includes $55 billion in new spending for fiscal 2015, is regarded by one-out-of-two voters (50%) who think the Obama administration has already raised spending too much.
Spending is controlled by the House of Representatives, but legislation to address the present economy has been consistently blocked in the Democrat controlled Senate. It’s the same one that enacted the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare, which is playing havoc with the nation’s health system and impacting its economy by forcing businesses to either cut the number of people employed or reducing full-time workers to part-time status.
Other actions of the Obama administration are contributing to the unemployment roles as its “war on coal” has shut down more than 150 coal-fired plants that generate electricity and its loans to “green” industries have cost billions as many have declared bankruptcy.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of State, John Kerry, is telling everyone that “climate change” is the greatest threat to the planet and urging U.S. ambassadors to make it a priority. At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency is engaged in an orgy of regulation based on zero proof that carbon dioxide warms the Earth.
Obama and his administration is so detached from reality that it is afflicting millions of Americans who want to work while at the same time its policies are reducing the number of new jobs being created.
If this is a deliberate policy—as I believe it is—the only conclusion is that the President is intentionally inflicting a huge debt and impediments to our economy that are reducing the greatest nation on Earth to a third nation status. He opposed the view of American exceptionalism and is doing everything he can to kill it.
------------ Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signsdisseminated on many Internet news and opinion websites and blogs. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service. Tags:Obama, golf, Americans, seek jobs, no jobs, warning signs, Alan CarubaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
You hear STELA, you think Marlon Brando. But this mandatory renewal - the old law expires December 31 - is crucial to keeping satellite television subscribers connected to the shows they like.
And is a skirmish in a broader Crony Socialism war. STELA in part addresses what is called Retransmission Consent. Retransmission consent is a provision of the 1992 United States Cable Television Protection and Competition Act.
(It) requires cable operators and other…distributors (like satellite) to obtain permission from broadcasters before carrying their programming.
In exchange, a broadcaster may propose that the operator pay cash to carry the station or ask for any other form of consideration.As written, Retransmission Consent is hopelessly tilted in favor of the Broadcasters.Balancing Retransmission: And the Data Says... Advantage BroadcastersThis go round, STELA’s renewal includes a provision to remove but one of these many advantages - the mandate that Providers cannot during Sweeps Weeks pull shows as a last-ditch part of Retransmission negotiations.
The feud between Cablevision and the News Corporation has already resulted in an extraordinarily long blackout of programming. Now it threatens to shut Cablevision customers out of the World Series.Get that? Providers can’t block Sweeps Weeks - whenever they are - but Broadcasters can block things like the World Series and the Super Bowl. They can - and they do.Cablevision, Fox Continue Blackout Spat to World Series StartAt whom do customers get angry when they can’t watch what they want? Hint: it ain’t the Broadcasters. The Broadcasters know this - and they use it in negotiations to fleece the Providers.
And when the Broadcasters fleece the Providers - they fleece us. The more the Providers pay for shows - the more we pay for shows.
Senate Passes 'Clean' Debt Ceiling BillPolicy to emulate, to be sure. But how “clean” is this?After fierce lobbying by broadcasters, lawmakers abandoned the most controversial provision, which would have allowed cable providers to drop broadcast channels from their "basic tier" of programming.
Allowing cable providers to move broadcast channels into pricier tiers would give them more leverage in programming fights….Only in Washington, D.C. is it “controversial” to not have the government mandate which channels go where. Only in DC are all these one-sided government mandates considered capitalism - as the Broadcasters claim:Allow Broadcasters to Continue Negotiating in the Free MarketThe Broadcasters are actually the beneficiaries of decades of government good grace - well beyond the uber-tilted Retransmission laws.
They received free from government charge their spectrum - the airwaves they use to broadcast. Surely something the cellular phone companies have eyed as they’ve paid the government tens of billions of dollars for their spectrum.
And now we have the looming spectrum incentive auction. Where Broadcasters get to sell their spectrum - that they, again, received for free - to the cell phone companies (via the government middle man).
I’m sure a company like Verizon - a cell phone company who with Fios is also a television Provider - is thrilled to pay Broadcasters for the spectrum the latter received for free, while also having the government tilt the Retransmission rules against them, in the Broadcasters’ favor.
The Broadcasters have a pretty sweet omni-directional Crony Socialist deal going. Little wonder they are fighting so hard against even the tiniest of changes to it.
------------- Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Red State also published this article. Please feel free to follow him him on Twitter / Facebook. Tags:government, ridiculous, regulations, Seton Motley, Less GovernmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Limited Government In An Age Of Militant Progressivism
Last week, President Obama announced that the "era of austerity" was over--in word and deed--by presenting a 10-year budget plan set to increase federal spending to $6 trillion/year before it is finished. Probably like you, we're still wondering when the "era of austerity" began. In our latest essay, we look at the fundamental changes in budget priorities that separate our age from that of the founding. We also continue to reflect upon the best ways to move the cause of limited government forward at a time when Progressives may be pacific in their foreign policy, but are anything but in their pursuit of their utopian domestic plans. ~ Matt Parks
The Constitution was not written for 1787 (or 2014), but for all time!
His budget would increase spending from $3.5 trillion to $6 trillion and the national debt from $17.3 trillion to $25 trillion over the next ten years. His plan is the equivalent of the head of every American household relaying that while the fam continues to fall $1,000 short of paying its bills each month, and has $170,000 in debt, we’ll be putting solar panels on Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang, buying more Wonka bars, and hiring Mary Poppins in the next decade.
Yet, if math’s not your thing, and you quickly scanned the Washington Post‘s visual breakdown of the President’s budget, you might have thought defense spending to blame and started searching the internet for a new bumper sticker: “It will be a great day when pre-K education and the wind energy industry have all the money they need, and the Navy has to hold a bake sale to outfit its fleet.”
In perfect Progressive form, the Post failed to emphasize that its graphs only accounted for “discretionary” spending, which amounts to only about 30% of the budget. You learn a lot about the geopolitically-challenged age we live in when on the same day that the Russians are securing their military installations in Crimea, our elites sweep non-discretionary social welfare spending under the rug and throw appropriations for national defense under the bus.
The Constitution, of course, places no limits on the total amount of tax revenue raised or dollars spent by the federal government. Alexander Hamilton explains this omission in a number of Federalist essays, including Federalist 34:There ought to be a CAPACITY to provide for future contingencies as they may happen; and as these are illimitable in their nature, it is impossible safely to limit that capacity. It is true, perhaps, that a computation might be made with sufficient accuracy to answer the purpose of the quantity of revenue requisite to discharge the subsisting engagements of the Union, and to maintain those establishments which, for some time to come, would suffice in time of peace. But would it be wise, or would it not rather be the extreme of folly, to stop at this point, and to leave the government intrusted with the care of the national defense in a state of absolute incapacity to provide for the protection of the community against future invasions of the public peace, by foreign war or domestic convulsions?The Constitution was not written for 1787 (or 2014), but for all time. As a result, it would be “the extreme of folly” to include within it limitations on taxing or spending calculated according to the needs of the moment or on the assumption that the relative peace of that day would extend indefinitely into the future. The Constitution would not have survived the War of 1812–much less the Civil War or World War II–had its authors presumed to know the full scope of future spending needs and placed precautionary limits within the document itself.
Note, however, that it is military spending (alone) that Hamilton has in view. If the Founders did not constitutionally limit the size of the federal budget, they did limit its scope. From the time of the founding until the dawn of the Progressive era in the early twentieth century, federal spending, following the Constitution, was used almost exclusively to buy things (like bullets, ships, and road-building materials) or pay salaries (elected and unelected officials and contractors).
Limited military pensions and payments to disabled veterans and the widows and orphans of those killed in action accounted for the only spending in any way analogous to the modern welfare state–and that not with a view toward redistributing wealth or overcoming natural differences in ability or achievement, but rather as compensation for sacrifices made in defense of the nation’s independence and liberty.
Today, of course, the dominant items in the federal budget are entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and various forms of welfare, which, in 2013, accounted for $2.3 trillion in federal spending–none of which were anticipated in Hamilton’s essays or derivable, without the most fatuous verbal gymnastics, from the enumerated powers of the Constitution.
The shift in governmental priorities is explained in part by an equivalent shift in American political norms, having experienced the horrors of a Civil War, two hot world wars, a cold war, and now, a war on terror. Many Americans have been won over by William James, the “father of American psychology,” who thought that the great alternative to war is not partaking in a peaceful arcadian economy under the auspices of an extensive representative republic, but in engaging in the “Moral Equivalent of War” against social and economic injustice at home and abroad:Pacifists ought to enter more deeply into the aesthetical and ethical point of view of their opponents . . . So long as antimilitarists propose no substitute for war’s disciplinary function, no moral equivalent of war, analogous, as one might say, to the mechanical equivalent of heat, so long they fail to realize the full inwardness of the situation. And as a rule they do fail. The duties, penalties, and sanctions pictured in the utopias they paint are all too weak and tame to touch the military-minded.James argues that the best way for utopian pacifists to make peace with the military-minded within society is by enlisting their counterparts in wars of a different kind, and in becoming militant themselves. If you doubt at all the effectivness of his psychological prescription, try to engage in a peaceful conversation with a member of NARAL, Green Peace, or MoveOn.org about the merits of their arguments. You’ll be hard pressed to find a 19th century Jane Addams-type pacifist among them. And the co-opting of leaders of strategic institutions has been almost as successful as few in this cohort publicly challenge progressive conceptions of the moral equivalents of war.
Is it possible to give peace a chance in this political environment? Earlier in this series, we addressed the need for entitlement reform and suggested an alternative approach to helping the poor. But might a resetting of our national priorities and a cure for our fiscal ills, at least, be found in a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced federal budget?
We fear not, for at least two reasons:
1. All reasonable versions (for example) of a balanced budget amendment provide for an exception to the rule in cases of war or when a congressional supermajority (⅗ or ⅔ vote in both houses) otherwise judges it expedient. One of the predictable, if unintended, consequences of all supermajority requirements is that they open up room for factious behavior by a minority determined to name the price for its cooperation. We may go to bed dreaming of stalwart conservatives holding out against runaway spending and wake up to find stalwart progressives have made new entitlement spending their condition for supporting critical defense appropriations. We may find, in fact, that votes to override the amendment requirements simply become routine, as members of both parties find the only way to protect their cherished spending programs is to form a bipartisan super-faction that funds “all of the above.”
Do away with the overrides, then? That cure is worse than the disease, amounting to unilateral fiscal disarmament.
2. More broadly, the amend-the-constitution approach to solving our political ills carries with it several serious political risks. In the near term, it seems highly likely to fail, given that just thirteen blue states can stop any amendment approved by Congress or a newfound convention. Of course, some longshots are worth playing, but the underlying desire to embalm a final political victory in the Constitution would create a false sense of security even if it succeeds. The original Constitution has all the language and limits necessary to protect liberty if the people would have it. And no set of amendments can protect it if they won’t.
Perhaps the most powerful lure of progressivism made militant is its promise of permanent victory for its side and permanent defeat for its enemies. Progressivism isn’t going away. Victory against its excesses, never permanent, will require a return to the public square, where the case for limited government is made plainly, boldly, and vigilantly, as is ever the price of liberty.
---------------- Drs. David Corbin and Matthew Parks are Professors of Politics at The Kings College (NYC). They are contributors to the ARRA News Service. They edit and write for The Federalist and are on Facebook and Twitter. Tags:Limited Government, Age of Militant Progressivism, Federalist 34, David Corbin, Matthew PaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Instead Of Insuring The Uninsured, Obama And Beebe Are Uninsuring The Insured.
by Ralph Meade, Bono, Arkansas, Letter to the Editor: Don’t trust Arkansas Governor Beebe!
Gov. Mike Beebe and Democrat legislators in Arkansas are using as one of their main talking points that it would be unfair for those 98,000 people in Arkansas who have already signed up under the Obamacare Private Option to lose this benefit.
This 98,000 pales in comparison to the millions who have already been kicked off their insurance by Obamacare. (The CBO estimates that 20 million will be kicked off).
The Democrats are total hypocrites to rant about these 98,000 in Arkansas and not stand up to President Barack Obama for kicking millions off their insurance. Yet we hear not a word from our governor or Democrat legislators, including local Democrats, condemning Obama for that.
Of those millions kicked off their insurance, many have possible terminal diseases like cancer. They've been unfairly punished after having their insurance for years and being responsible with their money so they could pay the premiums.
Many of the 98,000 in Arkansas under the Private Option are able-bodied irresponsible young people with no children (the first time in Arkansas history, these people have been included in Medicaid). There is not even an assets limitation with the Private Option; even college-age children of millionaires who have no salary or a low income qualify.
Obama is documented 29 different times saying, "If you like your insurance, you can keep your insurance" and/or "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." He also promised health care would be more affordable. All lies.
So why would anyone believe our Democratic governor (who is pushing Obamacare Private Option in Arkansas) when he says that expanding Medicaid to about 250,000 new enrollees is good for Arkansans?
The average cost for these policies is about $5,000 annually, at least in the beginning.
Yep, the taxpayer will be picking up the tab for that in addition to all the other welfare benefits these people receive. We are already $17 trillion in debt, and paying that new entitlement to millions across the nation will soon cause our economy to collapse. Then no one will worry about health care; they will be worrying about getting food to eat.
Beebe has held all the Democrats together on every controversial issue, including the Private Option. Not even Obama can intimidate congressional Democrats in such a manner.
So why would we trust such a governor and believe anything he tells us? Tags:Arkansas, Governor, Mike Beebe, President Obama, insuring the uninsured, uninsuring the insured, Democrats, letter to the editor, Ralph MeadeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
At 9 AM, the Senate began convened. At 11:30, the Senate began a series of votes on cloture on four nominees to be district judges for the Eastern District of Michigan. Democrats again used the new precedent they created after breaking Senate rules to change them with the nuclear option to invoke cloture on all four nominations with fewer than 60 votes.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 97-0 to pass S. 1917, a bill to curb sexual assaults in the military, and 62-34 to invoke cloture on the nomination of Carolyn McHugh, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The House will convened at 12 PM. Bills expected to be considered today: HR 311 — Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act HR 3474 — Hire More Heroes Act of 2013 HR 3979 — Protecting Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Responders Act HR 4160— Prohibiting Medicare rule changes to prescription drug benefits H RES 506 — Honoring the life and legacy of Václav Havel H RES 499 — Condemning the violation of Ukrainian sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity HR 3675 — Federal Communications Commission Process Reform Act of 2013
“Addressing a nearly empty chamber and visitor gallery, more than two dozen speakers agreed with each other about the need to act on climate change,” the AP wrote later. After 9 PM, WAMU’s Matt Laslo tweeted, “Who's paying attention to all night Senate climate-athon? Not even producers . . . .” And by 1 AM, the Huffington Post’s Kate Sheppard yawned, “There are only two other people left in the press room with me, and one of them is snoring really loud.”
Liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank was similarly unimpressed. He writes, “The filibuster has been used to delay many things over the years: civil rights, spending bills, presidential nominees and, most recently, Obamacare. But this may be the first time in history that a group of senators filibustered themselves. About 30 Democratic senators — calling themselves the Senate Climate Action Task Force — resolved to keep the Senate open overnight Monday into Tuesday morning. ‘We’re not going to rest until Congress wakes up and acts on the most pressing issue of our time,’ declared Sen. Brian Schatz (Hawaii), the organizer of the sleepless senators. . . . But burning the midnight oil in this manner is peculiar. Usually, when a lawmaker talks all night, he’s trying to stop the majority from passing something. But these guys are trying to persuade the majority — themselves — to pass something. Joining the late-night guerilla action was Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who as the Senate majority leader is usually a target of filibusters, not a sponsor. If he and his colleagues really want action, they don’t have to lose sleep. All they have to do is bring a climate-change bill to the floor. The problem is that Reid doesn’t have the votes in his caucus to pass such a measure. A year ago, the last time the Senate considered a fee on carbon emissions, 13 Democrats joined with all 45 Republicans in defeating it. Democrats facing difficult reelection fights this year were conspicuously absent from Monday night’s lineup. ‘I think if we went immediately to a vote we probably wouldn’t be successful,’ Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), an organizer of the all-nighter, said on a conference call Monday afternoon.”
That’s because the kind of regulations and restrictions these Democrats stayed up all night to call for are so unpopular and damaging, they’re opposed by even significant numbers of Democrats. As the AP notes, “Republicans challenged Democrats to bring legislation to the floor to address the problem - secure in the knowledge they won't. ‘Bring up the carbon tax bill. Put it on the agenda. Let's debate it,’ said GOP Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. He noted that Democrats failed to pass similar legislation in 2009-2010, when they controlled the 60 Senate seats necessary to overcome any Republican blocking tactics. . . . Democratic leaders made it clear they have no plans to bring a climate bill to the Senate floor this year. Indeed, the issue is so politically charged that a host of Democrats who face tough re-election fights in the fall opted to skip the session. Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Mark Begich of Alaska and Kay Hagan of North Carolina were among Democrats who stayed away. Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said Democrats who showed up were not convincing anyone with their stunt. ‘They'll have an audience of themselves, so I hope they enjoy it,’ Inhofe said about an hour into the marathon . . . .”
In ABC’s The Note this morning, Jeff Zeleny put a finer point on Democrats’ intended audience. “The Senate all-nighter on climate change wasn’t a filibuster, because there’s no legislation to actually delay. And it wasn’t an attempt to win over any skeptical senators. So why did some Democrats spend the night on the Senate floor, drawing attention to climate change? Because that’s all they can do. They don’t have enough support — even in their own ranks — to pass a bill. All the talking was intended to send a message to big donors like California hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer, who has pledged to spend $100 million in this year’s midterm elections supporting candidates who support climate change legislation. Call it a spectacle or a stunt, but it seemed to please Steyer, who issued a statement praising the effort.”
The Washington Post adds, “With environmentalists planning to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to help Democratic congressional candidates this year, Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) has said that he will continue devoting Senate floor time to any colleague eager to discuss the issue. He reiterated that vow while attending a February fundraiser at the San Francisco home of billionaire businessman Thomas Steyer that netted the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee $400,000. Steyer has quickly emerged as a new source of outside campaign money for Democrats eager to find match the rise of conservative super PACs attacking Democrats on the airwaves. He plans to use his advocacy group, NextGen Political Action, to spend about $100 million helping Democrats this year.”
Speaking this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell expressed his frustration at Democrats’ enthusiasm for their stunt as compared to their lack of action on the economy. “The Democrats who run the Senate spent a lot of time talking last night. I’m not sure what any of it accomplished. The reviews seem pretty terrible. . . . Maybe, as some speculate, Senate Democrats were just trying to please the Left Coast billionaire who plans to finance so many of their campaigns. Because the talking Senators didn’t really introduce new legislation. I didn’t hear the talking Senators announce votes on bills already pending before the Senate. They basically just talked. And talked. And tossed out political attacks at a party that doesn’t even control the Democrat-run Senate. No wonder the American people have such a low opinion of Congress. The so-called ‘talk-a-thon’ perfectly illustrated something else too: the emptiness of today’s Washington Democrat majority. . . . Because whether it’s addressing the opportunity gap in the Obama Economy or building the Keystone Pipeline or last night’s, whatever that was, Washington Democrats keep opting for the empty political stunt over reasonable, substantive solutions for the Middle Class.”
Instead of bloviating about people who don’t share their view of carbon taxes, there were many other things Democrats should have been focusing on, Leader McConnell explained: “And let’s be honest: the most immediate crisis in the Obama Era is a jobs crisis. It always has been. If only our friends on the other side were willing to talk a little less and work with us a little more, there’s so much we could get done on that front. There’s so much we could be doing to create jobs and grow the middle class today. We could build a Keystone Pipeline that would create thousands of American jobs right away… We could increase U.S. exports and expand American jobs with trade legislation… We could reform our tax and regulatory structures to free small businesses, so they can grow and hire and enrich their communities. And we could pass the dozens of House-passed jobs bills just sitting on the majority leader’s desk — so many that even House Democrats are starting to complain. Those are the kinds of things we could get done once Washington Democrats show they’re ready to work with us. Talk is cheap, we know that. And America’s Middle Class is tired of all the talk.” Tags:Democrats, underwhelming, talkathon, Lot of Hot Air, Fictious Hot Air, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
ASSOCIATED PRESS:“Addressing a nearly empty chamber and visitor gallery, more than two dozen speakers agreed with each other about the need to act on climate change.” (AP, 3/11/14)
KATE SHEPPARD, Huffington Post:“There are only two other people left in the press room with me, and one of them is snoring really loud. #Up4Climate.” Twitter, @Kate_Sheppard, 3/11/14)
MATT LASLO, WAMU: “Who's paying attention to all night Senate climate-athon? Not even producers...” (Twitter, @MattLaslo, 3/10/14)USA TODAY: “The Democratic effort is cause for some confusion because these senators are calling for action in a chamber they control but without any specific legislation to offer up for a vote, or any timetable for action this year.” (USA Today, 3/10/14)
CS MONITOR:“On Monday night, Senate Democrats are hosting a rare pajama party of sorts, conducting an all-night ‘talkathon’ on climate change...” (Christian Science Monitor, 3/10/14)
JOE SCARBOROUGH: “...Hollywood won’t talk about ‘climate change,’ the media won't talk about ‘climate change,’ nobody will talk about ‘climate change.’ Thank God, thank God these brave, democratic senators are risking the wrath of the mainstream media and the Hollywood elites to talk about ‘climate change’ on the floor. I feel better. ... Damn ‘The New York Times,’ they will not talk about ‘climate change.’ It is up to these men and women. This is 2014's version of Mr. Smith goes to Washington.” (MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” 3/11/14)
POLITICO:“...noticeably missing from the effort... Democrats like Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Begich of Alaska, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Kay Hagan of North Carolina — among the most vulnerable senators in November’s midterm elections." (Politico, 3/10/14)
ABC NEWS: “All the talking was intended to send a message to big donors like California hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer...” (ABC News, 3/11/14) Tags:Senate Democrats, Late-Night, Global Warming Gabfest, California, hedge fund billionaire, Tom Steyerhot, donor, global warming, inconvenient truth, Dems who skipped event, most vulnerable, 2014 elections, Mary Landrieu, Louisiana, Mark Begich, Alaska, Mark Pryor, Arkansas, Kay Hagan, North 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!
Tags:Tea party Obstructionist, Democrats, fire darts, progressive attack, Tea party, republicans, editorial cartoon, AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is over after three days of speakers and seminars. It drew a huge crowd of mostly younger voters, many drawn from the Young Republicans for Freedom who, in 1973, teamed with the American Conservative Union for the first conference. Over the years roughly half of those attending have been of college age.
The crowd this year was so large, estimated to be between 10,000 and 11,000, that no hotel in Washington, D.C. was able host the event. It was held at the National Harbor convention center just outside of the capitol.
What was most impressive was the fact that every major player in the Republican Party and representing a leadership role in conservative affairs, was there.
The winner of its straw vote this year was Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) who won 31%, far ahead of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) at 11%, Dr. Ben Carson at 9% and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie who received 8%. Mitt Romney won in 2007, 2008, and 2009. Then Ron Paul won in 2010 and 2011. Romney won again in 2012. Rand won in 2013 and now again this year.
Does the straw vote represent anything significant? I doubt it. The Paul’s, Libertarians, reflect the younger voter’s idealism, but neither represents a presidential prospect. Most likely one of the governors will emerge as the Republican Party nominee to run for President.
The two who have the best shot are Chris Christie and Texas’s Rick Perry. Perry did not do well in the 2012 GOP primaries, but we later learned he had had back surgery and was in a fair degree of pain during the debates.
Christie is already moving passed the “Bridgegate” problem though you wouldn’t know that if you tuned into MSNBC at any hour. They have devoted themselves to making it into a big issue in order to defeat any chance he might have, but have succeeded only in making themselves look more stupid than usual. Christie has lost some of the momentum he had after he won a second term for Governor in a blue State.
Along with Perry, Christie was very well received at the CPAC convention. The fact is that the GOP has a deep bench of governors that include Nikki Haley, Rick Scott, Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal which tells you how well Republicans have done as governors nationwide. There are 29 of them at last count.
Ted Cruz (R-TX) who burst on the national scene with his filibuster about Obamacare is a powerful orator. He has managed to generate opposition from the Republican establishment in D.C., but so has the Tea Party. We can count on him and others to be heard from in the years ahead.
No doubt the high level of enthusiasm and confidence at the CPAC convention reflects the utter disaster that the Democratic Party inflicted upon itself by passing the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. When you add in the way Obama has looked weak, first with Syria and now with the Russian invasion of the Crimea, Obama is fast losing his once great messianic appeal. His own party is disinclined to give him mindless support these days.
Obama is already being compared with former President Jimmy Carter and history will likely judge him as the worst President this nation has ever had to endure. Few, if any, Democrats running in the forthcoming November midterm elections will even want to be seen on the same platform with him. All he does these days is fund raise, play golf, and take vacations.
So, if the CPAC straw vote provides little indication of who will be the GOP candidate in the 2016 election, the response to both Christie and Perry provides a signal of what direction the party may take. Another good indication will be the way the mainstream media goes after whoever it thinks might be the GOP selection. It is little more than an arm of the Democratic Party.
Much has already been written of the “divisions” within the GOP as a strong conservative debate ensues among the candidates who, in truth, all know that Obamacare will be a deciding factor in the midterms and thereafter. I anticipate a Democratic Party bloodbath and so do they.
Americans want Obamacare repealed and, if the GOP gains control of the Senate and increases its hold on the House this year, you can count on a vote to do that. Obama will veto it but he could be over-ridden. That would be historic.
It is, however, way too soon to be making any predictions. All manner of events could intervene and alter the political scene. For now, though, I am inclined to think that Gov. Perry has a good chance of emerging as the presidential nominee in 2016. It would not surprise me if Hillary Clinton decided she’s too old and too tired to put herself through a long campaign. After all, a virtual unknown named Barack Obama defeated her in 2008 when she did that the last time.
For now, I am greatly encouraged by the turnout at the CPAC convention. The future belongs to the generation that attended. They and their parents, and just about everyone else have been screwed by Obamacare and know it.
------------ Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs disseminated on many Internet news and opinion websites and blogs. He is a contributing author at ARRA News Service. Tags:CPAC 2014, straw polls, real votes, warning signs, Alan CarubaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
According to a Pew Research Center survey, the unfavorability rating of the Tea Party stood at 49 percent in October 2013, up from 25 percent in February 2010. Favorability was at 30 percent, modestly down from 33 percent where it stood in February 2010.
Why the unfavorable trend?
There is no instance where any Tea Party principle has been shown to be off-base.
If there has been a single defining theme of the Tea Party movement, it has been to push back against runaway government. And public sentiment today is very much in line with this.
According to a January Gallup poll, 65 percent expressed dissatisfaction with the “size and power of federal government.”
A majority of Americans today appreciate that the Tea Party was right in 2010 regarding the impending disaster of the Affordable Care Act -- Obamacare.
Principles of the movement, the very principles upon which this country was founded, liberty under God, are demonstrably true.
If we look around the world, or in our own history, we find a direct correlation between robust economic growth and limited government. It’s no accident that today’s sluggish economy coincides with historic bloating of the federal government.
It is also true that facts justify hoisting the banner of traditional values. Intact traditional families, and the children that grow up in them, are demonstrably healthier and wealthier.
So what’s the problem?
One is that upsetting the status quo means shaking up and displacing an entrenched, comfortable political establishment. For Tea Partiers, this means not just the opposition party, but also the establishment in its own party — the Republican Party.
Take, for instance, the current primary challenge in Kentucky by Tea Partier Matt Bevin against Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Bevin is a Tea Party candidate archetype. A young and very successful businessman, new to the political scene, a Christian man with a large family who wants to push back against bloated government and moral relativism and restore American vitality.
But the Wall Street Journal's Jason Riley writes that Tea Party challengers, like Bevin, are having a “tough time” because the incumbents they are challenging are already conservatives. “Mitch McConnell's problem,” writes Riley, “ is not that he's insufficiently right-wing -- it's that he's in the minority.”
But Riley somehow misses the obvious. McConnell has not always been in the minority.
McConnell has been in the Senate for 30 years, and in 14 of them, his party was in control. During the eight years of the presidency of George W. Bush, Republicans controlled the House and Senate for six, and McConnell held a party leadership position.
Yet during those Bush years, according to the Mercatus Center, spending increased “more than [under] any of the six presidents preceding him.” The number of federal subsidy programs increased by 30 percent.
The major problems we face today — our broken entitlement programs, immigration, health care, education, a horrendous tax code — were known. Yet all were ignored while government grew.
So when the Wall Street Journal calls performance like this conservative, no wonder the Tea Party has challenges.
In a new Pew Research Center survey, only 28 percent of Republicans say their party is doing a good or excellent job of “standing up for its traditional positions,” compared to 49 percent of Democrats who say their party is doing an excellent or good job standing up for its positions.
We need citizen activists like Matt Bevin with the courage to fight to take back Washington from the entrenched political establishment. It's our only hope that the work will get done that is essential for saving the nation.
------------ Star Parker is a renowned pro-life and conservative activist, nationally syndicated columnist and founder/president of Urban CURE. Tags:Star Parker, Republicans, TEA 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!
by Nelson Hultberg, Guest Article: One of the major evils of the welfare state in libertarian eyes is that it destroys the concept of objective law (i.e., equal rights under the law) throughout society. This is because the welfare state is based upon the violation of individual rights in order to convey privileges to special interest groups. All primary policies of state welfarism entail such a violation and conveyance. This is why justice can never be achieved under a welfare state philosophy, liberal or conservative.
Government's job is to protect rights, not violate them. It's laws must be applied equally, which means no privileges. Yet we are taught today that government conveyance of privileges to special interest groups will bring us a just society. It is even taught that our concern with "special interest groups" is the American Way - this in face of the fact that the Founders' repeatedly warned against the creation of "political factions."
Special Privilege Defined
What follows will hopefully throw some light on this important issue and clarify how government's conveyance of special privileges is destroying freedom and justice. Because of the heavy ideological obfuscation that prevails in our media and our schools, we need to first define the term special privilege. It means the intervention of government into the free-market to legislate policy that favors specific individuals and groups over other individuals or groups. It is the enactment of laws that either aid or suppress some people in relation to other people. Special privilege can take any number of forms. For example:
1) When government grants subsidies to corporations, banks, farmers, and low income earners, it is conveying a special privilege to these recipients at the expense of the individuals whose earnings are confiscated in order to pay for such subsidies. Their right to the disposal of their income (i.e., their property) is violated.
2) When government dictates that certain quotas of racial / sexual groups must be enrolled in colleges and hired in businesses because of race or gender rather than the free determination of merit, it is conveying a special privilege to those who are enrolled and hired at the expense of those who are better qualified, but are not enrolled and hired because of the quotas. Their right to free determination of merit is violated.
3) When government allows striking labor unions to physically prohibit non-union workers from replacing them by means of violence or through NLRB mandates, it is granting a special privilege of monopoly power to union workers at the expense of all non-union workers in the marketplace. Their right to freely seek employment is violated.
4) When government passes a law mandating that oil prices cannot be raised beyond a certain level, it is conveying a special privilege to the consumers of oil at the expense of the producers of oil. Their right to freedom of trade is violated.
Therefore, whenever government intervenes into the marketplace to aid or suppress specific individuals and groups at the expense of others, it is conveying privileges and violating rights, which cannot make for a just society.
This doesn't mean government intervention itself is wrong. Government must intervene into the marketplace to protect men's rights by curbing violence and fraud. Most thinkers would also add a second legitimate intervention, which is to provide those few services we cannot handle in the marketplace such as communicable disease control, emergency 911 service, city streets, etc. But this kind of government intervention is a provision of services for all men in general instead of an enactment of specific policies for some at the expense of others.
Government intervention is, thus, necessary to maintain freedom and order in society -
but only if it is objective in nature and used to protect rights, or to provide the minimal
services that cannot be provided in a free-market. Once government intervention is used to convey "special privileges," it becomes arbitrary in nature, and the authorities that legislate such intervention always become dictatorial.
This then is the major reason why libertarian and conservative advocates of freedom vehemently oppose the welfare state. It makes government a conveyer of privileges instead of a protector of rights, which turns government into a criminal agency (criminality being defined as the violation of individual rights). It destroys the concept of equal rights, which is the foundation stone upon which freedom, order and justice are based.
Equal rights under the law is the most important principle in America's political system. But there can be no equal rights if government enacts unequal tax rates, i.e., progressive rates. Or if it mandates that some corporations have the right to set their prices freely, but not other corporations. Or if it allows free association to racial minorities, but not to racial majorities.
Redundancy and Reciprocity
To further clarify this crucial issue, consider the following truism: There are no such things in reality as simply "rights." Rights by their very nature must also be equal, or they are not rights. The phrase, "equal rights," is really a redundancy. For instance, we all have to have an equal right to freedom of speech, or we are no longer talking about a right. If all men do not have the same right to speak freely, then the right to free speech does not exist. In other words, rights necessitate the concept of reciprocity. Whatever I have the right to, everyone else must also have a right to. All rights are, thus, reciprocal, or they are not rights but privileges. So whenever we talk about rights, we are automatically talking about equal rights. There can be no such thing as an unequal right, or a right just for some citizens. Rights are either equal for all, or they become privileges for some.
Thus, all citizens must have an equal right to freedom of speech. They must all have an equal right to due process. They must all have an equal right to freedom of association. They must all have an equal right to the disposal of their property (i.e., their income).
Another point must also be grasped here if one is to understand what is happening in the modern world, and that is that rights and privileges cannot co-exist in the same society. They are not only opposites, but opposites in the sense that privileges will destroy the concept of rights whenever they are mixed in a political system.
For example, the nature of the material reality surrounding us is that it is made up of numerous entities composed of opposite existential structures that cannot commingle and still retain their specific existences. That is to say if they are mixed, one of the opposites will dominate the other and destroy it. For example: locusts destroy wheat when mixed. The same goes for acid and silver, mold and bread, tornadoes and towns, fires and forests.
This feature of reality exists not only materially, but also spiritually. In other words, the intellectual realm is subject to this same operating principle, for there are fundamental opposites that cannot be mixed without one destroying the other. Rights and privileges are an example; they are philosophical opposites. Whenever a privilege is granted by the government to someone or some group, a right has to be destroyed in the process. If thousands of privileges are granted, then thousands of rights must be destroyed.
This is the nature of our modern day political scene. Large numbers of people are demanding special privileges from the government, and in the process are destroying the legitimate rights of their fellow men. Every time someone votes for government to provide a subsidy, or a tax break, or a price support, or a monopoly, or an injection of fiat money, he is asking for a special privilege and in the process is destroying equal rights. Once the "equality" of our rights is destroyed, then our rights themselves no longer exist. Once our rights no longer exist, then the prevailing society has evolved into a dictatorship.
In conclusion, rights and privileges cannot be mixed. This is the Law of Mutual Exclusivity. A just, stable, and free society cannot provide special privileges for some of its citizens and remain just, stable, and free. The curse of modern day societies is that their governing authorities believe they can circumvent this truth.
What this means is that a society must be based upon equal rights, or it must be based upon special privileges, but it cannot be based upon both. The latter consumes the former. Just as wheat and locusts cannot co-exist in the same field, neither can rights and privileges co-exist in the same society. Just as locusts will eventually spread throughout the entire field to destroy the wheat and its life giving nutrients, so also will government conveyed privileges spread throughout an entire society to destroy the concept of rights, and with it the life giving values of justice, freedom and stability.
This is why we have the insufferable locust horde of factions, coalitions, foundations, corporations, banks, and divergent individuals today who feel their "need" justifies their lining up at the government trough to lobby for the corrupt favors, handouts, and pork that have flowed so overwhelmingly from Washington for the past 100 years. Once we step beyond minimal Lockean government so as to allow government to violate individual rights to convey special privileges to others and accept this as morally legitimate, there is no end to the process. Tyranny must follow.
Government should not be in the business of conveying privileges and favors to anyone. Period. It should protect rights and do for us those few things we cannot do for ourselves in a free-market, and these few services should be done on the state and local level. This was the Lockean ideal that the Founders envisioned. This is the only morally just form of government. It was not meant just for the nineteenth century; it was meant for all of time.
--------------- Nelson Hultberg shared this guest article with the ARRA News Service. He is a freelance writer in Dallas, Texas and the Director of Americans for a Free Republic and author of The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values. Tags:equal rights, verses, special privileges, Nelson HultbergTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Natalie Webb, Bankrupting America:It keeps getting worse for Washington – weak GDP numbers, Obamacare delays, an unemployment increase, not to mention the president’s spendapalooza of a budget. Get yourself caught up on all the latest events from the past week with our recap:
“Delay is the deadliest form of denial.” Those words have never been more true than they are in the case of Obamacare. The administration continues to hide the fact that the president’s healthcare law just isn’t working with delays upon delays. Find out which parts of the law the administration is delaying in the hope of postponing the law’s negative effects until after the 2014 mid-terms.
Free The Future. Gen Opp unveiled a new website that makes it easy for you to get involved. Whether you want to contact your representative or voice your opinion online, check out it out at FreeTheFuture.org.
You like us, you really like us. Our web series, The Government, won an award from Independent Journal Review for "Thinking Outside The Box: Best use of original material for political messaging." Revisit the series or watch it for the first time and find out what the government is really doing with your tax dollars. Tags:Bankrupting America, president's budget, Obamacare delays, DOE, mismanagement, billions, Free The Future, The Government Series, award, Spendopedia, questionable government spendingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: With his thoughtful restructuring of America’s military, secretary of defense Chuck Hagel — a Republican — has cemented Obama’s signature legacy: restoring America to a peacetime footing. Obama’s bringing American troops home from two wars, and, now, reducing the military to a strong, but proportionate, peacetime footing, was not easy.
Doing so required something of a political miracle. Obama, with a critical assist from Hagel, is pulling it off.
This columnist has critiqued many of Obama’s initiatives. The president’s follies in other areas detract from but do not diminish his real achievement here.
Bringing about peace is remarkable, historic, and transformational. Future historians almost certainly will scratch their heads as to how Obama’s own White House wrapped the boss’s prestige around Obamacare, a botch, rather putting to the fore the president’s greatest achievement.
An aside. Current events in Crimea are unlikely to destroy Obama’s achievement. While Kiev, understandably, and the West express alarm … what’s happening now in Ukraine presents more as chess rather than hand grenades. Putin is an autocrat (and geopolitical chess grandmaster), yet no brutal tyrant in the Stalin mode. Russian military intervention in Crimea appears based on securing a fundamental Russian asset — its sole warm water port — and protection of ethnic Russians living there.
President Reagan’s stated reason for invading Grenada (and deposing the government there, something Putin studiedly has not shown signs of attempting in Ukraine) was to protect 800 American medical students. Putin is not neo-imperialist. This predicament is likely to end with a Russian-led bailout of an insolvent Ukraine. The severe difficulties in Ukraine shall pass without reigniting the Cold War.
Meanwhile, over two years ago, Obama astutely observed, in a speech before the United Nations General Assembly, that “the tide of war is receding. … Moreover we are poised to end these wars from a position of strength.”
The world’s prevailing geopolitical winds truly, now, are winds of peace, not war. (This columnist originally missed Obama’s relevance to the process, for which he duly hereby issues a correction.) Obama promised to align America with the winds of peace in ways that his rivals for office simply did not. The electorate wants peace. Obama alone caught the political wave of peace. He rode it to election … and re-election. In great measure Obama is fulfilling his commitment to peace.
As shrewdly noted by columnist Adil E. Shamoo in ConsortiumNews.com,If a Republican were president — say Sen. John McCain, who lost to Obama in 2008, or Mitt Romney, who failed to unseat him in 2012 — he would have found a way to keep as many as 30,000 American combat troops in Iraq, making Iraq a violent client state rather than the distant disaster it is today. Troops would continue coming home in coffins, and Iraq would feel the wrath of continued air strikes and raids.
If Hillary Clinton had won the primary in 2008 and became president, she would have rallied to keep combat troops in Iraq, too….
If a Republican or Ms. Clinton were president, American troops would still be in Afghanistan ….Secretary of defense Chuck Hagel’s plan declared on February 24th to reduce the military budget to the lowest level since before World War II seals Obama’s real legacy. For Hagel to have done this in a way that enjoys a broad-based, at least tacitly bipartisan, recognition — that the restructuring will not undermine American security — is an impressive achievement.
At Obama’s bidding, Hagel’s judicious slimming down, restructuring, and modernizing of America’s force structure, together with Obama’s winding down the presence of American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, is an impressive, historic, legacy. The emergence of peace was foreshadowed by the 2009 award to the newly fledged President Obama of the Nobel Peace Prize. He has delivered, impressively.
Obama’s successful confrontation with, and victory over, the Military-Industrial complex is striking. Peace is in the sweet spot of American, and world, priorities.
Peace, not the benighted Obamacare, is Obama’s signature initiative. Continuing to defend, and even feature, the botched Obamacare likely will cost the Democrats control of the US Senate this year.
Meanwhile, virtually unadvertised, Obama is making good on his promise of ushering in a wave, and likely an era, of peace This columnist is a Tea Party Patriot, right wing conspirator, Republican Party loyalist, and Obama opponent. It is with some trepidation, therefore, that he points out something that, if noticed by the Democrats, might be used to avert the onrushing Democratic Party rout. (The captains of the Other Team reportedly do not routinely read here — their loss — so making this observation is not a reckless act.)
Hagel’s speech cements President Obama’s legacy. Hagel:Our force structure and modernization recommendations are rooted in three realities:
First, after Iraq and Afghanistan, we are no longer sizing the military to conduct long and large stability operations;
Second, we must maintain our technological edge over potential adversaries;
Third, the military must be ready and capable to respond quickly to all contingencies and decisively defeat any opponent should deterrence fail.
Accordingly, our recommendations favor a smaller and more capable force – putting a premium on rapidly deployable, self-sustaining platforms that can defeat more technologically advanced adversaries. . . .
The forces we prioritized can project power over great distances and carry out a variety of missions more relevant to the President’s defense strategy, such as homeland defense, strategic deterrence, building partnership capacity, and defeating asymmetric threats. . . .
Our recommendations seek to protect capabilities uniquely suited to the most likely missions of the future, most notably special operations forces used for counterterrorism and crisis response. Accordingly, our special operations forces will grow to 69,700 personnel from roughly 66,000 today.Thus has the Republican Secretary Chuck Hagel cemented the Democratic President Obama’s legacy. Both thereby make a great contribution to America’s well being and, likely, to history. Guiding America home to, or at least toward, a peacetime footing — not Obamacare — is Obama’s signature achievement. It is one that deserves recognition from conservatives and libertarians as well as progressives . . . and from all Americans.
------------ Ralph Benko is senior advisor, economics, to American Principles in Action’s Gold Standard 2012 Initiative, and a contributor to the ARRA News Service. His article first appeared in Forbes Tags:Chuck Hagel, Barack Obama, history, Ralph BenkoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
For Show Senate Dems To Talk All Night On Global Warming But Aren't Bringing Up A Bill
Dem's Global Warming Guide
Today in Washington, D.C. - March 10, 2014
The Senate will reconvene at 4 PM today. Following an hour of morning business, the Senate will begin consideration of the nomination of Carolyn McHugh, to be U.S. Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. At 5:30 PM, the Senate will vote on cloture (to cut off debate and move forward) on the McHugh nomination. Following that vote, the Senate will vote on final passage of S. 1917, a bill to curb sexual assaults in the military.
Today the House will meet pro-forma at 2 PM, The House will reconvene tomorrow, March 11 at Noon.
Stephen Dinan of The Washington Times reported on Friday that "House Republicans said Friday that the IRS has agreed to turn over documents and emails from Lois G. Lerner, the agency’s former employee who was at the center of the tea party targeting scandal. The announcement comes after months of jockeying between House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp and the IRS .... 'From the few Lerner documents we have received, we know that Washington, D.C. orchestrated the targeting of groups applying for tax-exempt status, surveillance of existing tax-exempt groups and formed the proposed 501(c)(4) rules designed to push conservative groups out of the public forum,' Mr. Camp said in a statement announcing the agreement with the IRS. 'The remaining documents are key to determining the level of wrong doing and deception committed by this agency.'"
Byron York writes for the Washington Examiner today, “On Monday night into Tuesday morning, two dozen Senate Democrats -- members of the party’s newly-formed Climate Action Task Force -- plan to hold an all-night, filibuster-like talkathon on the issue of global warming. ‘Congress must act,’ Hawaii Democratic Sen. Brian Schatz, a leader of the group, said in a statement. ‘On Monday night we’re going to show the growing number of senators who are committed to working together to confront climate change.’”
USA Today notes, “The overnight effort, organized by Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, is part of the recently launched Senate Climate Action Task Force headed by Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. In a statement, Boxer said Democrats want to ‘wake up Congress’ to the dangers of climate change. The marathon session is not technically a filibuster in part because there is no legislation under debate . . . . The Democratic effort is cause for some confusion because these senators are calling for action in a chamber they control but without any specific legislation to offer up for a vote, or any timetable for action this year.”
Indeed, as York writes, “Senator after senator will undoubtedly join Schatz in insisting that Congress must act. But the Democratic talkathon is not about any action in particular. It’s not being staged in support of, or opposition to, any specific legislative proposal. And if there were proposed legislation under consideration, Democrats could just pass it, or at least bring it up for debate and a vote, because they control the Senate with a 55-seat majority.
Ed Morrissey adds, “Boxer herself is the chair of the committee on environmental affairs, and could push through legislation any time she wants to the floor. They don’t have global-warming legislation bottled up by Republican obstruction, because they don’t have global-warming legislation at all. Why? It would kill any hopes of rescuing red-state seats for Democrats in the upcoming midterms, that’s why.”
And USA Today points out, “The issue of climate change is politically volatile, and Congress has shied away from serious legislative efforts since 2010, when House Democrats narrowly approved a bill to cap carbon emissions. That bill was ultimately viewed as contributing to the party’s electoral losses that year. Senate Democrats never took it up. Democrats have 28 senators scheduled to speak through Monday night, but some of the party’s most vulnerable senators facing re-election this year—Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Kay Hagan of North Carolina—are notably missing from the lineup.”
“But,” York writes, “it’s possible the Democratic campaign has little if anything to do with ever passing a global warming bill. After all, Senate Democrats had a huge, filibuster-proof majority in 2009 and 2010 and did not act on the cap-and-trade bill passed by the Democratic House at the time. It could be that the Senate Democrats’ strategy is more about encouraging the White House to take unilateral executive action on the environment than it is about Senate Democrats sticking their necks out by supporting major legislation in an election year. . . . And then there are deep-pocket Democratic donors. A few weeks ago Reid and several leading Democratic senators attended a fundraiser at billionaire Tom Steyer’s San Francisco home. The event, for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, also featured former Vice President Al Gore.”
According to a Washington Post report at the time, “A Democratic fundraiser last week at billionaire Tom Steyer’s home amounted to a summit between Washington’s liberal elite and San Francisco’s climate intelligentsia. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.), six other senators and a 2014 Senate candidate took in views of the Golden Gate Bridge with former vice president Al Gore and some of the nation’s richest environmentalist donors. The $400,000 fundraiser, held for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, included remarks from Gore, who said the party needs to make global warming a central issue during the midterms, participants said.” National Journal writes today, “Steyer isn’t campaigning for any office, but in little more than a year, the environmental advocate has catapulted from a member of the national Democratic donor community to one of the party’s biggest political spenders. He is reportedly planning to deploy $50 million of his own, plus $50 million from donors, through his NextGen Climate Action super PAC and affiliated groups to influence the 2014 midterms. That makes the former hedge-fund manager one of the biggest political spenders in the country . . . .”
Asked about Democrats’ latest push on an issue that has never been high on the list of public concerns, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “For everybody who thinks it’s warming, I can find somebody who thinks it isn’t. . . . You’re not going to have global cooperation to do it [impose restrictions on energy usage]. Even if you conceded the point, which I don’t concede, but if you conceded the point, it isn’t going to be addressed by one country. So the idea is, we tie our own hands behind our back and others don’t. I think it’s beyond foolish and real people are being hurt by this.” Tags:Democrats, Global Warming, no bills, 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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