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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru] - (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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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)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Twenty Thousand Mourn Lone American Israeli Soldier

Funeral of American Nissim Sean Carmeli.
(July 21, 2014 Photo by Rami Shllush)
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Israel's conflict against Hamas escalated dramatically over the weekend. Thirteen soldiers from an elite Israeli Army unit (two of whom were American citizens) were killed yesterday during an operation to eliminate Hamas' network of underground tunnels.

That is a staggering figure to Israelis. Proportionally, given the relative size of the American and Israeli populations, it would be like Americans waking up to headlines reporting that nearly 500 U.S. soldiers were killed in one battle.

While much attention has been focused on the threat from rockets, it is becoming increasingly clear that there is a growing danger presented by the complex of "terror tunnels." Israel has discovered dozens of these incredibly sophisticated tunnels, reinforced with concrete and some dug as deep as 100 feet.

Many originate in apartment buildings, some open up underneath mosques. One senior Israeli military official described the tunnels as "almost entirely hidden on the surface and as elaborate as a labyrinth." This weekend's fighting was especially fierce because the area involved is believed to be a nexus of the tunnel complex, and Hamas is desperate to protect it.

Hamas fighters have used the tunnels to ambush and, if they can, kidnap Israeli soldiers. Many experts fear that Hamas really intends to use the tunnels to launch "Mumbai-style" terror attacks inside Israel. (In 2008, 10 Pakistani jihadists killed 164 people during a bloody rampage across Mumbai, India.)

Israeli forces thwarted at least two such tunnel attacks today. Separate reports indicate that seven Israeli soldiers were killed.

It's worth reminding readers that Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, uprooting thousands of Jewish families in the process, even relocating Jewish graves. In exchange, Israel did not get peace. Instead, Hamas seized control of Gaza and turned it into a launching pad for more terror attacks.

As mentioned previously, two of the Israeli soldiers killed in the recent fighting were also U.S. citizens. One of them, First Sgt. Nissim Sean Carmeli, was known as a "lone soldier," a reference to Israeli soldiers whose family members live outside of Israel. In Sgt. Carmeli's case, his parents live in Texas.

Sgt. Carmeli was laid to rest yesterday. According to one report, Carmeli was a "huge fan" of the Maccabi Haifa soccer team. Realizing Carmeli's status as a lone soldier, the team reportedly posted a message on its Facebook page urging fans to attend his burial "so that his funeral wouldn't be deserted."

What happened next should warm the heart of every American: A reported 20,000 Israeli mourners showed up to pay their last respects to this young Jewish American soldier.

What more do you need to know about the two sides in this conflict?

My friends, after the horrific atrocity of 9/11, Palestinians rushed into the streets of Gaza and the West Bank to celebrate the mass murder of thousands of Americans. Israelis lowered their flag and wept with us.

Israel and the United States are bound together by history and culture. Our nations share a common bond of justice and belief in the virtues of Western Civilization. And we face a common enemy in the evil of radical Islamism, which is today stoking the fires of anti-Semitism and war.

That is why I will always "Stand With Israel!"

Tags: Israel, thousands mourn, American, Israeli soldier, killed, Hamas tunnels, Nissim Sean Carmeli, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Persecution A Mute Point At Obama White House

Tony Perkins' Washington Update: As Iraqi Christians fled Mosul this weekend, the horror of having to leave home because of one's faith was met with the further indignity of being stripped of all but the clothes on their backs. The jihadists of ISIS forced out the last remaining Christians whose legacy in Mosul goes back to the very origins of Christianity. According to early church history it was two of Jesus' original disciples that carried the gospel to what we know today as Iraq. Not only are the Christians being driven from their homes -- when fleeing families reached checkpoints out of the city, they were told to get out of their cars and leave all their money and possessions behind. The generosity of the ISIS extremists extended only as far as allowing them to keep what they were wearing -- after they had removed any jewelry, of course. An entire city purged of Christians.

So far, the response from the Obama White House has been consistent with its standard practice when Christians are the target of persecution: silence. Even the United Nations Security Council has weighed in, condemning the persecution of Christians in Iraq. Can't the White House at the very least offer a simple condemnation? The only response from the administration since the expulsion of Christians occurred yesterday at a State Department press briefing where a spokesperson gave a fumbling answer to the press which merely referred to last week's statement about ISIS. A reporter's question, "So you're currently not doing anything?" was met with, "I can check and see specifically. I just don't know."

As I told Megyn Kelly last night on Fox News, President Obama has been silent continuously when Christians have been persecuted. The administration is more concerned about offending Islamic states and Islamic nations than they are defending the longstanding policy that American has always had: that religious freedom is a human right, not just an American right.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Tags: Christian, persecution, mute point, Obama White House, Tony Perkins, Washington Update To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Equal pay for women! Senator Udall: "Do As I Say, Not As I Do"

 Bill Smith, Editor: You most likely have heard the liberal mantra, "Equal Pay For Women" time and time again  by liberal politicians. But do they really mean it? Or are they just paying lip service to gain favor with women voters?

There’s only one way to know for sure. Look at the data- examine the public record! Research the salaries of politician’s staffs to see if they really do offer equal pay for both men and women employees.

A Colorado watchdog citizen did just that. They dug into the data and found that U.S. Senator Mark Udall pays his women staffers 86 cents for every dollar earned by the men. In some cases, the male staffers were earning over $9,000 more than women staffers. The report is below.

The researcher is not telling Senator Udall how to pay his staff. But if Udall and and other politicians are going to preach equal pay for women, they should follow their own advice.

Are there inconsistencies in what your nationally or state representative, senators and other elected officials say and what they do? Find the public record and then call them out!

Try to get a response from your elected representative either directly or through the local media. If there is a Franklin Institute Watch Dog group in your state, they will be interest and may assist.  However, if there are no local medial outlets or groups to help get the attention of your elected official or to publish your documented data, put your name and contact info on your report and email it to the ARRA News Service. It must be pithy but detailed  enough to make your case.  And, no false accusations. After review, your report may be published with your byline. Consider the following excellent example and avoid getting lost in preconceived agenda or in the weeds and misconceived liberal mantras regarding variances in pay. Let the data make your case.

Udall pays women staffers less, Gardner pays more

by Joshua Sharf, Co-editor of Watchdog Wire - Colorado: Despite heavy reliance on the “War on Women” theme during his tough re-election campaign, including pay equity, Democratic Senator Mark Udall pays his full-time women staffers considerably less than the men who work for him, an analysis by Watchdog Wire shows. This stands in stark contrast to his challenger, Republican Representative Cory Gardner.

Data from the site Legistorm, shows that, on average, Sen. Udall pays his women staffers 86 cents for every dollar earned by the men. The analysis covered Federal Fiscal Year 2013 (October 2012 – September 2013), and included only full-time staffers who had been on staff the entire fiscal year. The 17 women earned an average of just over $58,000 for FY13, while the 14 men earned $67,300.

House staffs are much smaller. Consequently, Rep. Gardner employed only six women and four men for the duration of the fiscal year. However, Gardner’s office paid the women an average of $55,000, with the men earning just over $46,000.

The difference is almost completely accounted for by the senior staff positions. Udall hired men to serve in the higher-paid Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff positions, while Gardner’s Chief of Staff was a woman.

A similar analysis by the Washington Free Beacon shows that the pay disparity in Udall’s office is common in the Senate, among those who trumpet their support for so-called pay equity laws. In fact, gender pay discrimination has been against the law for decades.

Tags: Equal Pay For Women, report, Sen. Mark Udall, Colorado, Watchdog report, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

ICYMI: FAA Banning Flights To Tel Aviv - Is U.S. Pressing Israel Into Cease-Fire?

by Aaron Klein, WND - Jerusalem: Officials in Jerusalem are quietly wondering whether the Federal Aviation Administration’s prohibition on U.S. flights to Tel Aviv is partially a tactic to pressure Israel into a cease-fire.

The FAA’s decision will likely impact the Israeli economy. The action, while temporary, tarnishes Israel’s image around the world, putting the Jewish state, at least for one day, on par with Third World countries where U.S. flights are banned, including Ethiopia, North Korea, Iraq, Somalia and Libya,

“Due to the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Israel and Gaza, all flight operations to/from Ben Gurion International Airport by U.S. operators are prohibited until further advised,” reads an FAA notice to all U.S. airlines.

The FAA decision to ban U.S. flights to Israel for at least 24 hours came after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in Yehud, a densely populated neighborhood about one mile from Israel’s international airport, south of Tel Aviv.

Besides the FAA ban, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines indefinitely suspended service to Israel while numerous European airlines also canceled flights, as did Canadian and Turkish airlines.

Even if U.S. flights resume after 24 hours, the FAA decision sets the precedent for more flight bans in the coming days in response to any rockets hitting near the airport.

Aviation experts weighed in, explaining the FAA and airliners are likely taking necessary precautions after a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down by a missile over Ukraine while at cruising altitude, killing all 298 people on board.

Aviation consultant Robert Mann told that airlines may be taking a more proactive approach to avoid legal problems after the Malaysia Airlines disaster last week.

“It’s really forcing every carrier, every business jet operator to do their own due diligence, do their own risk assessment, given the geopolitical situation,” Mann said.

Aviation-accident lawyer Jonathan Reiter explained that flying into an airport after a rocket landed nearby could be utilized by passengers in lawsuits claiming negligence.

“I’m sure it is human concern as well,” Reiter told, “but I think (the airlines) feel it is wise to err on the side of caution because it is their burden to prove they are doing everything possible to avoid injuries and deaths.”

Israeli officials, for their part, are publicly calling for the U.S. to reverse its decision, with Israel’s Transportation Ministry saying Ben Gurion International Airport is “safe for landings and departures.”

“Ben-Gurion Airport is safe and completely guarded, and there is no reason whatsoever that American companies would stop their flights and hand terror a prize,” the ministry said in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly asked U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to intervene to resume U.S. flights to Israel.

Political tactic?
Behind the scenes, several Jerusalem diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity questioned whether the FAA flight-ban was in part a tactic to press Israel into a truce with Hamas. A cease-fire would tentatively stop Hamas’s rocketing of the Jewish state.

Kerry is currently in Egypt in an attempt to negotiate a truce.

State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf suggested to reporters Tuesday that Kerry may stay in the Middle East until progress is made toward a cease-fire.

Earlier Tuesday, after the decision by Delta and United to cancel flights and before the FAA ban was announced, the White House issued a statement saying the airlines were not acting on orders from the U.S. government.
Aaron Klein is WND's senior staff reporter and Jerusalem bureau chief. He also hosts "Aaron Klein Investigative Radio" on Salem Talk Radio. Follow Aaron on Twitter and Facebook.

Tags: U.S., FAA, banning flights, to Tel Aviv, Israel 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 Nexus of Illegal Drugs and Illegal Immigration

by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: All manner of reasons are being offered to explain the influx of thousands of illegal aliens, not the least of which is President Obama’s open invitation to Latin Americans to come here with the promise of becoming citizens at some point. By overloading the southern border, this has opened the doors to criminals and potential terrorists as well.

In March, the Huffington Post took note of the other far lesser known or discussed reason our southern border is so porous. “Americans Spent About A Trillion Dollars on Illegal Drugs in the Last Decade.” With that kind of money awaiting them, you can be sure that the drug cartels are going to make every effort to satisfy the market.

The article was about a Rand Corporation report by its Drug Policy Research Center as requested by the Office of National Drug Control Policy that tracked total expenditures, consumption, and number of users of marijuana, cocaine (including crack), heroin and methamphetamine. The decade tracked was 2000 to 2010.

Despite federal spending between $40 and $50 billion to fight the war on drugs, “American spending levels on illegal drugs stayed more or less the same.” RAND drew some of its data from the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program, but it is no longer funded by the federal government which, one must assume, leaves it unable to know if the market for illegal drugs has expanded, shrunk or stayed the same.

The news about the illegal immigration from Latin American nations has a side to it that has not received much news coverage. It has to do with the views of four-star Marine Corps General John Kelly who heads the U.S. Military’s Southern Command. In a July 8 essay in the Military Times, “Central America Drug War a Dire Threat to U.S. National Security”, Gen. Kelly noted how the drug cartels have overwhelmed the governments of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, rendering any opposition to them too great a threat.

“Due to the insatiable U.S. demand for drugs, particularly cocaine, heroin and now methamphetamines, all produced in Latin American and smuggled into the U.S.” said Gen. Kelly, they have been left “near broken societies” in which the rule of law has been destroyed. How bad is it? According to the Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., applications for asylum in neighboring countries—mostly Mexico and Costa Rica—are up 712%,

Cutting off aid to these countries as has been suggested by some will turn them into entities that are little more than names on a map and increase the distress of their law-abiding populations. Indeed, because so many of them have already come to the U.S., the children arriving here have families waiting for them. Seventy-three percent of the 47,017 minors apprehended at the border were from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. They will stay here to be processed by a system that has not deterred the estimated eleven million illegal aliens already living here.

According to Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, despite the illegal immigration crisis the U.S. has encountered, Gen. Kelly’s U.S. Southern Command is “only sourced (financed) at five percent of the capacity it needs.” Reducing the funding to the U.S. military has been a priority of the Obama agenda.

Allen West, a former Lt. Colonel and member of the House of Representatives, writing on his July 8 blog, said, “We know Obama has a penchant for turning generals who don’t toe his line and agenda points—like former CENTCOM Commander Marine Corps General Mattis—into civilians, I certainly hope we don’t see another truth-telling general, a commander, called on the carpet by Obama’s lapdog Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel—or worse, getting a call from the Capo di tutti Capi Valerie Jarrett.

The Center for Immigration Studies reports that “a significant majority of children coming across are not unaccompanied alien children according to the definition found in federal law.” As noted above they have family here in the U.S. Moreover, “there is little evidence to suggest that the recent arrivals are victims of trafficking which involves coercion.” Their families have paid smugglers to bring them to the U.S.”

While we read and hear references to those who smuggle immigrants to the U.S. border, known as “coyotes”, an Associated Press report noted a 2010 U.N. study that estimated this “service” generated $6.6. billion for the smugglers as the migrants pay anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 each for the journey across thousands of miles “in the care of smuggling networks that in turn pay off government officials, gangs operating on trains and drug cartels controlling the routes north.”

The appetite for illegal drugs that has been a part of life in the U.S. for many citizens has contributed to the illegal alien flow from the Latin American nations whose governments have been undermined by the drug cartels. It’s a vicious circle that is not likely to be broken any time soon, if ever.
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: Nexus, illegal drugs, illegal immigration, Alan Caruba, Warning Signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

No Confidence: If the U.S. Was in Israel’s Shoes

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: No Confidence, President Obama, U.S., terrorists, rockets, Israel, 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!

Taking Note Of Paul Krugman Quiet Departure From Princeton

Dr. Paul Krugman
by Ralph Benko, Contributing Author: Professor Paul Krugman is leaving Princeton. Is he leaving in disgrace?

Not long, as these things go, before his departure was announced Krugman thoroughly was indicted and publicly eviscerated for intellectual dishonesty by Harvard’s Niall Ferguson in a hard-hitting three-part series in the Huffington Post, beginning here, and with a coda in Project Syndicate, all summarized at Ferguson, on Krugman:Where I come from … we do not fear bullies. We despise them. And we do so because we understand that what motivates their bullying is a deep sense of insecurity. Unfortunately for Krugtron the Invincible, his ultimate nightmare has just become a reality. By applying the methods of the historian – by quoting and contextualizing his own published words – I believe I have now made him what he richly deserves to be: a figure of fun, whose predictions (and proscriptions) no one should ever again take seriously.Princeton, according to Bloomberg News, acknowledged Krugman’s departure with an extraordinarily tepid comment by a spokesperson. “He’s been a valued member of our faculty and we appreciate his 14 years at Princeton.”

Shortly after Krugman’s departure was announced no less than the revered Paul Volcker, himself a Princeton alum, made a comment — subject unnamed — sounding as if directed at Prof. Krugman. It sounded like “Don’t let the saloon doors hit you on the way out. Bub.”

To the Daily Princetonian (later reprised by the Wall Street Journal, Volcker stated with refreshing bluntness:The responsibility of any central bank is price stability. … They ought to make sure that they are making policies that are convincing to the public and to the markets that they’re not going to tolerate inflation.This was followed by a show-stopping statement: “This kind of stuff that you’re being taught at Princeton disturbs me.”

Taught at Princeton by … whom?

Paul Krugman, perhaps? Krugman, last year, wrote an op-ed for the New York Times entitled Not Enough Inflation. It betrayed an extremely louche, at best, attitude toward inflation’s insidious dangers. Smoking gun?

Volcker’s comment, in full context:The responsibility of the government is to have a stable currency. This kind of stuff that you’re being taught at Princeton disturbs me. Your teachers must be telling you that if you’ve got expected inflation, then everybody adjusts and then it’s OK. Is that what they’re telling you? Where did the question come from?Is Krugman leaving in disgrace? Krugman really is a disgrace … both to Princeton and to the principle of monetary integrity. Eighteenth century Princeton (then called the College of New Jersey)president John Witherspoon, wrote, in his Essay on Money:Let us next consider the evil that is done by paper. This is what I would particularly request the reader to pay attention to, as it was what this essay was chiefly intended to show, and what the public seems but little aware of. The evil is this: All paper introduced into circulation, and obtaining credit as gold and silver, adds to the quantity of the medium, and thereby, as has been shown above, increases the price of industry and its fruits.“Increases the price of industry and its fruits?” That’s what today is called “inflation.”

Inflation is a bad thing. Period. Most of all it cheats working people and those on fixed incomes who Krugman pretends to champion. Volcker comes down squarely, with Witherspoon, on the side of monetary integrity. Krugman, cloaked in undignified sanctimony, comes down, again and again, on the side of … monetary finagling.

Krugman consistently misrepresents his opponents’ positions, constructs fictive straw men, addresses marginal figures, and ignores inconvenient truths set forward by figures of probity such as the Bank of England and the Bundesbank, thoughtful work such as that by Member of Parliament (with a Cambridge Ph.D. in economic history) Kwasi Kwarteng, and, right here at home, respected thought leaders such as Steve Forbes and Lewis E. Lehrman (with whose Institute this writer has a professional affiliation).

Professor Krugman, on July 7, 2014, undertook to issue yet another of his fatwas on proponents of the classical gold standard. His New York Times op-ed, Beliefs, Facts and Money, Conservative Delusions About Inflation, was brim full of outright falsehoods and misleading statements. Krugman:In 2010, a virtual Who’s Who of conservative economists and pundits sent an open letter to Ben Bernanke warning that his policies risked “currency debasement and inflation.” Prominent politicians like Representative Paul Ryan joined the chorus.

Reality, however, declined to cooperate. Although the Fed continued on its expansionary course — its balance sheet has grown to more than $4 trillion, up fivefold since the start of the crisis — inflation stayed low.

... Many on the right are hostile to any kind of government activism, seeing it as the thin edge of the wedge — if you concede that the Fed can sometimes help the economy by creating “fiat money,” the next thing you know liberals will confiscate your wealth and give it to the 47 percent. Also, let’s not forget that quite a few influential conservatives, including Mr. Ryan, draw their inspiration from Ayn Rand novels in which the gold standard takes on essentially sacred status.

And if you look at the internal dynamics of the Republican Party, it’s obvious that the currency-debasement, return-to-gold faction has been gaining strength even as its predictions keep failing.
Krugman is, of course, quite correct that the “return-to-gold faction has been gaining strength." Speculating beyond the data thereafter Krugman goes beyond studied ignorance. He traffics in shamefully deceptive statements.

Lewis E. Lehrman, protege of French monetary policy giant Jacques Rueff, Reagan Gold Commissioner, and founder and chairman of the Lehrman Institute, arguably is the most prominent contemporary advocate for the classical gold standard. Lehrman never rendered a prediction of imminent “runaway inflation.” Only a minority of classical gold standard proponents are on record with “dire” warnings, certainly not this columnist. So… who is Krugman talking about?

Of the nearly two-dozen signers of (a fairly mildly stated concern) open letter to Bernanke which Krugman cites as prime evidence, only one or two are really notable members of the “return-to-gold faction.” Perhaps a few other signers might have shown some themselves in sympathy the gold prescription. Most, however, were, and are, agnostic about, or even opposed to, the gold standard.

Indicting gold standard proponents for a claim made by gold’s agnostics and opponents is a wrong, cheap, bad faith, argument. More bad faith followed immediately. Whatever inspiration Rep. Paul Ryan draws from novelist Ayn Rand, Ryan is by no means a gold standard advocate. And very few “influential conservatives” (unnamed) “draw their inspiration” from Ayn Rand.

Nor are most proponents of the classical gold standard motivated by a fear that paper money is an entering wedge for liberals to “confiscate your wealth and give it to the 47 percent.” A commitment to gold is rooted, for most, in the correlation between the gold standard and equitable prosperity. Income inequality demonstrably has grown far more virulent under the fiduciary Federal Reserve Note regime — put in place by President Nixon — than it was, for instance, under the Bretton Woods gold+gold-convertible-dollar system.

Krugman goes wrong through and through. No wonder Ferguson wrote: “I agree with Raghuram Rajan, one of the few economists who authentically anticipated the financial crisis: Krugman’s is “the paranoid style in economics." Krugman, perversely standing with Nixon, takes a reactionary, not progressive, position. The readers of the New York Times really deserve better.

Volcker is right. “The responsibility of any central bank is price stability.” Krugman is wrong.

Prof. Krugman was indicted and flogged publicly by Niall Ferguson. Krugman thereafter announced his departure from Princeton. On his way out Krugman, it appears, was reprimanded by Paul Volcker. Krugman has been a disgrace to Princeton. Is he leaving Princeton in quiet disgrace?

Tags: Paul Krugman, economics, departure, Princeton, Ralph Benko To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obamacare Gutted In Halbig Ruling

 Fairfax, Va.— Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens today issued the following statement praising the decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Halbig v. Burwell, finding that Obamcare exchange subsidies cannot be given in states that set up their own exchanges under an IRS regulation:

"Now, the wisdom of 36 states that have refused to implement state exchanges comes into full view with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision to strike down any Obamacare subsidies given through the federally run exchanges. The law only ever authorized that the subsidies to private insurers—some $800 billion a year—be paid through the state exchanges. By not setting up state exchanges, and with the court's ruling, the basic premise of Obamacare has been gutted.

"Not only are the subsidies illegal per the court's ruling, because those subsidies would not be distributed under the decision, the enforceability of both the individual and employer mandates' tax penalties—which depend on those subsidies—has been kneecapped. Meaning, should the ruling stand, the IRS will have no way of penalizing employers and millions of Americans for failing to purchase health insurance in the 36 states.

"Should this ruling withstand scrutiny all the way through the Supreme Court, it will be the end of Obamacare in those 36 states. It will be such a mess that perhaps the only solution will be for Congress to repeal the law. The 36 state legislatures and governors that refused to implement the exchanges are to be praised—as they may have enabled the nation to dodge the Obamacare bullet."
Attachment:  Courts must stop Obamacare's 'taxation without representation, By Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens, Nov. 25, 2013

Tags: Americans for Limited Government, Nathan Mehrens, statement, U.S. Court of Appeals, the District of Columbia, Halbig v. Burwell, decision, Obamacare, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obamacare Still Hurting Americans | Has Insurance But Can’t Find A Doctor | Limited Choices For Doctors And Hospitals

Today in Washington, D.C. - July 22, 2014
The House reconvened at Noon.  Bills anticipated to be considered today:
H.R. 1022 — "To develop an energy critical elements program, to amend the National Materials and Minerals Policy, Research and Development Act of 1980, and for other purposes."
H.R. 3716 — "To ratify a water settlement agreement affecting the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, and for other purposes."
H.R. 4508 — "To amend the East Bench Irrigation District Water Contract Extension Act to permit the Secretary of the Interior to extend the contract for certain water services."
H.R. 4562 — "To authorize early repayment of obligations to the Bureau of Reclamation within the Northport Irrigation District in the State of Nebraska."
H.R. 4572 — "To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to extend expiring provisions relating to the retransmission of signals of television broadcast stations, and for other purposes."
H.R. 4803 — "To require the Transportation Security Administration to conform to existing Federal law and regulations regarding criminal investigator positions, and for other purposes."
H.R. 4812 — "To amend title 49, United States Code, to require the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration to establish a process for providing expedited and dignified passenger screening services for veterans traveling to visit war memorials built and dedicated to honor their service, and for other purposes."
H.R. 5035 — "To reauthorize the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and for other purposes."
H.R. 5120 — "To improve management of the National Laboratories, enhance technology commercialization, facilitate public-private partnerships, and for other purposes."

The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today. Following 45 minutes, of morning business, the Senate then voted on cloture on 3 district judge nominees for California, Florida, and Louisiana. Yet again, Democrats used their nuclear option to break Senate rules an allow cloture votes on nominees to succeed with fewer than 60 votes. All three of today’s nominations did so.

At 2:15 PM, senators will vote on confirmation of the 3 district court nominees considered this morning.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 94-0 to confirm Julie Carnes to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit.
Update 4::00 PM - If you wonder why the liberal progressive Democrats are using the nuclear option to pack the court system note that these confirmations will affect every case heard by them once they are sworn in. Note the following decisions today over the controversial Affordable Care Act unilateral addon by the Obama administration.

A three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled (2-1) that subsidies may not be offered in the federal health exchange. The decision overturned a lower court ruling. Hours later. the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld (3-0) the Obama administration's arguments that subsidies can be applied in the federal exchange. As a result these cases will be appealed and heard by the Supreme Court.
While courts try to sort out the sloppy legislation Democrats used to enact Obamacare, the real life consequences of the law continue to harm Americans. Another of the notorious promises made by the president and Democrats in Congress about Obamacare was, “If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period.” But the predictable result of the regulations and mandates in the law was to prove that pledge false and to frustrate Americans with narrower networks of health care providers.

The Tampa Bay Times wrote yesterday, “Charlene Lake thought she got a decent deal through the Affordable Care Act marketplace: a Humana HMO that included a family doctor a few miles from her home. Five months later, Lake wonders if she can even use the insurance she bought. Her plan's dominant health care provider, JSA Medical Group, recently announced that it would take no new patients covered by Humana's exchange HMOs at least until fall. That leaves Lake no choice but to use the community health centers left in her plan's network, rather than the traditional physician's practice on which she planned. . . . [T]he case also shows the downside of limiting consumer choice of physicians through what is known as narrow networks. Or, in Lake's case, a network so narrow it barely exists. ‘You can't make people sign up for a health care plan and then not have a doctor,’ said Lake, a St. Petersburg antiques dealer who is in her 50s. . . . [F]or now, Lake, the St. Petersburg resident, is stuck. She wonders why she's even considered a new patient since she saw a JSA doctor in May. When she called his office recently, the staff told her it was JSA's decision to drop her, not the doctor's. She tried four times one day last week to reach a health center in her network on the campus of Bayfront Health St. Petersburg. No one answered the phone. ‘This is a complete mess,’ she said. ‘They took away my doctor who I had gotten in to see within a few days because they claimed the patient load was too much and replaced him with an office that doesn't even answer their phone.’ Other Humana exchange customers say they've noticed cancellations by JSA physicians. James Trizis, a 52-year-old Clearwater diner owner, said JSA recently rescheduled a September checkup for April. Trizis, who has a heart condition, said he worries that preventative care — a key part of the ACA — will get short shrift. ‘My primary care for me and my family is going to be the emergency room,’ he said.”

The Times noted, “Nationwide, about 70 percent of the lowest-priced plans sold on the exchanges are considered to have narrow networks, according to a study by industry consultant McKinsey & Co. And they've caused problems. In California, for instance, insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross faces multiple consumer lawsuits over its use of narrow networks, with some policyholders saying the company had misled people with inaccurate provider lists. Humana isn't the only Florida provider with network issues; Florida Blue consumers in South Florida told the Miami Herald they had problems getting doctors listed in their directories to accept their plans. . . . In the Tampa Bay area, Humana put most of its primary care business into the hands of JSA, a major physicians group that has long handled the insurer's Medicare Advantage customers. JSA has nearly 165 affiliated and employed physicians in the region. . . . Humana's online directory appears to offer plenty of choices. Last week, HMO customers in St. Petersburg had their choice of around 120 primary-care doctors within a 15-mile radius of downtown. But nearly all of those listings are JSA doctors . . . . JSA, which is owned by Denver health giant DaVita, confirmed it will not see new Humana HMO patients at least until fall. JSA president Lorie Glisson said it had served almost twice as many Humana exchange patients as it had expected in the Tampa Bay area.”

Politico also examines the problem of narrow networks incentivized by Obamacare in a piece today. “Anger over limited choice of doctors and hospitals in Obamacare plans is prompting some states to require broader networks — and boiling up as yet another election year headache for the health law. . . . It’s not just a political problem. It’s a policy conundrum. Narrow networks help contain health care costs. If state or federal regulators — or politicians — force insurers to expand the range of providers, premiums could spike. And that could create a whole new wave of political and affordability problems that can shape perceptions of Obamacare. . . . Obamacare didn’t create the trend, but it did highlight it, as insurers sought to make premiums as attractive as possible in the new market. About 70 percent of the lowest-cost exchange plans were built on narrow networks this year, according to the consulting firm McKinsey . . . . In New Hampshire, for instance, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield was the only insurer on the market, and it cut 10 of the state’s 26 hospitals out of its network. That left residents in some rural areas with long commutes to the nearest hospital in their network, and the issue has become a political football in the congressional races there. . . . Incomplete or inaccurate provider directories were rampant in this year’s plans on both the federal and state exchanges, leading consumers to buy plans thinking they cover their doctors only to find out later they do not. . . . Another complication: Even if a patient goes to an in-network hospital, not all the doctors are necessarily part of the plan. For instance, patients can get stuck with thousands of dollars in bills for anesthesia, even if surgery is covered. ‘What we’re seeing is consumers not knowing and getting stuck with high out-of-network bills,’ said Stephanie Mohl, government relations manager at the American Heart Association.”

As Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said last week, “Obamacare has caused countless women to lose the health care plans they had and liked. When these women first spoke out about the betrayal they felt when they lost their plans, many of the law’s supporters waved their concerns away. They said they were lying, or that their plans were ‘junk’ because, of course, they knew better. It’s a pattern that seems to have continued ever since. American women also now have fewer choices of doctors and hospitals under Obamacare. The bill’s supporters have continually waved those concerns aside too. . . . We kept warning [Democrats] that Obamacare would hurt jobs and increase costs. They had to know that Obamacare was going to reduce choices for women and limit their access to certain doctors and hospitals. But Washington Democrats voted for Obamacare anyway. They created these problems. And that’s why they should be working with Republicans now to start over with real, patient-centered reform that lowers costs and that women and men in this country actually want. But they refuse. They’re just doubling down on Obamacare.”

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Steyer and Sandler: The Biggest Hypocrites in America

by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: Liberal megadonor Tom Steyer, failing to raise any significant outside money for his global warming Super PAC, turned to one of his San Francisco neighbors for a million dollar check. It was Herb Sandler, the subprime mortgage lender at the heart of the housing crisis, and like Steyer a huge hypocrite.

Tom Steyer made his fortune as an international coal financier while enticing investors with a tax-avoidance strategy featuring offshore shelters in the Caymans, Mauritius, and Singapore. Now he’s using that fortune to support liberal Democrats who want to hike taxes and deny hardworking Americans access to the same affordable energy resources that made him rich.

That’s a hard record of hypocrisy to top, but bringing in Herb Sandler does it.

Sandler made his fortune destroying the housing market in the United States and plunging the country into the Great Recession.

He invented a mortgage product called “Pick-a-Pay,” which allowed lenders to pay less than an interest-only payment each month, increasing their outstanding principal. In 2008 the New York Times reported it was “seen by an array of housing analysts and regulators as the Typhoid Mary of the mortgage industry.

The Times quoted California housing lawyer William J. Purdy III: “This product is the most destructive financial weapon ever deployed against the American middle class.”

Sandler didn’t just invent the product. He aggressively and deceptively marketed it. According to Time, Sandler “pushed the mortgage, which offered several ways to back-load your loan and thereby reduce your early payments, with increasing zeal and misleading advertisements.” He pocketed $2.3 billion in 2006 when he sold his toxic loan portfolio to Wachovia Bank, which caused the bank to implode.

Yet Sandler has the astonishing nerve to use his ill-gotten subprime billions to become a major political player, funding a wide array of liberal organizations that purport to stand up for regular Americans. Sandler is the principal donor of the liberal think tank Center for American Progress, the liberal faux journalism outfit ProPublica, and the obscenely misnamed Center for Responsible Lending.

Center for American Progress (CAP) has for years attacked billionaires for political giving. They do it with money from a billionaire who actually caused the subprime crisis. I was invited to CAP once to talk about their attacks on conservative donors and it didn’t go well – for them. I’ve never been invited back, but the staffer who moderated the event now works for Harry Reid.

We’ve since learned that CAP is also heavily funded by the health insurance industry while they lobby for Obamacare, which lavishly subsidizes insurers and forces Americans to buy their products.

Yet that arouses no concern from the “reporters” working for Herb Sandler at ProPublica, who are supposedly nonpartisan but spend a lot of time and effort attacking conservative donors and operatives. Newspapers frequently run their stories without any explanation of who ProPublica is or that its founder is a subprime kingpin.

Worst of all is the so-called Center for Responsible Lending, a group Sandler started with another subprime lender, Martin Eakes. That group is the principal cheerleader for the Obama administration’s Operation Choke Point.

According to former FDIC chairman William Isaac: “Operation Choke Point is one of the most dangerous programs I have experienced in my 45 years of service as a bank regulator, bank attorney and consultant, and bank board member. Operating without legal authority and guided by a political agenda, unelected officials at the DOJ are discouraging banks from providing basic banking services -- deposit accounts, payments processing services, and payroll accounts – to lawful businesses simply because they don’t like them. Bankers are being cowed into submission by an oppressive regulatory regime.”

Could anything be more hypocritical than using money from Herb Sandler to shut off financing from lawful businesses deemed undesirable?

I can think of one thing: San Francisco billionaires Tom Steyer and Herb Sandler funding a Super PAC that attacks conservatives just for trying to keep energy affordable for regular Americans.
Phil Kerpen American Commitment  and the author of Democracy Denied: How Obama is Bypassing Congress to Radically Transform America – and How to Stop Him. Kerpen is also a contributing author for the ARRA News Service.

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Mixed Messages On Border Security

Editorial Cartoon by Gary Varvel On Facebook

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The Nemesis of Agenda21

by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Watching left-wing organizations lose their wits denouncing conservatives is always fun and particularly if you know one of their targets. In my case, that would be Tom DeWeese, the founder and president of the American Policy Center; the most expert and outspoken opponent of Agenda21 in the nation.

In the early 1990s I sent him a commentary and he published it in The DeWeese Report, a publication of the Center, and thereafter I served as the Center’s communications director for a while. These days I am on its board of advisors.

He is a patriot and he lives his love for America by devoting himself to educating people to the dangers of the United Nations Agenda 21 with its emphasis on “sustainable development” and a range of issues involving ill-conceived environmental policies and programs, the importance of private property rights, the threat of federal computer banks to individual privacy rights, as well as issues such as federal education policies in our nation’s schools.

At the heart of Agenda21 is “sustainable development” which is justified by the global warming hoax that is based on reductions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other so-called greenhouse gases. The Earth’s temperature and climate is determined by the sun. The gases of its atmosphere are in flux as oceans absorb and release CO2, and clouds come and go in a constant dynamic of change. What mankind does has virtually no impact on the weather short-term or the climate long-term.

“Sustainable Development”, Tom wrote in “How Global Policy Becomes Local”, “is truly stunning in its magnitude to transform the world into feudal-like governance by make nature the central organizing principle for our economy and society. It is a scheme fueled by unsound science and discredited economics that can only lead modern society down the road to a new Dark Age.”

“It is systematically implemented through the creation of non-elected visioning boards and planning commissions. There is no place in the Sustainable world for individual thought, private property or free enterprise. It is the exact opposite of the free society envisioned by this nation’s founders.”

I told you he was a patriot, didn’t I? Because only patriots feel that passionately about individual freedom, property rights, free enterprise, and all those concepts that make Leftists break out in a cold sweat.

Among the left-wing groups that do not like Tom is the Southern Poverty Law Center and it devotes a lot of time denouncing him. On their website, the SPLC reveals its own agenda and why Tom is the enemy. “For 20 years now, Tom DeWeese has been on a jihad against global plans for sustainable development.” The key word here is “global” as in U.N., not U.S.

Imagine my surprise as I read the SPLC post that said, “Serving on the board of DeWeese’s American Policy Center (is) Alan Caruba” and noting that I blog for the Tea Party Nation. I contribute to their blog section, but I do not blog for the group. It should come as no surprise that the SPLC identifies Tea Party Nation as “a hate group.” It’s a pretty good description of the SPLC!

“DeWeese’s outfit,” says the SPLC denunciation, “is only one of several obsessed with what has become one of the main conspiracy theories of the antigovernment ‘Patriot’ movement.” What’s amusing is the backhanded way SPLC acknowledged his success. “The effect of the fear-mongering fairy tale offered up by DeWeese and other conspiracy theorists have been almost unbelievable. Not only have some counties passed resolutions opposing Agenda21” including the Republican National Committee” in 2012.

DeWeese offers advice to those who visit the APC site on how to stop Agenda21.

If “fear-mongering” includes pointing out that the Earth has been in a cooling cycle for the last seventeen years and that wind and solar power is an illusion costing far more than the value of the electricity it produces, then the SPLC has plenty to worry about.

America is fortunate to have patriots like Tom DeWeese who take its Constitution and its values so seriously that they devote their lives to protecting them.
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.

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Democrat Disarray On Border Crisis and Obama Border Bill

Today in Washington, D.C. - July 21, 2014
The House was not in session today. Thy are scheduled to reconvene tomorrow at 12:00 PM on Tuesday, July 22, 2014.

The Senate will reconvene at 2 PM today and be in a period of morning business. At 5:30, the Senate will vote on confirmation of the nominations of Julie Carnes to be United States Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit and Eunice Reddick to be U.S. Ambassador to Niger. Tomorrow, cloture votes on three district court judges are scheduled for 10:45 AM.

Democrat Disarray On Border Crisis:
Politico reports today, “President Barack Obama’s response to the southern border crisis is under fire from an unlikely source: fellow Democrats. Republicans have seized on the ballooning number of unaccompanied children crossing into Texas as proof of Obama’s failed immigration policies. But Democrats are also frustrated and are increasingly blaming the White House for bungling the response to the situation on the border. As Congress struggles to agree on emergency funding in response to the crisis, Democrats are taking the White House to task any chance they get. They are giving floor speeches, arguing the administration doesn’t understand the root cause of the crisis. They are sparring with administration officials in closed-door discussions. And they say Obama should have better consulted lawmakers before backing a policy change deeply opposed by their party.”

The Hill adds, “Centrist and liberal Democrats are battling one another over the emergency spending package for child immigrants at the southern border. Worried about voter anger over illegal immigration in a midterm election year, centrists want Congress to examine changes to special legal protections granted to immigrants from Central America. But the changes are hotly opposed by powerful liberals, including Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), who worry they could put children from Central America in jeopardy. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has sided with the liberals and senior members of his caucus, agreeing that the $3.7 billion in emergency spending should not include policy changes empowering the administration to deport unaccompanied minors more quickly. But centrist Democrats are pressing Reid to give ground.”

So on one side are Democrats who say the law needs to be changed, and on the other side are Democrats who reject that, and Democrats on both sides seem to be venting their frustrations at the White House.

Among those looking for changes to the law are Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Tom Carper (D-DE), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Angus King (I-ME), according to The Hill. “‘Just a clean 3.7 [billion]? No, I think we have to make sure we have the direction we’re going to spend that,’ said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), when asked if he would vote for a spending bill that did not make policy changes. . . . Sen. Tom Carper (D) said the funding and the policy changes should move together. ‘I think they go together,’ he said. . . . ‘I’m interested in seeing some of the other proposals around policy changes. I do think there may be some things we can change that help expedite proceedings for some of the people who are here,’ said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D), who is in the midst of a competitive race in New Hampshire. ‘It seems to me we ought to be able to find some middle ground here that everybody can agree to.’ . . . Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.), another Democratic centrist, said, ‘I think we should have the same law on the books for Central America as we have for Canada and Mexico.’ . . . Sen. Angus King, an independent from Maine who caucuses with Democrats, said . . . ‘I think I could certainly support what the administration is proposing. That’s simply giving the kids who have the discretion to make this kind of decision an option.’” Politico notes Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) making similar comments: “Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who wrote the 2008 law, said she was not upset with the White House, saying: ‘Our country has never before faced these kinds of circumstances.’ And she seemed open to changes in the statute to ensure that kids from other countries — such as Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras — are treated the same as Mexicans. ‘Do we want to? No,’ Feinstein said when asked if Congress would have to change the law. ‘But we may need to because this isn’t something that’s just going to be with us for the next month.’”

But, The Hill writes, “Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who is putting the Senate bill together, told colleagues in a floor speech last week that policy changes were not necessary. . . . Reid has sided with Mikulski, Durbin and Leahy. ‘There's leeway there [so] that the executive branch of the government doesn't need new legislation,’ the Senate leader said this week in response to calls for changing the 2008 trafficking law. . . . [Sen. Bob] Menendez [D-NJ] on Friday argued that is not necessary because the administration already has the power to offer voluntary return trips. ‘I believe if you read the law as it is today a Central American child can seek voluntary departure,’ he said.”

And Politico documents Democrats unloading their disagreements and frustrations on the White House. “Democrats argue the administration has complicated the issue. White House officials are open to changing the 2008 law and initially signaled that it would ask Congress for revisions so Obama could have ‘additional authority to exercise discretion’ in deportation cases. But immigration advocates were furious over the plan. And Obama did not send along any suggested policy changes when he submitted a $3.7 billion emergency spending request earlier this month, though officials stills say they are considering revisions. Congressional Democrats are left perplexed.” In addition, “Tension between the administration and congressional Democrats is becoming more common,” Politico writes. “Many Democrats are still fuming about last year’s troubled rollout of Obamacare. The party has been on the defensive over the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner trade swap. The recent veterans health care scandal left many angry. And with Obama’s poll numbers tanking, many plainly fear that all the bad news will make it harder to maintain control of the Senate in the fall elections.”

The result being annoyed responses like that of Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA). “‘They sure didn’t check with me,’ said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “I don’t know who they checked with, but I just think it was kind of a quick reaction without really thinking about the humanitarian aspects of this.’ . . . The issue came to a head at a closed-door briefing for senators Wednesday evening with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell and other senior administration officials. At the meeting, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) pressed Johnson on the matter, saying that the administration did not need change the law to deal with children from countries other than Mexico, sources said. Johnson, however, stood his ground and said the law needed a modification, something that prompted Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to side with Leahy, attendees said. . . . [T]he disagreements with the White House extend to House Democrats, too. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) indicated that the White House should not have initially signaled it was willing to accept changes to the 2008 trafficking law. ‘I try never to negotiate against myself,’ Gutierrez said. . . . The Congressional Hispanic Caucus has been working overtime to persuade fellow Democrats against changes to the trafficking statute – even as one of their own, moderate Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), introduced legislation with Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) to revise the 2008 law. . . . Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who attended a meeting between Obama and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus at the White House on Wednesday, said Democrats ‘had to scramble’ to lobby against changes to the 2008 law once they were publicly floated.”

The upshot of this mess is that Democrats are in disarray and can’t agree on a solution while the Obama administration’s notoriously bad relationship with both parties in Congress hasn’t helped matters. But instead of President Obama working on a solution to the crisis on the border, both within his party and with Republicans, he’s got more campaign speeches and fundraisers scheduled this week. And Democrat leaders in the Senate are readying yet more show votes on bills that are designed to fail.

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said recently, “[M]uch more needs to be done, and the President knows it. His original letter to Congress called for reforms we all know are needed to address this crisis. Under pressure from the Left, he has since backed away from those critical reforms, but lawmakers in both parties have not. So he needs to work with us to get the right policy into effect. And he needs to halt his endless campaigning.”

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Government Commission That Wants to Commandeer Control of the Internet Just Had Their Website Crash - Twice!

 Seton Motley, Contributing Author: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has already been twice unanimously rebuked by the D.C. Circuit Court in previous attempts to impose network neutrality.

Their response to these clear demonstrations of their lack of juice? President Obama’s appointee, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler is considering power grabbing the entire orchard — to then squeeze net neutrality (and all private investment) out of it.

The grove in question is the entire World Wide Web — to be infected by the government’s imposition of Title II Reclassification:Title II is the uber-regulatory superstructure with which we have strangled landline phones – you know, that bastion of technological and economic innovation. Which do you find more impressive – your desktop dialer or your smartphone?

Title II regulations date back to at least the 1930s – so you know they’ll be a perfect fit for the ultra-modern, incredibly dynamic, expanding-like-the-universe World Wide Web.

This would be the most detrimental of all Information Superhighway road blocks. Rather than the omni-directional, on-the-fly innovation that now constantly occurs, Title II is a Mother-May-I-Innovate, top-down traffic congest-er. Imagine taking a 16 lane Autobahn down to just a grass shoulder.
The FCC has begun a rulemaking process on this ginormous usurpation, which includes a just-concluded (first) comment period, during which the FCC’s website crashed — not once, but twice.

Get that? The commission that is looking to yet again defy the law, multiple court rulings, and rationality to commandeer control of the Internet, is serially unable to keep its own website operational and online.

The first time their website went down, it was hacked. The FCC denied the hack, instead trying to blame an influx of commenters generated by a cable TV show. That airs at 10pm. On Sunday night. Two days before the site actually collapsed:An FCC spokesperson contacted us to say its statement to Vice about the recent site crash was misconstrued. The commission says it has no evidence of a malicious attack; if anything, a high volume of traffic caused the collapse.…The FCC spokesperson was in fact telling a fib. Sound familiar?

The truth eventually outed.Vice says it confirmed with a "high-level FCC source" that the FCC site suffered a database denial-of-service attack.The FCC website crashed again coming down the Comment Period home stretch. This time it in fact appeared to be the result of too much traffic. Which is hardly any more heartening to their uber-regulating the Internet.

So they had to extend the Comment Period. Sound familiar?ObamaCare Deadline Extended After Website's Technical TroubleYet another reminder that government is the only entity that complains about having too many customers.

The FCC is now blaming their incessant website failures on a lack of money. They asked this year for $375 million. The Republican-led House of Representatives wants to give them $358 billion. The FCC’s 2012 budget was $340 million. Methinks they can make do.

Meanwhile, the FCC seems to have managed to this year alone scrape together one billion brand new dollars to push government Wi-Fi on schools. Which angers everyone - “especially the schools.”

All of this Internet professionalism emanates from a Commission that describes itself thus:(T)he United States' primary authority for communications law, regulation and technological innovation.The FCC wantonly ignores and flouts communications law - which courts have again and again asserted doesn’t give it any authority over the Internet.

And I would posit that the private sector - which built the World Wide Web into the free speech-free market Xanadu we all know and love - is “the United States’ primary authority for…technological innovation.” Not a government bureaucracy that can’t even keep it’s own website going.

The FCC certainly is a “primary authority for…regulation.” Whether they have the authority to impose it or not. Even when regulation clearly is not needed. The Internet isn’t broken - why is the perpetually-broken government trying to “fix” it?

So the FCC is trying to commandeer control of the entire World Wide Web. Yet has zero authority to do so. Yet is incapable of keeping a website online - or telling the truth about why. Yet is pressing forward anyway.

How very Obama Administration of them.
Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Follow him on  Twitter Facebook.

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Beau Bergdahl’s Duty — And Ours

by Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison, Contributing Authors:: Beau Bergdahl has been returned to “active duty.” Apparently, that means a desk job while the Army considers what should be done with this young enlisted soldier. Bergdahl was held for five years by the Taliban since walking away from his post one night in 2009.

President Obama greeted Bergdahl’s relieved parents in Rose Garden at the White House in a move widely criticized. And that was even before Americans learned that the Obama administration had traded young Bergdahl for five of the most murderous Taliban detainees from our facility at Guantanamo Bay.

Duty. There seems to be much confusion about the word today. The fifth general order that recruits are required to memorize in Boot Camp defines it as a military duty “to quit my post only when properly relieved.” It is not yet clear that Beau Bergdahl committed any disloyal act in walking off his post in Afghanistan. We may find upon a probing investigation that he was dazed, depressed, drunk, or drugged. A full and fair inquiry is required.

But this much is already clear: Beau Bergdahl quit his post in Afghanistan without being properly relieved. He did not do his duty. A number of his fellow soldiers have been outspoken in describing Bergdahl’s dereliction of duty. They did their duty in Afghanistan and we should be forever grateful to them for putting their own lives on the line.

A number of Bergdahl’s platoon members have said that other U.S. soldiers died in an attempt to find this AWOL soldier. We don’t know that yet. We do know, however, how many U.S. soldiers have died trying to capture, kill, or suppress the Taliban: 2,194. Salon, the liberal website, keeps an updated tally of the costs of this U.S. effort.

As past American wars have gone, this is not a huge number. We lost more than that number of Americans on D-Day. Still, for those brave warriors, and for their families, the loss of any American life is a serious matter. That’s why the deaths of four Americans at Benghazi continues to roil the waters in Washington, as it should.

Part of the duty of this administration, or of any administration, is to keep faith with all the troops that the Commander-in-Chief orders into harm’s way. This is what President Obama failed to do in bringing the Bergdahl parents to the White House for a celebration. This is what he failed to do in releasing the five killers from Gitmo. Michael Dukakis, it should be remembered, only let a convicted killer have a furlough on weekends — and that was enough to contribute to his overwhelming defeat for president in 1988.

With this unjustified release, President Obama has yet to explain what he expects of our remaining forces in Afghanistan. Why should any American soldier risk his or her life, or the lives of those he or she commands, in pursuing, capturing, or suppressing the Taliban?

This is the war, candidate Barack Obama told us, that President Bush had failed to prosecute with all seriousness. “He took his eye off the ball,” then-Sen. Obama charged. We had a right to assume he would not give away the ball to the enemy.

England expects every man will do his duty.” That was the once-famous signal that Admiral Horatio Nelson’s flags spelled out from the mast of his warship, HMS Victory. Lord Nelson’s victory was gained in the epochal Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. With this lopsided triumph, the Royal Navy ended forever the threat to Britain of an invasion by the Emperor Napoleon. Lord Nelson himself was among the 449 British sailors killed that day. Another 1241 were wounded. All had done their duty and in so doing, the British Isles were secure from invasion for more than a century.

Lord Nelson could speak with confidence about what England expected then. And we Americans used to understand what duty required of us. Many Americans can criticize George W. Bush for his actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, but few can doubt his sincerity. And fewer still can doubt that he has done his duty with respect to our wounded warriors. Both as president and since leaving the White House, Mr. Bush has regularly visited our soldiers in hospitals and ridden with them as they recovered from their injuries.

How can President Obama ever again say: America expects everyone will do his duty? With Benghazi, with now this shameful release of dangerous terrorists from Gitmo, Barack Obama has most flagrantly failed to do his duty. It is our duty to note this dereliction.
Ken Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council.  Bob Morrison is a Senior Fellow for Policy Studies at the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C.  He has served at the U.S. Department of Education with Gary Bauer under then-Secretary William Bennett. They are contributing authors to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Beu Bergdahl, President Obama, Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison, five killers, Gitmo, 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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