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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)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Smoking Gun: State Dept Labels Benghazi a Terrorism Event Almost Immediately

ARRA News Service: Would you believe that the State Department labeled Benghazi a "terrorism event" almost IMMEDIATELY?  Despite this, Americans were still lied to by Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice about an internet video. 

Below summarizes some of the info from the latest documents received by Judicial Watch from their FOIA request and subsequent lawsuit. It's becoming clear why Hillary Clinton has deleted her emails.

State Department Counterterrorism Official Complains About Hillary Clinton-tied Request to FBI

Washington, DC – Judicial Watch today released new State Department documents showing the Benghazi attack was called a “terrorism event” almost immediately after the attack took place. Another document suggests that Hillary Clinton tasked an official to contact the FBI, evidently not knowing that the FBI was already on the Benghazi matter under longstanding State Department counterterrorism response protocols. The new documents were forced from the U.S. State Department under court order in a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit.

Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request on June 12, 2014, and subsequently a lawsuit on October 16, 2014, seeking:Any and all activity logs, reports, or other records produced by the Diplomatic Security Command Center between September 10, 2012 and September 13, 2012 regarding, concerning, or related to the attack at the U.S. Special Mission Compound and Classified Annex in Benghazi, Libya.Though the State Department has yet to release to Judicial Watch any documents from Hillary Clinton’s secret email records (or the secret email records of other top State Department officials) as required by law and court order, earlier this month the agency released 49 records totaling over 70 pages.

Less than eight hours after the attacks, around 6 a.m. on September 12, 2012, the State Department Diplomatic Security “Command Center Team Site” sent out a “Benghazi Event Notification” to “ALCON:”The DS Command Center is sharing the following terrorism event information for your situational awareness…

As of 0500 EST the US Mission in Benghazi has been evacuated due to ongoing attacks that resulted in the deaths of 4 Chief of Mission personnel including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and 3 additional COM wounded. At this time everyone has been evacuated to Tripoli and is receiving medical aid and awaiting further movement.

This is initial terrorist incident report from the DS Command Center…[emphasis original]
Among the recipients of this email was the regional security officer for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, who received the email just before a briefing he had with then-Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice. At 6:24 a.m., September 12, 2012, the RSO official was given the “terrorism incident report” and responded:It is a tragic day for us.

I expect to speak with Ambassador Susan Rice and the rest of the senior staff about this here at USUN New York in a couple of hours. I would appreciate any details we can know and share in a couple of hours, either here or on my SIPR [Secure Internet Protocol Router] account.

It so happens that the UNSC [United Nations Security Council] will discuss Libya this morning. While the meeting had been previously scheduled, the situation will certainly change the tone and timbre of those deliberations – not to mention the substance.

I will call in around 0800 for the latest as well.
Despite knowing it was an attack, the State Department, including its Security Command Center, continued to falsely tie “demonstrations” to the Benghazi terrorist assault. A prior State Department document production in this lawsuit contains a press release issued by the Diplomatic Security Command Center, on September 12, 2012, that falsely states that “violent demonstrations took place at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, and at the U.S. Special Mission Compound in Benghazi, Libya, resulting in damages in both locations and casualties in Benghazi.”

On the evening of the attack, a member of the State Department’s Counterterrorism (CT) Bureau complained about a request to the FBI on behalf of Hillary Clinton:FBI just called me indicating DOS ops center [Redacted](sp?) had called FBI ops center to request FBI assistance, ala evidence response team, investigators, etc. on behalf of Secretary Clinton..

To remind, the State (CT) led Foreign Emergency Support Team (FEST) would include these folks…We should avoid multiple requests for assistance and rely on the comprehensive FEST approach, which had been used for repeated real-world events (including hostage takings) over the past 20 years.
Another State Department document lists 18 Embassy and other State Department sites in the Middle East, Africa, and UK, all but one of which are listed as being targeted by “protests.” Benghazi is the only city that has no listing of “protests,” and lists instead the situation as “Attack on US Consulate.” The document is undated but seems to have been created a few days after the Benghazi attack.

An email on September 11, 2012, from Rebecca Thompson, director of the Bureau of Public Affairs’ Rapid Response Unit, passes along an “intriguing” Internet post suggesting the Germans might have been warned days before the attack “about personalities who were officials in the Qaddafi regime and now work with Al-Qaida affiliated organizations to execute terrorist operations and explosions in Libya and outside of it…”

The following day, Rebecca Brown Thompson reported to the Command Center:Nahla Qader, one of our media analysts, found this tweet: Mohammed Fadel Fahmy@Repent11 in Egypt says “Threat to kill all Americans in Gaza, after Libya/Egypt due to film insulting prophet Mohamed forces UN staff to bunker in and placed on curfew!”

Nahla also reports that some Twitter users in Libya and Egypt are spreading reports that the attacks in Libya may not be related to the infamous film but to the killing of Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, who is Libyan.
This information echoes the Defense Intelligence Agency report released by Judicial Watch last week that immediately tied the Benghazi terrorist attack to retaliation for the death of Libyan Abu Yahya al-Libi. The Associated Press reported that Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, on September 10, 2011,[U]rged Libyans — al-Libi was born in the north African country — to attack Americans to avenge the late militant’s death, saying his “blood is calling, urging and inciting you to fight and kill the Crusaders.”Further undermining the false claim that the Benghazi attack arose from a spontaneous protest, a September 12 email with the subject line “Benghazi Killings of USGOV personnel” from an unidentified sender notes the Benghazi “attack was a complex attack including [Redacted].”

Last week, Judicial Watch reported that it had obtained more than 100 pages of previously classified “Secret” documents from the Department of Defense and the Department of State revealing that DOD knew almost immediately that the Benghazi attack was committed by the al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood-linked “Brigades of the Captive Omar Abdul Rahman” (BCOAR), and had been planned at least 10 days in advance. Rahman, known as the Blind Sheikh, is serving life in prison for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist acts. The new documents also provided the first official confirmation that the U.S. government was aware of arms shipments from Benghazi to Syria.

“The Obama administration – including Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice – knew immediately that the Benghazi attack was a terrorist attack. The State Department’s new smoking gun documents put to rest any question about what Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice knew – and when they knew it,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Within minutes of the attack, the administration, specifically Hillary Clinton, began lying to the American people by blaming an obscure Internet video. No wonder Hillary Clinton is the great destroyer of State Department emails. One can assume that Mrs. Clinton would not have stolen and destroyed emails in violation of law and various court orders if she didn’t have something to hide. And it shouldn’t take a federal court order to find out that Hillary Clinton evidently had no clue how the State Department and the FBI responded to terrorist attacks on State Department personnel.”
----------
Press Release provided by Judicial Watch.

Tags:  Judicial Watch, press release, Freedom of information lawsuit, Court order, release documents, emails, smoking gun, State Department, labels, Benghazi, terrorism event, almost immediately,  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Private #SchoolChoice Works

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Private school choice is “in,” writes Patrick Wolf. “Far from being rare and untested, private school choice policies are an integral part of the fabric of American education policy.”

Now, these “new ideas” really upset some folks. I’m not one of them. School choice is greater freedom.

Freedom works.

Public schooling, on the other hand, is based on very different principles — and principals. It’s no wonder that a system based on compulsion (taxes, attendance, etc.) tends to have so much trouble performing well: it’s not the forced sector of the economy that booms.

Enter school choice. As long as kids must be forced to “attend” a school, I (as a parent) would rather decide which school, for both my sake and my children’s. And if I’m paying taxes, and other kids are getting tax moneys for their education, vouchers are more fair.

Wolf, writing in The Daily Signal, offers evidence that these eminently sensible policies lead to great results. “In Washington, D.C., use of an Opportunity Scholarship increased the likelihood of a student graduating by 71 percent.” Research into the effects of Milwaukee’s program show it “significantly increased the rates of high school graduation, college enrollment and persistence in college for the low-income students. . . .”

Researchers at Brookings Institution and Harvard found similar results for New York City’s “privately funded K-12 scholarship program.”

In his 1859 philosophical polemic, On Liberty, John Stuart Mill argued that parents have a duty to educate their children — and society an interest in seeing these duties met. But that doesn’t entail setting up government schools.

It’s time to catch up with Mill’s 1859 wisdom.

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

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

Oklahoma Latest State To Protect Pastors, Churches

by Charlie Butts, OneNewsNow.com (via GOPUSA): Oklahoma legislators are protecting pastors in that state, even as homosexuals are asking them to perform "marriage" ceremonies.

Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law a bill that protects pastors and churches if they refuse to perform or host same-sex "marriage" ceremonies.

Timothy Tardibono of the Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma says the legislation is responding to the current moral and legal fight across the country. He cites religious freedoms that were once taken for granted – but not anymore.

Because of the various cultural forces," he says, "we're having to put those religious freedoms into explicit language in statute."

A landmark decision is coming from the U.S. Supreme Court in June that conservatives fear will erode natural marriage laws across the country.

Homosexual activists, meanwhile, are demanding "marriage equality" while they go after bakeries, florists, photographers, and other wedding vendors.

OneNewsNow reported in recent days that Texas, like Oklahoma, has passed a state law that protects pastors.

Without the state law, says the Family Policy spokesman, there's the potential that same-gender couples could take action to force pastors to violate their religious beliefs.

Citing a non-discrimination policy, a city council in Kansas proposed an ordinance in 2012 that would have forced churches to rent their facilities to same-sex couples.

A retreat property in New Jersey, owned by the United Methodist Church, was forced by a judge to rent its facility to same-sex couples.

There's already a movement among the far-left to remove the tax-exempt status from churches, which some homosexuals tie to churches' stance against homosexual "marriage."

"Churches that lobby to have freedoms and rights taken away from ANYONE should absoutely have their 501(c)3 status revoke!" a Wyoming homosexual activist declared earlier this year in a Facebook post, a conservative website reported.

In 2004, 76 percent of Oklahoma voters declared natural marriage should be preserved as state law. Mirroring the pattern in other states, the state's marriage amendment was challenged in court and a federal appeals court overturned it last year.

Pastors took notice, says Tardibono, especially after their phones began ringing.

"They had three calls from couples asking if they could have a same-sex ceremony at their church, and done by their pastor," Tardibono tells OneNewsNow.

Tags: Oklahoma, protects pastors, churches, natural marriage, traditional marriage, Timothy Tardibono, Family Policy Institute of Oklahoma, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Steamed . . .

. . . 5th Circuit amnesty ruling on Obama’s over reach of power through executive order, didn't go his way.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Background: (Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton made the following statement regarding the recent Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling which found the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, President Obama’s executive amnesty, likely will not survive court scrutiny:
The Fifth Circuit Court’s ruling against President Obama’s executive amnesty, officially known as the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents program, is a win for the American people. The federal courts aren’t buying into President Obama’s power grab that rewrites immigration law. It is reassuring to see that the judiciary is still committed, at least in this matter, to abiding by constitutional principles and the rule of law.

While the Fifth Circuit limited its ruling to the question of granting or denying the request to stay the injunction, one need only read the court’s opinion carefully to see that the broader legal outlook for DAPA, and possibly other executive overreaches on amnesty, is stormy, at best.

This ruling is a significant win for Judicial Watch supporters who for years have fought the Obama administration’s blatant abuse of immigration law and presidential authority. Judicial Watch filed three amicus curiae briefs in State of Texas, et al. v. United States of America, et al.
  • opposing the administration’s request for an emergency “stay;”
  • opposing the Department of Justice’s attempt to block the ruling that postponed immigration action in the Fifth Circuit;
  • and on behalf of State Legislators for Legal Immigration (SLLI) in support of Texas and 20 other states that sued the federal government to prevent the Obama administration’s implementation of DAPA.
This victory is important but Americans should know that President Obama’s administration has almost completely stopped deporting illegal aliens and continues to leave our borders open to illegal aliens and terrorists. This lawlessness places the nation’s safety at risk.

Tags: President Obama, Constitution, 5th Circuit Court Appeals, background, Judicial Watch, DAPA, executive amnesty To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Labor Pains: Why the Birth Rate Is Down and What That Means

Maria Harrill and family. (Photo: Courtesy Maria Harill)
by Madaline Donnelly: When Maria Harrill was growing up in suburban Maryland in the early 1990s, she kept a journal outlining all the things she’d do when she was a mom.

She attentively monitored her own family of 10 and—more like a discerning social worker stopping by for a visit than the second youngest of a brood of eight—noted things she liked, and disliked, about her household.

Today, the journal reads like a time-capsuled to-do-list for the 26-year-old mother of two: “Always read to your kids,” for example, is scribbled down next to “Never argue in front of the children.”

“I should go back and read it all, see how I’m living up to my own standards,” the former paralegal says with a laugh.

It’s clear that Maria wanted a family of her own from the get-go, and that she’s comfortable owning her choices. It’s also become increasingly clear that her story, of growing up in a big family and wanting to replicate that for herself at an early age, is no longer the norm for a majority of young American men and women.

We see this play out on television and in the movies (think “Girls” or “Wedding Crashers”). We hear it in graduation speeches lauding endless opportunities and paths. And then there’s the data, painting a picture of career-driven millennials who are the slowest to have kids of any generation in U.S. history.

But what, if anything, do these changing norms mean for those couples that still choose to start families young? For society at large?
A New Normal

There are many factors potentially at work today discouraging young people from having children that it’s hard to know for sure what’s really behind the dip in America’s birth rate—or to blame for holding off.

Between the Great Recession, the necessity of a college education (and therefore, the magnitude of student loan debt in the U.S.), the price of homeownership, and delayed marriage due to social or financial reasons, it seems more a storm of inhibiting issues than an identifiable trend.

Some younger moms also theorize about the both assumed and realistic social implications of motherhood, and its ability to deter young women from having kids.

“Some of my friends are getting engaged, but they have no plans of having babies until much later on,” says Suzanne Kioko, a 26-year-old registered nurse and mother currently expecting her second child. “They have this notion of life is kind of going to suck as soon as you have kids. And they want to get in all their good times before they [have children].”

Regardless of its cause, we do know that the birth rate drop is meaningful. Just last month, the Urban Institute published a widely circulated paper outlining a 15 percent decrease of American women in their twenties having children. Previously, the birth rate was largely stable for this demographic from the 1980s until around 2007.

Researchers Nan Marie Astone, Steven Martin, and H. Elizabeth Peters authored the study and found that birth rates to women aged 20 to 29 fell, dropping from 1,118 in 1,000 women to 948 in 1,000 women in 2012. Simultaneously, strong immigration rates which would have helped to supplant such a decline dipped, likely because of the struggling economy.

Worth noting, all races experienced a decline in giving birth, with the largest drop being seen among Hispanic women. For white women in particular, the birth rate decline was linked directly to a marital decline.
“Marriage has come a capstone to adulthood, rather than an entryway into adulthood as it has traditionally been,” says Rachel Sheffield, a policy analyst with The Heritage Foundation’s Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity. “Today, individuals often wait to marry until they have achieved a level of independence marked by completing college, establishing a career, and perhaps even having already purchased a home.”

It’s too early to tell whether these young women will “match” previous generations by having babies in their 30s or later. Historically speaking, the birth rate also fell in the early 1930s and late 1970s, aligning with other periods of economic struggle, before bouncing back and evening out.

“If these low birth rates to women in their twenties continue without a commensurate increase in birth rates to older women,” the Urban Institute researchers wrote, “the United States might eventually face the type of generational imbalance that currently characterizes Japan and some European countries.”

Much Ado About … Something?
So what do these “warnings” really amount to? According to Jonathan V. Last, a senior writer at The Weekly Standard and author of “What to Expect When No One’s Expecting,” America is facing a “demographic cliff,” or a population replacement rate that simply isn’t sustainable, as he wrote in “The Wall Street Journal.” In his opinion, population-dependent programs like Social Security—along with tax-dependent organizations like the military—could suffer.

“Decline isn’t about whether Democrats or Republicans hold power,” he writes. “It isn’t about political ideology at all. At its most basic, it’s about the sustainability of human capital.”

Last goes on to cite social and economic problems in countries like China, Japan, and Mexico, tracing their origins to things like China’s infamous one-child policy or the overall decline in the marriage rate in Japan.

Anthropologists have also written about the economics of European nations like Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain, blaming declining demographics and an inability to develop strong economies. In Russia, the government has offered monetary incentives for having kids, and in Denmark, independent organizations like travel-company Spies Rejser have launched campaigns asking citizens to “Do It for Denmark!”
Recently, 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., along with Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, proposed a tax reform plan that included a child tax credit.

In practice, lower birth rates probably don’t make a huge difference in the lives of young American mothers yet, outside of occasionally awkward conversations at work and a more difficult time making friends who are “in the same boat,” as Suzanne says.

“Nowadays, you don’t have a lot of younger moms having babies, so you kind of feel like you’re on your own,” she adds. “Most of your friends are still working and doing their thing, so socially, I think it’s changed.”

Maria agrees: “I remember I was working at a law firm downtown [in Washington, D.C.], and I was still working when I got pregnant. It was definitely weird. It was like a glance, or a look, or a comment, and you could tell that it’s, ‘Oh wow, you just got married and really, you want to start a family already?’”

Kassie Novak, a 26-year-old mother who lives in Chicago with her husband and 18-month-old son, has found that making friends with other mothers takes a significant amount of work because of the age difference.

“I do try to put an effort into meeting other moms. It’s much harder than I would have imagined,” she says. “Just about every mom I have met here is about five to 15 years older than me … I used to joke with my husband that I think the moms at the park or at baby classes think I’m the nanny. But now that my son is older, I am much more comfortable approaching and chatting with other moms.”

Dollars and Sense
Aside from shifting social realities, young families are also making fiscal sacrifices in order to afford a family, reflecting the estimated $250,000 it currently takes to raise a child in America.

And while the share of moms who did not work hit an all-time low in 1999 at 23 percent, it rose to 29 percent by 2012, according to the Pew Research Center. This group includes those who are unable to find work or disabled.

Suzanne, Maria, and Kassie, employed full-time before having their children, are all working in some capacity outside of the home, whether it’s picking up spare shifts at the hospital or selling skin care products in their free time, as is the case with Kassie.

“We’re renting an apartment,” Maria says of her Reston, Va., home. “All of our couple friends have been talking, and it looks like we’ll all be renting … for a while. Houses just cost a lot. Unless you have a really great paying job, it’s a little bit harder.”

Maria and her husband are also sharing one car. “Two would be awesome, but it’s not realistic right now,” she says. “But I’d much rather have another kid as opposed to another car. Kids are around a long time, but cars come and go.”

There are possible benefits for these families, though, including things like more open slots at schools and readily available vaccines. The Urban Institute study, using census data, also suggests a lower birth rate could potentially mean greater social mobility in the future for babies born to millennials.

In contrast, researchers found that among baby boomers and Gen Xers, “single parenthood increased among already disadvantaged groups,” and furthered income inequality between high- and low-income families.

In certain circumstances, a decrease in the birth rate could also mean more stable environments for children.

“As of 2010, the average age at first birth for a college educated woman was about 30, whereas in 1970 it was around 26,” Sheffield says. “Among those with less than a high school education, the average age of motherhood was about 18 in 1970, whereas today it’s around 20.”

For their part, the millennial mothers we spoke with seem content with their decision to start a family young.

“Being a young mom was what I’ve always wanted,” Kassie says. “I believe motherhood to be my calling.”
------------
Maddie Donnelly (@MaddieDon28) is an assistant editor and producer for The Daily Signal.

Tags: Labor Pains, lower number of births, society, future laor forces. changing demographics,Maddie Donnelly, The Daily Signal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama vs. The Courts

Supreme Court Justices
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: After the ruling by a federal appeals court striking a blow against President Obama's immigration amnesty plans, the Washington Post noticed that much of Obama's agenda is being challenged in the courts. Citing Obamacare, climate change and other issues, the Post writes that "Obama's legacy is increasingly in legal jeopardy."

But betting on the courts is risky for conservatives. After six and a half years of Obama packing the courts with left-wing appointees, the judicial branch has become more radical than it's ever been.

In some cases, Obama has managed to fundamentally transform the ideological balance of key appellate courts. Last week, for example, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to grant a rehearing to Catholic organizations challenging Obamacare's contraception mandate.

Issues that divide the circuit courts, often end up before the Supreme Court. That court is also divided with four center-right justices, four liberals and Justice Anthony Kennedy frequently casting the deciding vote. As a result, we win some decisions 5-to-4 and lose others 5-to-4.

If you need a reason to be actively involved in the 2016 elections, consider this: Four justices of the Supreme Court are 76 years-old or older.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 82.
Justice Antonin Scalia is 79.
Justice Anthony Kennedy is 78.
Justice Stephen Breyer is 76.

The odds are overwhelming that the next president will fundamentally change the ideological balance of the Supreme Court.

If a President Hillary Clinton or Martin O'Malley replaces Scalia or Kennedy, the conservative agenda will be on life support. If a President Walker, Rubio, Cruz, Santorum or another potential conservative replaces Breyer, Ginsburg or Kennedy, we will have a chance to preserve religious liberty and our commonsense values.

If nothing else divided the Democratic and Republican nominees, this issue alone would be worth every effort you can possibly make between now and next November to ensure that we take back the White House.
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Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Supreme Court, Justices To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Full Stream Ahead: Why EPA’s Water Rule Goes Too Far

EPA TYRANTS
by Sean Hackbarth, Contributing Author: The Obama administration didn't listen. Instead, it went ahead with its regulatory overreach over America's waters. This worries farmers, ranchers, and other businesses.

EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers released their final Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule--known as the "Clean Water Rule" in EPA lingo--that claims jurisdiction over vast swaths of the country.

In a statement EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy claimed, "This rule will make it easier to identify protected waters." In reality, the rule does this by claiming federal jurisdiction over a huge number of waters.

Inside the 299 pages of regulations, definitions, explanations, and justifications for the rule, "adjacent" waters now under federal regulatory authority "include wetlands, ponds, lakes, oxbows, impoundments, and similar water features" that are "in the 100-year floodplain and that are within 1,500 feet" (five football fields) of a navigable water. The entire body of water is "adjacent" even if only a portion of it falls within the 100-year floodplain or within 1,500 feet of a navigable water.

While EPA and the Army Corps claim that WOTUS clarifies what waters are under federal jurisdiction, in agriculture's case, nothing is clarified. The rule states [emphasis mine]:Waters in which normal farming, ranching, and silviculture activities occur instead will continue to be subject to case-specific review, as they are today.In fact, under this new definition bodies of water or wetlands over three-quarters of a mile from an navigable water could fall under federal jurisdiction if the federal government decides that it significantly affects another body of water [emphasis mine]:[W]aters within 4,000 feet of the high tide line or the ordinary high water mark of a traditional navigable water, interstate water, the territorial seas, impoundments, or covered tributary are subject to case-specific significant nexus determinations.The agencies claim they "do not anticipate that there will be numerous circumstances in which this provision will be utilized," but who is to say the ever-growing Regulatory State won't make this its default tool in its water regulation toolbox. Regulators' best wishes are no guarantee that an agency's power will be limited.

With federal jurisdiction comes costly federal permitting. "Over $1.7 billion is spent each year by the private and public sectors obtaining wetlands permits," wrote the U.S. Chamber and 375 other associations in a comment on WOTUS to EPA and the Army Corps.

William Kovacs, the U.S. Chamber's Senior Vice President of Environment, Technology, & Regulatory Affairs, said the process the agencies used to write the rule was "fundamentally flawed."Since issuing the proposed rule for public comment in April 2014, the agencies have somehow maintained that the proposal will have no significant regulatory or economic impact, and in fact the agency is simply 'clarifying' the current state of federal jurisdiction over waters. Such statements fly in the face reality.

Despite appeals from constituents and lawmakers across the country; countless business owners, farmers and industry leaders; and the Small Business Administration, the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers failed to conduct any meaningful regulatory or economic impact analyses prior to issuing a final rule.

... The Chamber filed lengthy public comments identifying exactly how the proposal could affect businesses of all sizes, including local municipalities, and requested the agencies convene a small business review panel to study and evaluate those impacts. Numerous state, local and business stakeholders and the Small Business Administration (twice) echoed that request, to no avail.
In a blog post prior to WOTUS being released, Kovacs worried that the water rule "would put [EPA] effectively in charge of zoning the entire country."

Kovacs isn't alone in criticizing the rulemaking process. While explaining that WOTUS will expand federal authority, Charles Maresca, Director of Interagency Affairs for the Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, told a Senate Committee it was "incorrect" for EPA and the Corps to claim that the regulation won't have "a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small businesses."

It was no holds barred in the administration's defense of its controversial rule. President Obama's top environmental advisor Brian Deese said, "The only people with reason to oppose the rule are polluters who threaten our clean water."

Tell that to farmers, ranchers, home builders, and other businesses. They understand that clean water means everything to their customers and their businesses. Federal regulators going over the heads of local and state officials accomplishes little but adding more barriers to job creation and economic development.

With WOTUS, businesses will be up a creek without a paddle.
---------------
Sean Hackbarth is a policy advocate and Senior Editor at U.S Chamber of Commerce. He twitters at @seanhackbarth and is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Sean Hackbarth, EPA, WOTUS, water rule, taking property rights, EPA Tyrants  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 Hillary Enigma

by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Does it strike anyone as strange that the only candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination to be the next President of the United States is the wife of a former President? There is no historic precedent for this, no way to measure this against how Americans have selected Presidents in the past.

Like most Americans, I first took notice of her when Bill began his campaign to become President. I recall being struck by the fact that in 1969 as a student at Wellesley College, her 92-page senior thesis was devoted to the community organizer, Saul Alinsky’s book. The title of her thesis was “There is Only the Fight…”: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model.” She would request Wellesley to deny access to it.

Alinsky was a Communist. His twelve rules for radicals, unlike the Ten Commandments, are devoid of a moral message. Instead, the message is “this is how you can win.” Hillary would do well to review Rule 7, “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” She was already old news when she announced her candidacy and it is becoming older with every passing day as she fails to take questions from the media, participating in totally staged events to look like “one of the people.”

She and Bill are not one of the people. They, like the Bushes, are political royalty. They have both been around a very long time.

Hillary, however, despite the millions of words that have been written about and by her remains an enigma. Other than being farther to the Left than Bill, she is a woman whose “achievements” in life have largely been the result of having married Bill. She would spend eight years in the White House as the First Lady and, pursuing her college dreams of political power, they would move to New York State where she ran and won a Senatorial election.

There isn’t a single Senate bill that she introduced or that is credited to her. She is said to have worked hard and gotten along well with her colleagues, but her Senate years are a blur in her public life. Then she made a bid to be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in 2008 and along came Barack Hussein Obama with whom the voters fell in love. When he was elected, he asked her to become his Secretary of State.

With the exception of the Benghazi tragedy on September 11, 2012, a clear failure of judgment and duty, and about which she lied, her years as Secretary of State reflect her years in the Senate; nothing of any significance resulted, no major treaties, no major anything, except for one more scandal.

So the question remains; who is Hillary Rodham Clinton? What are her fundamental principles beyond the acquisition of political power? And money. Lots of it while uttering nonsense such as she and Bill being “dead broke” when they left office?

What are we to make of her deletions of thousands of emails on her private server—something she was not supposed to use as Secretary of State—and her assertion that those we may never see were of no importance? They’re important if, as is widely believed, foreign governments hacked her private email server and thus had access to information about policies affecting themselves and others. She may not have broken a law, but she surely did not obey Obama White House policy regarding the emails.

Alinsky's Rule 1 is “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have. Power is derived from two main sources—money and people.”

We are told that Hillary has a huge amount of money with which to wage a campaign to become the first woman President. In light of the revelations about the Clinton Foundations, virtual slush funds, and the millions earned by her and Bill to give speeches, there is little doubt of that.

You cannot, however, buy trust and the polls indicate that is seeping away.

Her die-hard supporters probably know as little about her as the rest of us, but it is their trust she is depending on right now. Should she actually receive the Democratic Party’s nomination, the distrust of independent voters, disaffected Democrats, and of course Republicans, will play a crucial role in who is elected in 2016. It is not likely to be Hillary Clinton.

It is not likely because, as we have already seen, she seems to have reached a point where her political abilities have grown tired and out-of-date. These are not the 1990s. A whole generation has been born since Bill was President.

Like her, the Democratic Party seems tired as well. Can you believe there is not another Democrat, a Governor or Senator who could emerge to represent the Party? How devoid of any real leadership has the Democratic Party become if the only candidate they can offer is a former First Lady? That has been her primary claim to fame despite the two offices she has held since the 1990s.

I suggest that Hillary ceases to be an enigma if you just think of the Wellesley student who thought the best topic for her senior thesis was the book by a dedicated Communist, Saul Alinsky.
-----------------
Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs  He is a contribution author on the  ARRA News Service.

Tags: Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Hillary Clinton, Enigma, Saul Alinsky, Alinsky Model To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Sen. Rick Santorum Announces As 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate

Rick Santorum Announces As 2016
Republican Presidential Candidate
ARRA News Service: Yesterday, in Cabot, Pennsylvania, former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum announced his bid as a 2016 republican candidate for President of the United States. Former senator from Pennsylvania in the 2012 Republican primary won eleven states and 250 delegates for the presidential nomination before suspending his campaign.

Santorum served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995 and in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007. He was a member of the "Gang of Seven" that exposed the Congressional Banking and Congressional Post Office scandals. Rick was also an author and floor manager of the landmark Welfare Reform Act of 1996 that has empowered millions of Americans to leave the welfare rolls and enter the workforce.

Santorum wrote and championed legislation that outlawed the heinous procedure known as Partial Birth Abortion as well as the "Born Alive Infants Protection Act," the "Unborn Victims of Violence Act," and the "Combating Autism Act" because he believes each and every individual has value and the most vulnerable in our society need to be protected.

His website at RickSantorum.com boldly states, "Rick Santorum is a conservative committed to restoring the American dream for hardworking Americans. He has been a voice for the voiceless – standing up for those struggling in this economy, protecting life at every stage and fighting to ensure that our nation is secure from those who wish to do us harm."

He and his wife Karen, are the parents of seven children: Elizabeth, John, Daniel, Sarah Maria, Peter, Patrick and Isabella.

In a clearly defined seven minute speech,  in an upbeat manner, Santorum summarized who is is, what his actions will be on behalf of American people, and what he would do as president.

Below is a video of his announcement speech:

Tags: Rick Santorum, announces, candidate, 2016 Presidential candidate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Political Correctness: Tyranny Of The Mind

by Dr. Chuck Baldwin: In a letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, dated September 23, 1800, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I have sworn upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.” By any definition that Jefferson could have envisioned, today’s political correctness can only be regarded as “tyranny over the mind of man.” Forget freedom of association, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, or freedom of privacy, political correctness demands that we don’t even have freedom of thought or opinion.

If one does not have the freedom to live in good conscience with his own sense of morality, he or she is indeed the most enslaved of creatures. Listen to Jefferson again, “To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

Forcing men to pay taxes “for the propagation of ideas he disbelieves and abhors” is indeed sinful and tyrannical enough. But to compel a man to actively PARTICIPATE in ideas he disbelieves and abhors is even more so. And, that, my friends, is exactly what modern political correctness forces us to do -- or at least tries to force us to do. Political correctness attempts to strip us of our own sense of right and wrong. It is not only tyranny of conduct and behavior; it is tyranny of the mind and heart.

For example, if someone says something critical of Israel, they are labeled "anti-Semitic." If they say something critical of the homosexual lifestyle, they are labeled "anti-gay." If they say something critical of the practices and policies of our politicians, they are labeled "anti-government." And if they say something critical of Roman theology, they are labeled "anti-Catholic."

There are only two things that it is politically correct to be "anti" about: it is perfectly acceptable to be "anti-Christian" or "anti-Muslim." Not only is it politically correct to be "anti-Christian" or "anti-Muslim," it is all but REQUIRED that one be "anti-Christian" or "anti-Muslim." One risks personal friendship and professional employment if he or she is NOT "anti-Christian" or "anti-Muslim."

For the record, I am none of the above. I am not anti-Semitic; I am not anti-gay; I am not anti-government; I am not anti-Catholic; I am not anti-Christian; and I am not anti-Muslim. About the only thing I am "anti" is this: I am "anti-TYRANNY."

And tyranny can come in many shapes and forms. There are tyrannical Jews, tyrannical homosexuals, tyrannical politicians, tyrannical Catholics, tyrannical Muslims, and tyrannical Christians. Because there are those from any of the above groups who are tyrannical doesn't mean that EVERYONE in those groups is tyrannical. When I resist the ACT of tyranny by someone--or a group of someones--of a certain label doesn't mean I am "anti" everyone who wears that same label.

But I absolutely will not be intimidated by name-calling when I resist what is obviously an act of tyranny, regardless of the label the tyrant wraps himself in.

To illustrate: I firmly believe that God has established marriage as being between a man and a woman. That does NOT mean I am against homosexuals having the same civil rights as everyone else, because I believe that ALL Americans enjoy the same protections under the Bill of Rights. Accordingly, all Americans have the right to enter into civil contracts with one another. But civil union is NOT the same as Holy Matrimony, which can be -- and has been--defined ONLY by our Creator. Marriage is defined by both divine and Natural Law.

Any attempt to force me to participate in a so-called "marriage" between same sex couples violates my moral conscience and is, by definition, an act of tyranny. And by Nature, I cannot submit to such an act. I cannot and will not.

I wonder what all of the good Romans 13 pastors across America are going to do as civil authorities attempt to force them to marry same sex couples. This has already happened in one Idaho city. The city of Coeur d’Alene is threatening to incarcerate and heavily fine ministers and others who refuse to officiate over the marriage ceremonies of same sex couples. And as homosexual marriage becomes more and more vogue, Christian ministers across the country are going to be forced to come face to face with their own religious convictions--something many of them have not done for quite a spell. What will they do?

We know what many, if not most, of them will do. They will comply. They are like the pastors of Nazi Germany who taught their flocks to obey the government no matter what and who justified their cowardice and heresy with the misinterpretation of Romans 13. This is the same misinterpretation of that chapter that pastors are regurgitating today.

I highly encourage every reader who attends church to make a point of asking your pastor this Sunday what he will do when the civil authorities of his city or State demand that he marry same sex couples, because this demand is surely coming. Of course, how the pastor responds will then collapse a heavy weight of responsibility on the shoulders of parishioners won’t it (which is why many Christians will simply not bother to even broach the topic with their pastor)?

Do you see how political correctness has become tyrannical?
- Political correctness demands that we accept a Police State in the name of the “war on terror.”
- Political correctness demands that we say NOTHING critical of the state of Israel, even when it attacks a U.S. naval vessel and kills dozens of American sailors and Marines.
- Political correctness demands that we fight unconstitutional wars of aggression against Muslim people who have committed NO act of aggression against us.
- Political correctness demands that we dare not criticize neocon foreign policy in Washington, D.C.
- Political correctness demands that Christianity be held up to every form of ridicule and mockery.
- And now political correctness demands that people violate their own deeply-held religious and moral convictions.
Thomas Jefferson and the rest of America’s founders must be turning over in their graves.

Concerning marriage specifically, in my opinion the state has absolutely no authority or responsibility defining, regulating, or controlling marriage. The state had little or no authority regarding marriage until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. For the church to allow itself be joined to the state is the unholiest of unions.

This latest attempt of civil authorities to define and regulate marriage should serve notice to everyone, especially Christians, that it is probably time to completely abandon civil marriages altogether and take it back to the individuals, families, and churches, where it rightly has always belonged.

Political correctness is not merely an expression of opinion: it is the denial of anyone else to hold a differing opinion -- or even personally-held moral and religious convictions. It is exactly what Thomas Jefferson detested and personally opposed: it is “tyranny over the mind of man.”
------------------------
Dr. Chuck Baldwin is the Pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana. Dr. Baldwin is Talk Radio Show Host for " Chuck Baldwin Live.” He addresses current event topics from a conservative Christian point of view. Chuck Baldwin is a writer/columnist whose articles and political commentaries are carried by a host of Internet sites, newspapers, news magazines and the ARRA News.

Tags: Chuck Baldwin, commentary, Political Correctness, Tyranny Of The Mind, Thomas Jefferson To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

How High Are Beer Taxes in Your State?

by Kate Scanlon: The cost of enjoying a cold beer can vary widely depending on where you live, according to a new study. In fact, some states have a much higher tax rate on beer than others.

The Tax Foundation has ranked the tax rate on beer by the gallon in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Wyoming has the lowest tax rate on beer at $0.02 per gallon, and Tennessee has the highest at $1.29 per gallon.

After Tennessee, the most expensive beer taxes are in Alaska, Alabama, Georgia and Hawaii.

How high are taxes on beer in your state?
According to The Tax Foundation, “state and local governments use a variety of formulas to tax beer:”
The rates can include fixed per-volume taxes; wholesale taxes that are often a percentage of a product’s wholesale price; distributor taxes (sometimes structured as license fees a percentage of revenues); retail taxes, in which retailers owe an extra percentage of revenues; case or bottle fees (which can vary based on size of container); and additional sales taxes (note that this measure does not include general sales tax, only those in excess of the general rate).According to a report by The Beer Institute:Beer. That word conjures up many pleasant images … hot days and ball games … a tall, cold one at the end of a hard day’s work … good times … good friends.

What doesn’t come to mind for most beer drinkers—but perhaps should—is TAX. Because in the process of enjoying the simple pleasure of beer, consumers are also making a $5.6 billion hidden excise tax payment to their state and federal governments.
The Beer Institute adds that “taxes are the single most expensive ingredient in beer, costing more than labor and raw materials combined.”
-------------
Kate Scanlon (@scanlon_kate) is a news reporter for The Daily Signal and graduate of The Heritage Foundation's Young Leaders Program.

Tags: Ibeer taxes, by state, The Beer Institute, Tax Foundaion, Kate Scanton, The Daily Signal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Crimes Against Your Children

by Phyllis Schlafly: Parents are up in arms against the new attempt to federalize what schools teach called Common Core, but the even more basic “Crimes of the Educators” are described in the new book by Samuel Blumenfeld under that title. If you want your children to be smart and successful, rather than join the millions who graduate from high school unable to read their own diploma, or go into debt taking remedial courses in college, you need Blumenfeld’s book.

If your child is not a good reader, chances are he is not stupid or afflicted with some brain disability. It’s much more likely that your child was never properly taught how to read.

The failure to teach schoolchildren how to read in the first grade means that they fall farther behind with each passing year and soon become bored and resentful of school. By the time they get to the fourth grade, American students are scoring below children of many other nations.

Blumenfeld’s book details the process by which this happened, and it wasn’t any accident. It was planned that way by the socialists who believe that the way to undermine the U.S. capitalist system is to get rid of high literacy and independent intelligence so that the younger generation will accept Big Brother in the driver’s seat of our economy.

Blumenfeld traces the evolution of this system from an 1898 article called “The Primary-Education Fetich” by the father of so-called progressive education, John Dewey. In that article, Dewey wrote: “The plea for the predominance of learning to read in early school life . . . seems to me a perversion.”

Under Dewey’s progressive system, children are no longer taught phonics (how to sound out syllables so they can read big words), and instead are taught what is called the “sight” or “whole-word” method. That means they are taught to memorize a few dozen frequently used words, guess at other words from their shape, and predict the content of the article from pictures on the page.

If children don’t catch on to this system, parents are falsely told that their children were born with a disability called dyslexia. Students who become disorderly are given drugs such as Ritalin and Adderall.

Dewey wrote in 1896, “It is one of the great mistakes of education to make reading and writing constitute the bulk of the school work the first two years. The true way is to teach them incidentally as the outgrowth of the social activities at this time.”

According to Blumenfeld, “To Dewey, the greatest obstacle to socialism was the private mind that seeks knowledge in order to exercise its own private judgment and intellectual authority. High literacy gave the individual the means to seek knowledge independently.”

So Dewey developed and propagated the system that discouraged high literacy and inflicted children with a method that would prevent them from reading the great books and from developing high levels of independent intelligence.
Dewey introduced his theories at Johns Hopkins University. Dewey’s study of individualism led him to believe that we could develop the socialized individual by first getting rid of the traditional emphasis on language and literacy in the primary grades and turning children toward socialized activities.

John D. Rockefeller Jr. became Dewey’s sponsor with a $3 million grant. His sons, who were then subjected to the Dewey system, later admitted how handicapped they were as public officials. Both Nelson and his brother David admitted that they were poor readers which school officials blamed on dyslexia. Nelson admitted he could not read the public speeches written for him by high-priced speechwriters and had to toss the scripts aside and speak off the cuff.

Blumenfeld recognizes Common Core as “an educational fraud.” Instead of reading the literary classics, Common Core students are given portions from tiresome government documents and technical manuals instead of great literature.

The best way parents can deal with this problem is to teach your child how to read before you put him in school, as I did for my children and grandchildren. You can teach your child to read at home with a good phonics book such as my “First Reader.” I suggest three 20-minute sessions every day for six months. You will be amazed at the result.

Blumenfeld’s use of the word “crimes” in the title of his book is not too strong a word to describe what the progressives have done to America and to our children. Don’t let them do it to your children or grandchildren. Immediately get “Crimes of the Educators” by Samuel Blumenfeld (a new WND book). The accurate subtitle is “How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”
--------------------
Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues.

Tags: Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Crimes, Against Children, Common Core, Crimes of the Educators To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

On High Alert . . .

. . . A global warming alert is taking priority over the global threat of ISIS. Of course Obama and the left desperately need the cause of Global Warming to advance their agenda and fill their coffers.
Editorial Cartoon by A.F. "Tony" Branco

Tags: Barack Obama, on high alert, Global Warming, ignores, ISIS, 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!

Another Terrible Idea: States Consider Combining Their Failed ObamaCare Exchanges

Time to Pull the Plug on ObamaCare - 
Before It Drags Us All Down the Drain
by Seton Motley, Contributing Author: ObamaCare is an unmitigated disaster. A total, miserable failure.

Everything President Barack Obama and his Democrats promised it would do?
Obama Promises ObamaCare Won’t Add ‘One Dime To The Deficit’

36 Times Obama Said You Could Keep Your Health Care Plan

Obama Montage: If You Like Your Doctor You Can Keep Your Doctor

Obama Promises To Lower Health Insurance Premiums by $2,500 Per Year

Obama: ‘Under My Plan, No Family Making Less Than $250,000 A Year Will See Any Form of Tax Increase.’
Not so much.Ten Broken ObamaCare Promises

CBO: Cost of ObamaCare Subsidy Will Increase 8-Fold in 10 Years

Health Insurance Cancellation Notices Soar Above ObamaCare Enrollment Rates

O-Care Premiums to Skyrocket

ObamaCare Deductibles Hit Patient Pocketbooks And Hospital Finances

ObamaCare Contains 18 Separate Tax Hikes, Fees, and Penalties, Many of Which Heavily Impact the Middle Class
And the states that set up their own ObamaCare exchanges? More epic disasters.Oregon Gives Up On State ObamaCare Site, Switches to Federal Exchange

Failure and Corruption in the Massachusetts ObamaCare Exchange

Almost Half of ObamaCare Exchanges Face Financial Struggles in the Future

Many of the online exchanges are wrestling with surging costs, especially for balky technology and expensive customer call centers — and tepid enrollment numbers.
What’s their alleged “solution” to this completely predictable – and predicted – problem?(O)fficials are considering raising fees on insurers…and pressing state lawmakers for cash infusions.Even more of our money. Completely predictable – and predicted.

What else are these failed states contemplating?
States Quietly Consider ObamaCare Exchange Mergers

Many of the 13 state-run ObamaCare exchanges are worried about how they’ll survive once federal dollars supporting them run dry next year….

“What is happening is states are figuring out the money is running out,” said Jim Wadleigh, the director of Connecticut’s exchange….
Umm, the law from its inception sunset the federal coin. To these panicking states one can only say “Duh.”But a shared marketplace…has become an increasingly attractive option for states desperate to slash costs.I get it – miserable loves company. But I’m not sure how taking two (or more) individual state failures and combining them – is a solution to anything.

Having the makers of the Chevrolet Corvair, the Edsal and the DeLorean combine forces doesn’t seem to be a winner. Multiple people who can’t swim desperately clutching at one another – just means they’ll all sink together.

It certainly won’t slash costs. Quite the opposite – there will be additional, huge expenses attending these states attempting their misery mergers.
By most accounts, creating a multi-state marketplace would be a logistical nightmare.

It’s unlikely that states could ever merge the full responsibilities of a marketplace, such as regulating plans and managing risk pools.

But even with a simpler model, like a shared call center or website platform, there are big questions about how states could share those costs and duties.

Jennifer Tolbert, a state health expert with the Kaiser Family Foundation, said “one of the trickiest issues” would be determining a governing structure for multi-state exchanges.

“I don’t know how that would be resolved,” she said.
Again, if none alone can get it together – how will their getting together help? Indeed, it won’t.These hurdles have been big enough to thwart multiple states from moving forward with their plans. Delaware, Maryland and West Virginia, which commissioned a study on the option in June 2013, have all dropped the idea.So why on Earth are any states still considering it?

It’s time for Congress to do what Congress before the last election promised it would do.
Anti-ObamaCare Ads Dominate GOP Ad Buys in OctoberWhich worked.ObamaCare Opposition Drives 2014 Election ResultsCongress needs to head off this latest, looming ObamaCare disaster.

And start rolling back all the others.
----------------
Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Please feel free to follow him him on Twitter   /   Facebook.

Tags: Seton Motley, Less Government, Obamacare, Failed ObamaCare Exchanges, Terrible Idea, States Consider Combining Failed ObamaCare Exchanges To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Under Their Thumb

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: What if police grabbed your children off the street and held them for five hours?

Alexander and Danielle Meitiv of Silver Spring, Maryland, have been investigated three times. First, when their children were discovered playing by themselves in a park a block from their home. The second time when police picked up the kids walking home from a park about a mile away. The third investigation was launched when the Meitiv’s 10-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter were arrested and held for five hours for walking home from a different park.

Nothing came of the first investigation. In the second, CPS originally found the couple guilty of “unsubstantiated neglect.” But last week, the Meitivs received a letter from Maryland’s Child Protective Services (CPS) now ruling out neglect in the second investigation.

Gee whiz, it’s good news. But the Meitivs still have investigation No. 3 to contend with. And CPS remains completely mum on whether the agency’s letter means the Meitivs and other parents can now freely allow their kids to walk to and from public parks and other venues.

Or not.

Can we really live in the “Land of the Free” and our children not be free to walk in public? What kind of freedom is that?

If the Constitution isn’t sufficient to stop police and child welfare [sic] agencies from snatching kids off the street, terrifying them, investigating their parents and threatening to take those children, we need to pass new laws granting children the right to walk down the street . . .

. . . as long as it’s okay with their parents.

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

Tags: Paul Jacob, Common Sense, Silver Spring, Maryland, Maryland’s Child Protective Services, Alexander and Danielle Meitiv, children playing, Child Welfare agency, snatching children, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Two Reasons For Caution On Arkansas / Lockheed Martin Crony Capitalism Deal

Bill Smith, ARRA News Editor: States that are "business friendly" can and do recruit businesses to their states. But being "business friendly" should not mean that existing and future taxpayers should be tagged to pay off or give a business, like Lockheed Martin, $87,000,000 to entice their business to open a plant in Arkansas and to only employ up to 600 new jobs which are not necessarily jobs for existing Arkansans. Where is and when does the return on investment occur for the taxpayers?  The Arkansas Project has detailed "Two Reasons for caution on the Arkansas Lockheed Martin Deal."

by Caleb Taylor | The Arkansas Project: Late last week, the Bureau of Legislative Research (BLR) released a report detailing the supposed economic benefits to the state of Arkansas if state taxpayers fork over $87 million to Lockheed Martin to expand its operations in Camden.

As we noted previously, state officials claim this “economic development” project would bring 600 new jobs to the Camden area. If you divide the project cost of $87 million by the estimated 600 new jobs, that gives us a price tag of $145,000 in taxpayer dollars per new job from the project.

Upon BLR’s release of the report Friday, the media tended to focus on this sunshine and rainbows portion of the report:Under the analysis from IHS, the consulting group hired by the legislature’s Bureau of Legislative Research, one of the conclusions of the group was: “The net economic benefits would be a positive $16.3 million using a discount rate of 3.38%, or the true interest cost of the proposed bond issue.” IHS said in its report.Most, if not all, of the media stories I read on the report didn’t mention this section in the report:The net benefits are produced primarily during the last five years of the analysis period when the incremental tax revenues are at their peaks, and when the bond debt service has been paid. Using an analysis period of 20 years yields (there is) a net economic cost of -1.6 million using the 3.38% discount rate.Put simply, for the first twenty years, state taxpayers will be paying off the annual bonded debt payment for this Lockheed Martin project — and when we add everything up, Arkansas will actually receive a negative net economic benefit from the deal for those two decades.

So, even the state’s economic forecasters say this deal won’t begin providing an economic boost to the state until, theoretically, 2036 to 2040 — not until 20 years after the project begins.

A lot can change in two decades; I’m skeptical that we should have much confidence in anyone’s predictions about what Arkansas’s and America’s economy will look like that far down the road. What won’t change within the next 20 years? I guess we can be certain about one thing, though: taxpayers will be paying off the state’s $87 million in bonded debt to Lockheed Martin if legislators approve this project.

Another claim from BLR’s report is that the Lockheed Martin project won’t displace any net new economic activity.

From the BLR report:The proposed JLTV facility will consist entirely of net new economic activity within the state; it is not displacing any existing economic activities…With all due respect to the BLR report’s authors, taking $87 million out of our pockets displaces everyone’s “economic activities.” This project will be one more item funded by general revenue taxes, which makes it harder for tax cuts to be passed within the next two decades.

We hope that legislators will consider some of these inconvenient facts when they scrutinize Lockheed Martin’s adventures in crony capitalism deal this week.

Tags: Arkansas, State Spending, Crony Capitalism, taxpayers pay, business, for jobs, Lockheed Martin, Caleb Taylor, The Arkansas Project 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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