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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)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chris Christie: Justice System Becoming an “Industry Unto Itself”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at the Institute
for Legal Reform Summit. Photo credit:
 Ian Wagreich/© U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
by Sean Hackbarth, Contributing Author: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie put legal reform on the list of issues governors must tackle.

At the Legal Reform Summit put on by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, Christie warned that while “everyone wants a fair system” where people are “able to sue for appropriate causes and injuries,” trial lawyers have turned the justice system into “cottage industry unto itself."

The New Jersey governor explained that this creates a poor business environment, puts businesses in a defensive posture, and keeps them from creating jobs and investing in their companies, as Andrew Ramonas of Corporate Counsel reports:"Companies would have a lot more income to be able to pay to their folks in their businesses if they didn't have to worry about putting away the billions and tens of millions of dollars they have to put away for legal fees and legal settlements in the system that we have today," he said.

The U.S. legal system shouldn't help "a narrow group of people in this country who either have not been truly injured" or have injuries that incentivize class actions as a way to generate revenue, not as "a true redress of grievances," Christie said.

"Everybody in this country wants to have a fair legal system, which gives people the ability to be able to sue for appropriate causes and injuries," he said. "What we don't need is for that tort system to become an industry unto itself. And in America, that's what's happening."
Sean Hackbarth is a policy advocate and blogger at U.S Chamber of Commerce. He twitters at @seanhackbarth and is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Chris Christi, Justice System, Industry unto itself, U.S. Chamber Institute, Legal Reform, Sean Hackbarth, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

President Obama Evolves on Marriage. And He Wants the Constitution to ‘Evolve’ With Him

President Obama hosts a reception in honor of national Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month in the East Room of the White House. (6/15/2012) (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Newscom)
by Ryan T. Anderson, Heritage Foundation / (@RyanT_Anderson): President Obama has evolved on marriage.


After supporting marriage as the union of a man and a woman until just before the elections of 2012, Obama announced back then that he supported democratic efforts to redefine marriage—but he didn’t think judges should redefine marriage. Now, just before the elections of 2014, Obama has announced that he thinks there’s a constitutional requirement to redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships.

“Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all 50 states,” Obama told the New Yorker.

This is a case study in how liberals “evolve” on policy. First they embrace a policy change. If they can’t convince a majority of Americans to vote for their preferred policy, they discover that the Constitution requires their preferred policy. So, according to the Obama of today, the Obama of early 2012 held an unconstitutional view of marriage. Or, perhaps, it wasn’t unconstitutional back then but it is now.

But this isn't how the Constitution works.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, explained earlier this month what the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment means in the marriage context:It is beyond dispute that when the 14th Amendment was adopted 146 years ago, as a necessary post-Civil War era reform, it was not imagined to also mandate same-sex marriage…. [It is a] preposterous assumption that the People of the United States somehow silently redefined marriage in 1868 when they ratified the 14th Amendment.

Nothing in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the 14th Amendment or any other constitutional provision authorizes judges to redefine marriage for the Nation. It is for the elected representatives of the People to make the laws of marriage, acting on the basis of their own constitutional authority, and protecting it, if necessary, from usurpation by the courts.
Indeed, during the Supreme Court oral arguments over California’s Proposition 8—a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman—this same point came up. Justice Antonin Scalia asked Ted Olson, the lawyer arguing Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, a simple question: “When do you think it became unconstitutional? Has it always been unconstitutional?”

Scalia had proffered some possible dates: “1791? 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted? Sometimes–some time after Baker, where we said it didn’t even raise a substantial Federal question? When–when–when did the law become this?”

Finally, Scalia asked, “50 years ago, it was okay?” And Olson responded: “I–I can’t answer that question.” And Scalia then pounced: “I can’t either. That’s the problem. That’s exactly the problem.”

And as Chief Justice John Roberts pointed out at the time:I’m not sure that it’s right to view this as excluding a particular group. When the institution of marriage developed historically, people didn’t get around and say let’s have this institution, but let’s keep out homosexuals. The institution developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, didn’t include homosexual couples.As former Attorney General Ed Meese and I argued last month in The Washington Post, in a system of limited constitutional self-government, the people and their elected representatives should be making decisions about marriage policy. While there are reasonable arguments on both sides of this debate, there is nothing in the Constitution that requires the redefinition of marriage — unlike, for example, the case of interracial marriage. Judges should not insert their own policy preferences about marriage and declare them to be required by the Constitution.

Citizens are, of course, free to redefine marriage policy to include same-sex relationships, but so too should citizens be free to retain in law the historic definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman—as citizens in a majority of states have done.

Nothing less than the future of our society and the course of constitutional government in the United States are at stake. And as Obama’s latest evolution shows, we’re not only redefining marriage, we’re redefining our Constitution—making it a living, breathing, evolving document.
Ryan T. Anderson researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He also focuses on justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education, and has expertise in bioethics and natural law theory.

Tags: President Obama. evolves, state marriage laws, marriage, gay marriage, law and culture, Ryan T. Anderson 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 Ebola Panic Despite Media Hysteria

by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: One man has died of Ebola in the U.S. and he came here from Liberia. Two of the nurses that tended him are in intensive care and likely to survive. A third was thought to be infected, but wasn’t. That news has been sufficient to keep most Americans calm as the media has done its best to exploit Ebola-related news.

The public absorbed the facts and came to their own conclusion.

An October 8 Pew Research survey found that “Most are confident in Government’s ability to prevent major Ebola outbreak in U.S.” That reflects the way we have all been conditioned to look to the federal government to solve our problems, but the public mood had not changed by October 20 when a Rasmussen Reports analysis of a survey concluded that “Americans are keeping their cool about Ebola, but some acknowledge that they have changed travel plans because of the outbreak of the deadly virus in the United States.”

Wrong. There has been no “outbreak.” One dead Liberian and two nurses is not an outbreak.

Fully 66% of the Rasmussen respondents said that Ebola is a serious public health problem, including 29% who deemed it very serious, but few believe it is an active public health threat here in the U.S.

All this was occurring as spokesmen for the Centers of Disease Control tried to both warn and reassure Americans, managing only to evoke a measure of derision. President Obama also sought to reassure Americans, but fewer and fewer believe anything he has to say these days.

Then he appointed an “Ebola czar” who had no medical or healthcare background whatever to qualify for the job. Add in Obama’s failure to institute a travel ban and the likelihood is that Democratic candidates will pay a price for this on Nov 4.

I suspect the President’s advisors are telling him the Ebola problem has been a blessing because the media will not be reporting any of the stories that could harm Democratic candidates. Starting with the fact that the nation’s voters are evenly divided between a liberal or conservative point of view that means that independent voters will be the deciding factor and they are independent because they pay more attention to events and the news.

One of the stories that are being held back from the news is the outcome of the U.S. Army investigation of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who was traded by Obama for five top Taliban leaders to secure his release. Members of his unit unanimously say he deserted them and, if that is the Army’s conclusion, it makes the swap look dubious, if not treasonable.

The news after the midterm elections will be filled with reports of employers cutting healthcare insurance to both full and part-time employees. Wal-Mart has already announced this for its part-timers. There is already news of the fact the ObamaCare, the Affordable Patient Care Act, is proving to be very expensive for those who signed up. This includes news about its higher deductibles and premiums.

Robert E. Moffit, a senior fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Policy Studies, recently reported that “Thanks to ObamaCare, Health Costs Soared this Year”, noting that “On November 15, open enrollment in the ObamaCare exchanges begins again.” Among the lessons learned from Year One of ObamaCare is that “Health costs jumped—big time.” Compared with employer-based coverage, the average deductible of a little over $1,000, doubled to more than $2,000.

Obama promised that the typical family premium cost would be lowered by $2,500, but it has actually increased and ObamaCare actually reduced competition in most health-insurance markets. We do not know how many Americans are actually insured. Despite predictions of millions who would be insured, the administration “now concedes that there are 700,000 fewer persons in the exchanges.”

The claim was that ObamaCare would reduce U.S. health spending, but a recent Health and Human Services report—delayed as long as possible—found that its Accountable Care Organization element has increased costs. States are dropping out of ObamaCare exchanges as a result.

The Obama administration has been very quiet about his intension to by-pass Congress to impose an amnesty program for the eleven million or more illegal aliens in the US. Most polls demonstrate widespread opposition to amnesty. Obama is expected to try to institute one anyway.

Lastly, unless the Islamic State shows up at the gates of Baghdad and takes control, there is likely to be little news from an Iraq that exists now in name only.

The results of Obama’s six years in office have been a disaster in many ways and the outcome of the midterm elections will have a dramatic effect on Obama’s ability to continue his destruction of the U.S. economy and other policies.

Essentially, a majority of Americans, including many of his former supporters, have concluded that there is no Ebola crisis and that Obama’s time in office has been the very opposite of what he promised. The change they want is to see an end to Obama’s term in office. A start in that direction is the November 4 midterm elections.
Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs". He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Ebola, no Ebola panic, media hysteria, Obama administration, agenda, Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, cartoon, Obama Voters Anonymous To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Never Ending Obamacare Story: Premium Increases | To Escape Health Law’s Penalties Companies Cutting Health Coverage And Hours

Editorial Cartoon by William Warren
While liberals crow about Obamacare and try to declare any debate over it over, barely a day goes by without another story detailing the adverse effects of this unpopular law on Americans.

Once again, despite Democrats’ repeated promises that the law would lower premiums, news comes of rates going up. The AP reports, “North Carolina's largest health insurer says rates will rise by more than 13 percent on average next year for buyers of individual Affordable Care Act policies. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina discussed the prices Wednesday. . . . Aside from ACA plans, the insurer is maintaining pre-existing plans that don't conform to the Affordable Care Act's requirements but customers wanted to keep. Rates for those plans will rise by an average of 13 to 19 percent, depending on when they were sold.”

Meanwhile, businesses are responding to the poorly conceived incentives created by Obamacare, resulting in people losing their existing insurance plans, just as Republicans warned they would. The Wall Street Journal writes, “With companies set to face fines next year for not complying with the new mandate to offer health insurance, some are pursuing strategies like enrolling employees in Medicaid to avoid penalties and hold down costs.
The health law’s penalties, which can amount to about $2,000 per employee, were supposed to start this year, but the Obama administration delayed them until 2015, when they take effect for firms that employ at least 100 people. Now, as employers race to find ways to cover their full-time workers while holding a lid on costs, insurance brokers and benefits administrators are pitching a variety of options, sometimes exploiting wrinkles in the law.

“The Medicaid option is drawing particular interest from companies with low-wage workers, brokers say. If an employee qualifies for Medicaid, which is jointly funded by the federal government and the states, the employer pays no penalty for that coverage. . . .

“Locals 8 Restaurant Group LLC, with about 1,000 workers, already offers health coverage, and next year plans to dial back some employees’ premium contributions. That is because an employer can owe penalties if its coverage doesn’t meet the law’s standard for affordability. . . . But the company, which is based in Hartford, Conn., hopes to reduce its costs by offering eligible employees a chance to enroll in Medicaid . . . . The government program . . .  saves money for Locals 8, said Chief Executive Al Gamble. ‘The burden gets shifted to Medicaid,’ he said. . . .

‘We’ve got to be careful about not fooling ourselves into thinking everybody wins,’ said Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. ‘The cost to the taxpayer does go up significantly.’”

The WSJ adds, “Another idea gaining ground with employers is offering bare-bones, or ‘skinny,’ health plans that cover preventive care but exclude major benefits like hospital coverage. . . . Making such plans available allows employers to avoid the approximately $2,000-per-employee penalty for not offering coverage to at least 70% of their full-timers. . . .

“Ruiz Protective Service Inc., a 400-employee firm that provides security services and polygraph tests, plans to start a skinny plan in January. The company can’t afford the about $2,000-per-worker penalty or traditional insurance, according to owner Hector Ruiz, who said the new plan ‘will satisfy the law and not put us out of business.’
. . .

“Some employers are mixing strategies to hold down costs. Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., parent of the 128-unit Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation restaurant chains, has been hiring part-time workers as full-timers have left. The law doesn’t require companies to offer coverage to part-timers working less than 30 hours a week. Next year, Garden Fresh plans to offer full-timers a high-deductible plan that meets all of the law’s requirements. To limit enrollment it won’t cover spouses or domestic partners who have coverage available through their own employers.

“‘We’ve been able to mitigate quite a bit of the costs,’ said CEO John Morberg. Garden Fresh expects only about 20% of previously ineligible front-line restaurant workers to sign up for coverage. ‘If it exceeds that, we’ll have to go to the menu board to raise prices,’ Mr. Morberg said.”

So while health insurance premiums continue to go up (including on Obamacare plans), the regulations, mandates, and fines imposed on employers by Democrats’ health care law are causing businesses to dump employees onto Medicaid, offer plans with sharply reduced coverage, drop coverage for spouses, and cut working hours.

And yet the Obama administration happily declares that this law is “working as intended.”

Tags: Never Ending Story, Obamacare, problems, Premium  increases,  penalties, Business,  laying off workers, cutting hours, editorial cartoon, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Democrats Will Never Fix Obamacare

Phil Kerpen, American Commitment: They are all telling the same lie on the campaign trail, CLAIMING they want to fix Obamacare. But the Senate adjourned without doing ANYTHING about Obamacare. If Democrats are still in control next year, it will be the same story.Democrat held U.S. Senate seats up for election; these candidates with opposition need to be defeated!
Alaska: Mark Begich
Arkansas: Mark Pryor
Colorado: Mark Udall
Delaware: Chris Coons
Hawaii: Brian Schatz
Illinois: Richard Durbin
Iowa: Open Seat: Democrat Candidate: Bruce Braley
Louisiana: Mary Landrieu
Massachusetts: Ed Markey
Michigan: Open Seat: Democrat Candidate: Gary Peters
Minnesota: Al Franken
Montana: Open Seat: Democrat Candidate: Amanda Curtis
New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen
New Jersey: Cory Booker
New Mexico: Tom Udall
North Carolina: Kay Hagan
Oregon: Jeff Merkley
Rhode Island: Jack Reed
South Dakota: Open Seat: Democrat Candidate: Rick Weiland
Virginia: Mark Warner
West Virginia: Open Seat: Democrat Candidate: Natalie Tennant

We made this video to explain:

Tags: Senate Democrats, lies, campaign trail, Obamacare, will never fix,  blocked all House bills, not voting, ad, American Commitment To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

"Deceptive" Charge "Misleading" Issue 3 On Arkansas Ballot

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Many politicians serve as powerful arguments for term limits. Arkansas State Senator Jon Woods rivals the best.

Sen. Woods (R-Springdale) and State Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock) authored a 22-page, 7,000-word constitutional amendment on this November's ballot. They say Issue 3 is about ethics and transparency.

You decide.

Woods and Sabin threw together various ethics provisions and then stuck in a gutting of term limits. Their ballot title reads it is "establishing term limits" -- without bothering to inform voters that it doubles how long legislators can stay in the Senate and more than doubles the House limit -- to a whopping 16 years!

This week, Arkansas Term Limits debuted TV ads alerting the public to the scam, charging that legislators have "pursued a campaign of silence . . . letting the deceptive ballot title do their work," so that "when Arkansas voters go to the polls there will be no mention of the doubling of term[s]."

The unrepentant Sen. Woods says that it is "misleading" to call his Issue 3 deceptive. Meanwhile, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that, after asking if Woods's ballot language wasn't indeed deceptive: "Woods said he doesn't know."

The senator's response to the Arkansas GOP Convention's unanimous resolution against Issue 3? "You just have a couple of nuts that got together on a Saturday that were out of touch with Arkansans and passed a silly resolution that in no way reflects the point of view of all Republicans in Arkansas."

Perhaps Democratic politicians are smarter. Democratic co-author Sabin is nowhere to be found in news coverage of Issue 3, likely hiding under his bed.

This is Common Sense. I'm Paul Jacob.

Tags: Arkansas, deceptice, misleading Arkansas, Ballot, Issue 3, 2014 Election, Vote NO! To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

If You Like How the Government is Handling Ebola…

. . . you’ll love how they’ll handle the Internet.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco
by Seton Motley, Contributing Author: The late, inordinately great Ronald Reagan rightly observed:
"The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help."So when the federal government says about Ebola “We’ve got this” – people have a problem believing it.Obama Underwater on Ebola ResponseAh, the Barack Obama Administration – which has been caught lying over and over and over again.Many Voters Say Obama Lies to the Country on Important Matters

81 percent of Americans believe that Obama lies to them at least “now and then” on “important matters.”
The Obama Administration has again and again offered Ebola assertions and assurances that Reality has subsequently demonstrated were…wanting.

The President has asserted Ebola isn’t transmittable beyond direct body fluid contact. That’s not true.

In one of the most breathtakingly on-its-face anti-Reality statements ever, the Administration asserted a flight ban from afflicted countries would INCREASE the spread of the disease.

The American people think otherwise.67% of Americans Support a Travel Ban From Ebola Affected CountriesDemocrats are blaming the Administration’s Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s serial Ebola incompetence – the CDC being the government’s alleged “expert agency” on, well…disease control – on budget cuts. That’s not true either.
At $7 billion, the Centers for Disease Control 2014 budget is nearly 200 percent bigger now than it was in 2000. Those evil, stingy Republicans actually approved CDC funding increases in January larger than what President Obama requested.The CDC has spent their titanic tally on just about everythingexcept disease control.

So the American people can be forgiven for arriving here:
Trust in Government at All-Time Low

Trust In Government Problem-Solving Reaches New Low
Meanwhile, the Obama Administration’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is gearing up to unilaterally commandeer control of the Internet.

On Ebola, the allegedly Disease Controlling Administration – in fine Kevin Bacon “Animal House” fashion – has been repeatedly proclaiming “All is well” as things continue to get worse and worse.

Conversely, the Internet has been since just about its inception a government-free zone. And has a result become an ever-expanding free speech-free market Xanadu.

The Administration has been the Chicken Little of the World Wide Web. Running around decrying a “problem” that does not exist – and demanding a Huge Government “solution.”

The fake “problem?” Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may – one day, someday, maybe – block you from websites. Only they haven’t. And they won’t. Because they are in the customer service business – but won’t be for long if they refuse to serve their customers what they want.

The fake “solution?”
What’s Even Worse than Net Neutrality? Government Internet Reclassification to Do ItReclassification will give the government the same regulatory stranglehold on the Web that it has had for seventy-plus years on landline phone lines. Which is why landline phone lines have remained just about undeveloped since FDR.

Oh – and this:
Reclassification Net Neutrality Could Be a 16.1% Internet TaxNow we know why the government has created a faux Web crisis – so as to not let it go to waste.

But fret not, the government tells us. They will wield just some – and not all – of their massive new powers. They will practice “forbearance.”
“(F)orbearance” refers to a special magic power that Congress gave the FCC…which gives the FCC the power to say “you know that specific provision of law that Congress passed? We decide it really doesn’t make sense for us to enforce it in some particular case, so we will “forbear” (hence the term ‘forbearance’) from enforcing it.”Sure. Because we can take the government at its word – right?

Like the CDC on disease control, the FCC is the government’s alleged “expert agency” on all things Internet. Except:
Government Commission That Wants to Commandeer Control of the Internet Just Had Their Website Crash - Twice!So the FCC is just about as honest and competent as the rest of the government.

How about, then, they not take over the Web?
Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Follow him on  Twitter Facebook.

Tags: U.S. Government, Ebola, FCC, Internet, Seton Motley, Less Government, 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!

"SNL' Hilarious Sketch Nails Important Point About Aid Programs

Bill Smith, ARRA News Editor: Many of us have seen the numerous TV ads that are constant pleas for money for numerous different relief causes which in reality demean the recipients. After a while, these ads motivate us to use the the "mute," "skip" or "off" button on the TV remote rather than send money to such a inanely produced advertisement.

You will enjoy the following Saturday Night Live skit addressing this situation, it's only three minutes, watch to the end.

Even the liberal leaning Huffington Post encouraged and briefed on the video.
by Ryan Grenoble: Ever wonder how international aid organizations determine how much to ask for from donors? So does "Saturday Night Live."

In last Saturday's show, during a sketch called "39 cents," the late-night comedy group took aim at Western charities that collect donations for Africa, lampooning them via a character named Charles Daniels, who serves as a generic stand-in for celebrity figureheads the world over.

"Hello, I'm Charles Daniels," opens Bill Hader, the actor who plays the character in the skit, as soft piano music plays in the background. "For years we've been taking you to villages like this, and showing you the heartbreak of families whose only mistake was being born poor."

"They need your help," he continues, as he rambles through the impoverished village and kneels next to a man doing laundry. "And for only 39 cents a day, you can provide water, food and medicine for these people. Just 39 cents -- that's less than a small cup of coffee, but it can make all the difference to the people of this village."

"Ask for more!" The man doing laundry whispers, surprising Daniels. "Ask for more money. Why [are] you starting so low?"

From there, the sketch continues to satirize the international aid industry, culminating in Daniels acknowledging he has no idea what country he's actually in, other than "Africa."

Despite the controversial subject, Mic applauded "SNL" for making "some valid political points," including questioning the efficacy of long-term aid in general, which critics say creates a culture of dependence and fails to address the underlying issues which create poverty in the first place.
Thank you to one of our contributing authors, Norm Beznoska, Jr., for providing the Huffington Post link.

Tags: Saturday Night Live, SNL skit, 39 cents, African relief, aid program, Huffington Post, Norm Beznoska, 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 "Malaise" Has Returned

Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: The joke is that Jimmy Carter is happy that Barack Obama has replaced him as the worst President of the modern era. It is a supreme irony that Obama’s campaign theme was “Hope and Change” when Americans have lost a great deal of hope about their personal futures and the only change they want is to see Obama gone from office.

Elected by a narrow margin in 1976, Carter managed in his one term to see his approval ratings fall to twenty-five percent by June 1979. The lesson Americans have to learn over and over again is that liberal policies and programs don’t work.

In six years, the kind of dependence on the government to take care of people from cradle to grave has left the nation with 92 million unemployed or who have stopped looking for a job, entitled 45 million to food stamps, and there is still talk of a “minimum wage” in the interest of “fairness” that simply kills jobs, especially those that used to be filled by young people just entering the workplace. The worst part of Obama’s presidency is the lies he tells in the belief, apparently, that most Americans are so stupid they won’t see through them.

On July 15, 1979, in an effort to encourage a greater sense of confidence, Jimmy Carter delivered a speech that became known as the “malaise” speech, but which did not include that word. What it did, however, is double down on all the bad policies Carter had pursued and blamed Americans for not accepting them. By then the economy was in decline, gasoline prices and interest rates had climbed to record levels, and the voters were understandably pessimistic. Iranians had taken U.S. diplomats hostage and they would not be released until Ronald Reagan took the oath of office.

Carter’s speech began by asking “Why have we not been able to get together as a nation to resolve our serious energy problem?” Quite literally there was no need then or now for an energy problem because, as recently noted by the Energy Information Administration, the United States has enough coal to last more than 200 years! With the development of hydraulic fracturing, fracking, we now have access to more oil than exists in Saudi Arabia.

Obama literally came into office saying he intended to wage a war on coal and he has; using the Environmental Protection Agency to institute regulations that have led to the closing a mines and the shutdown of coal-fired plants that used to produce 50% of the nation’s electricity; now down to 40%. He resisted allowing the drilling for oil in the huge reserves on our east and west coasts. He has refused to permit the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. These policies have led to the loss of thousands of jobs during the time that followed the 2008 financial crisis.

In his speech, Carter said, “The erosion of our confidence in the future is threatening to destroy the social and the political fabric of America.” We would do well to remember that we have been through periods like this before and corrected course.

In 1980 Ronald Reagan would be elected to replace Carter and America prospered through his two terms, returning to being a major superpower, economically and militarily. That’s what conservatism produces.

Carter, however, blamed Americans for the problems of his times. “Two-thirds of our people do not even vote. The productivity of American workers is actually dropping, and the willingness of Americans to save for the future has fallen below that of all other people in the Western world.”

One of Obama’s earliest acts was to visit foreign nations and blame America for many of the world’s problems. Militarily he pulled our troops out of Iraq and he intends to do the same in Afghanistan. He has cut the military budget to the bone and has now defined its mission as one to address “climate change”, not the enemies of our nation.

Obama spent his entire first term blaming George W. Bush for every problem that he did nothing to correct. Indeed, Obama has never seen himself as the real problem, finding anyone else to blame.

Those Americans watching Carter deliver his speech must surely have cringed as he announced that he intended to set import quotas on foreign energy resources. He said he wanted Congress to impose a “windfall profits” tax on the very energy firms that he wanted to get us out of the doldrums and dependency that was causing the problem. He wanted the utility companies to “cut their massive use of oil by fifty percent within a decade.” He wanted them to switch to coal and now we live in a nation whose President doesn’t want our utilities to use coal. Why? Despite massive evidence to the contrary, he has advocated “renewable” energy, wind and solar, neither of which can ever meet the nation’s needs.

“In closing, let me say this: I will do my best, but I will not do it alone. Let your voice be heard,” said Carter.

In the 1980 election the voter’s voice was heard. Carter was gone and Reagan was our President. With him came his infectious patriotism and optimism. By late 1983 his economic program had ended the recession he inherited from Carter. A similar program would have put an end to what is now routinely called Obama's Great Recession.

We are at a point not dissimilar from the days of Jimmy Carter and with an even greater sense of dissatisfaction and distrust of Barack Obama.

I reach back in our recent history to remind you that on November 4th in our midterm elections and in the 2016 presidential election we can repeat history by ridding the nation of those members of Congress that voted for ObamaCare and have supported President Obama. We must wait to see who the GOP will offer as a presidential candidate, but we have time for that.

We have time to “hope” for a better future and we have the means to make the “change” to achieve it.
Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs". He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Malaise, has returned, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, 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!

Obamacare Consequences: Higher Premiums, Higher Deductibles & Increased Out-Of-Pocket Costs ...

... "A $6,000 Deductible — That’s Just Staggering"
The Las Vegas Review-Journal editors remind readers today, “[T]he president recently provided a moment of clarity that brought groans from Democrats on ballots everywhere. ‘I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that,’ the president said. ‘But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.’ None will have a greater impact on voters than Obamacare. The next enrollment period for Obamacare-compliant health insurance plans begins Nov. 15. It was supposed to begin Oct. 15, but last November, recognizing what a disaster the ACA was, the administration pushed enrollment until after the elections, hoping to minimize midterm damage. But that didn’t stop people from learning about increases in premiums and deductibles, or that their plans would be part of another wave of cancellations for not being ACA-compliant.”

Indeed, the Review-Journal reported earlier this week, “[Las Vegas residents] who renewed health insurance in 2013 to delay complying with mandates in the Affordable Care Act are feeling the effects of the law. We’ve written in the past about the potential for big premium increases among small groups and individuals who renewed their plans in December. On Oct. 1, those folks began getting their actual renewal rates. And for most of them, it isn’t pretty.

“‘People who have pre-ACA plans are getting clobbered with higher rates and higher exposure’ to out-of-pocket costs, said Pat Casale of brokerage firm Pat Casale & Associates.

“The reason premiums are on the rise is because the federal government mandates new requirements in all insurance plans sold after Jan 1. Some of that is good news for consumers: Insurers no longer can put lifetime dollar limits on policy payouts, and some preventive services are now free. The thing is, those perks cost consumers — sometimes a lot. And insurers are building those costs into their premiums.

“Small companies with younger, healthier workforces are hit especially hard, because the law limits the premium breaks people can get for being young and healthy.

“But talking about premiums alone is a ‘very incomplete analysis,’ said Kirstine Sorenson of Casale & Associates.

“That’s because consumers’ out-of-pocket costs in deductibles and copays are spiking as well. Where premiums are up 50 percent, out-of-pocket expenses might soar 200 percent, Sorenson said. Some consumers are paying $250 a month in premiums for plans with $5,000 deductibles, compared with $100 a month for a $5,000 deductible before the Affordable Care Act.

‘People are seeing increases on the internal parts of their plan that are magnifying their higher costs,’ Sorenson said.”

A New York Times report yesterday zeroed in on this aspect of Obamacare. In a piece titled, “Unable to Meet the Deductible or the Doctor,” The Times wrote, “Patricia Wanderlich got insurance through the Affordable Care Act this year . . . . But her new plan has a $6,000 annual deductible, meaning that Ms. Wanderlich, who works part time at a landscaping company outside Chicago, has to pay for most of her medical services up to that amount. She is skipping this year’s brain scan and hoping for the best. ‘To spend thousands of dollars just making sure it hasn’t grown?’ said Ms. Wanderlich, 61. ‘I don’t have that money.’ . . . When the next open enrollment period begins on Nov. 15, Ms. Wanderlich said, she will probably switch to a plan with a narrower network of doctors and a smaller deductible. It will probably mean losing her specialists, she said, but at this point she is resigned. ‘A $6,000 deductible — that’s just staggering,’ she said.”

The same story also noted the experience of Dr. Rebecca Love, of Moab, Utah: “Dr. Love, 63, who has degenerative arthritis and a host of other health problems, pays $422 a month in premiums for a plan that has a deductible of $6,000. But she has already paid more than $6,000 in medical costs this year that did not count toward her deductible because the doctors and hospitals — more than 100 miles away in Grand Junction, Colo. — were not in her network. To see certain specialists in her network, Dr. Love said, she would have had to travel to Salt Lake City, which is much farther away and requires driving through a treacherous mountain pass.”

The NYT pointed out that though many people signed up for coverage through Obamacare, “many are still on the hook for deductibles that can top $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for families — the trade-off, insurers say, for keeping premiums for the marketplace plans relatively low. The result is that some people — no firm data exists on how many — say they hesitate to use their new insurance because of the high out-of-pocket costs.”

According to The Times, “Deductibles for the most popular health plans sold through the new marketplaces are higher than those commonly found in employer-sponsored health plans, according to Margaret A. Nowak, the research director of Breakaway Policy Strategies, a health care consulting company. A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the average deductible for individual coverage in employer-sponsored plans was $1,217 this year. In comparison, the average deductible for a bronze plan on the exchange — the least expensive coverage — was $5,081 for an individual and $10,386 for a family, according to HealthPocket, a consulting firm. Silver plans, which were the most popular option this year, had average deductibles of $2,907 for an individual and $6,078 for a family.”

In light of these experiences, the results of a new Politico poll of likely voters in battleground states and House districts are telling. Asked, “Under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, do you think the amount of money you pay personally will increase, decrease or stay about the same?” 57% of respondents said it will increase, while only 7% said it would decrease., despite Democrats’ promises of “affordable care.”

According to a recent Associated Press report, “Overall, 1 in 4 privately insured adults say they doubt they could pay for a major unexpected illness or injury. A new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research may help explain why President Barack Obama faces such strong headwinds in trying to persuade the public that his health care law is holding down costs. Edward Frank of Reynoldsville, Pennsylvania, said he bought a plan with a $6,000 deductible last year through That's in the high range, since deductibles for popular silver plans on the insurance exchanges average about $3,100 - still a lot.”

. . . Creates An Employment Double Whammy!
A recent Senate Budget Committee report highlighted the negative effects of Obamacare on the labor market. According to Bloomberg, “Obamacare appears to affect employment in two ways: It decreases the supply of labor (the number of people in the labor market), as well as the demand for labor (the number of jobs available). This phenomenon was aptly named the ‘health care employment squeeze’ in a study released by the American Health Policy Institute last month. In short, Obamacare creates an employment double whammy: The cost to many employers of hiring workers goes up, since those with more than 50 employees have to provide increasingly expensive health care, while employees’ incentives to work go down, because they can get federal subsidies to buy insurance outside the workplace.”

Tags: Obamacare, consequences, higher premiums, higher deductibles, increased out of pocket costs, employment double whammy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Choosing a Constitutional President In A Celebrity Age

We continue our series of essays examining the prospects for electing a republican president in 2016 and ultimately reining in the modern imperial presidency through the lens of Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 69. There Hamilton shows just how profoundly a republican executive differs from a king, constrained, as he is, by the Constitution, the people, and coordinate branches of the federal government. Though we have come to expect our presidents to be celebrity orators seemingly capable of remaking reality, a much more modest president and presidency would better serve our republic and point us back to the vital work at the heart of the office. Matt Parks & David Corbin

Photo Beverly & Pack / Flickr
The republican alternative to our democratized presidency
Drs. David Corbin and Matthew Parks: For the many admirers of 2008 “hope and change,” the Obama presidency has regrettably, six seasons in, read nothing like an Aaron Sorkin script (think “The American President”): Progressive idealism meets the challenges of national leadership head on, and, even though the president struggles to achieve political success in an imperfect world, our admiration for the person in the office softens our cynicism.

Then again, life in the Oval Office these days probably feels more like a “West Wing” episode and Dinesh D’Souza documentary folded into one, with fears of the further spread of Ebola in West Africa and throughout the world, an economy still on the skids, troublesome midterm elections, staff defections and ex-staff criticism, and the dangerous growth of the Islamic State, never mind people forgetting to lock the front door.

There is no way to write happy endings out of these troubles, despite the best efforts of the president’s speech writers. From the beginning, the Obama administration has doggedly attempted to live in a postmodern world, constructed or reconstructed by the president’s words, which, in imitation of the Divine Creation, are supposed to summon new realities into being.

Human affairs, however, follows a different logic, which is not the formulaic plot line of a Emmy-winning drama series. This rhetorical presidency has failed, in progressively obvious and dramatic ways, as unimpressed realities confront blurred thinking and unreal words. Support for President Obama’s signature domestic programs, the stimulus package and Obamacare, never high, has degraded over time as promised results were not achieved amidst serial instances of administrative high-handedness and incompetence.

Confidence in the president as commander-in-chief likewise continues to reach new lows as despots are simply undeterred by hearing they live in the wrong century or sit on the wrong side of history. Ebola need not become a serious threat—but is it any wonder many Americans expect that it will anyway, when we are asked to place our hope in careful-applied “protocols” by those unable to construct workable websites, responsibly schedule appointments at veterans’ hospitals, or perform other seemingly mundane administrative tasks? Six years into this administration, will anyone rest easy simply because the president says he’s hugged and kissed nurses who treated Ebola patients? Can anyone be satisfied with sizzle when there’s still no sign of the steak?

A Short History of Presidential Rhetoric
At least some elements of the rhetorical presidency are long-established on American soil. As we noted in our essay last week, almost 200 years ago President Andrew Jackson broke new ground in a number of important areas, not the least of which was his use of impassioned rhetoric to separate political friends and enemies.

Yet Alexis de Tocqueville notes, in “Democracy in America,” the much more modest political agenda behind the passion in President Jackson’s speeches:Far from wanting to extend federal power, the current president represents, on the contrary, the party that wants to restrict that power to the clearest and most precise terms of the Constitution . . . . [F]ar from presenting himself as the champion of centralization, General Jackson is the agent of provincial jealousies; it is (if I can express myself so) decentralizing passions that brought him to sovereign power. He maintains himself and prospers by flattering these passions daily. General Jackson is the slave of the majority: he follows it in its wishes, its desires, its half-uncovered instincts, or rather he divines it and runs to place himself at its head.Jackson, the agent of national prerogative and, simultaneously, slave to and master over public opinion, nevertheless sought to govern within the boundaries of the Constitution. In the century that followed, the president as public-spirited cowboy, political messiah, social engineer, and great communicator, unmoored from the Constitution and placed on rhetorical overdrive, became essential elements of the Progressive alternative to the founders’ republican presidency.

Republican Progressive Teddy Roosevelt embraced the “bully pulpit” (his term) as the fundamental tool of the presidency. So did his Democratic Progressive rival Woodrow Wilson, his buttoned-up engineering alter ego, Herbert Hoover, and his distant cousin, Franklin Roosevelt. At times, normalcy returned, encouraged by policy (Warring Harding), personality (Calvin Coolidge), and political necessity (Dwight Eisenhower). But almost every president since has been expected to be a rhetorical conjurer whatever other merits he may possess. Moreover, self-aggrandizing efforts to grow one’s celebrity and a willingness to set aside constitutional republican prescriptions have almost always gone hand-in hand in the last century.

Try Persuasion Instead of Manipulation
The point is not to idealize a presidency of competent technocrats who let their crisp implementation of well-chosen “protocols” do their talking. Abraham Lincoln, the greatest orator in American political history, wasn’t just the first Republican president, but a model republican long before he was president. But that was because he didn’t speak from a bully pulpit, alternating the cadences of the popular revivalist with those of the fiery prophet. Instead, he thought well enough of his audience to try to persuade them, over and over again working out the consequences of common principles and ideas, defined with fairness but precision in his most important speeches.

Consider, for example, the preface to one of Lincoln’s greatest speeches, his 1854 address at Peoria:I do not rise to speak now, if I can stipulate with the audience to meet me here at half-past six or at seven o’clock. It is now several minutes past five, and Judge [and Senator Stephen] Douglas has spoken over three hours. If you hear me at all, I wish you to hear me through. It will take me as long as it has taken him. That will carry us beyond eight o’clock at night. Now, every one of you who can remain that long can just as well get his supper, meet me at seven, and remain an hour or two later. The Judge has already informed you that he is to have an hour to reply to me. I doubt not but you have been a little surprised to learn that I have consented to give one of his high reputation and known ability this advantage of me. Indeed, my consenting to it, though reluctant, was not wholly unselfish, for I suspected, if it were understood that the Judge was entirely done, you Democrats would leave and not hear me; but by giving him the close, I felt confident you would stay for the fun of hearing him skin me.In his typically self-deprecating and good-humored way, Lincoln only partially disguised his real hope: to win some of Douglas’s Democratic partisans to his cause (after a good supper had put them in the mood for four more hours of speeches). He assumed here and throughout his political career that, if right, he could win many to his cause, since he was, at his best, pointing them to policies and principles grounded in a reality accessible to and, at least in part, experienced by all. His model was not the magician, but the geometer, hoping, like Euclid, to work out the consequences of given (political) first principles.

What Makes a President Different from a Monarch
All this fits very well with the model of the presidency outlined by the exceptionally clear-headed Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 69. There, responding to anti-federalist claims that the American executive would quickly become a New World imitation of the British monarchy, Hamilton labored to show just how constrained the president was by the other legs of the republican stool: the people, the Constitution, and the coordinate branches of the federal government.

While the king could make war and peace at his pleasure, the president, although commander-in-chief, required congressional authorization to do the same. While the king possessed an absolute veto, the president would have only a qualified one. Most fundamentally, while the king held perpetual, hereditary, unaccountable office, the president would be elected for a fixed term and subject to impeachment and removal if he betrayed the Constitution. The president is required “from time to time [to] give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient”—measures that become law only if he can persuade Congress to adopt them.

Such an executive role was enough for many who served in the office for a century. But such a role no longer satisfies the ambitions of most would-be presidents in our day, Democrats and Republicans alike.

President Obama has, more than once, acknowledged with apparent lament that he does not possess imperial power. Although his actions, at times, have suggested otherwise, the wise constitutional constraints the founders imposed, if followed, require that presidents stick closer to both justice and reality than we can expect from any democratized president of the people or monarchized president by proclamation.

The lesson in all of this as we look to 2016 is that if we wish to have a more modest government, we need to elect a more modest man. It goes without saying such an individual will be ambitious and desire public acclaim. But it’s more likely that an individual content to live within the boundaries that the Constitution and nature prescribe will gratify his ambition by playing the part of a leader of a republic, not a life-imitating-art sympathetic idealist, or a famous-for-being-famous hardened and cynical luminary. In other words, celebrities, pundits, and politicians—Left, center, and Right—who view, hew, and sometimes pursue the presidency as the lead part in a drama, reality television show, or documentary film will continue to give us a less republican political reality.
Drs. David Corbin and Matthew Parks are Professors of Politics at The Kings College (NYC). They are contributors to the ARRA News Service. They edit and write for The Federalist and are on Facebook and Twitter.

Tags: Aaron Sorkin, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Federalist 69, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, imperial presidency, oratory, Oval Office, President Obama, presidential rhetoric, Presidents rhetoric, Teddy Roosevelt, The American President, The Federalist Papers, the presidency, West Wing, David Corbin, Matthew Parks To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Houston’s Mayor: Endangering Civil Rights

Ken Balckwell
by Ken Blackwell, Contribution Author: Tavis Smiley raised a lot of eyebrows this weekend when he spoke on ABC-TV’s “This Week” news show, hosted by George Stephanopoulos. Smiley pointed to double-digit unemployment in the Black community under President Obama and said: “If you’re Black or Brown, other than saving the Democrats’ hide, what inspires you to go out and vote?”

Economic empowerment for minority families is surely a vital issue, a hardy perennial in off-year elections. But it’s not the only issue. Minority voters have always been concerned with Civil Rights. And this year is no exception.

In Houston, Texas, we have seen a bizarre twist on traditional Civil Rights play out. The Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, has been waging an uncivil war on people who oppose the far-reaching homosexual rights ordinance she powered through the City Council. That ordinance was widely criticized by Houston lay people and pastors, It would endanger protected Civil Rights already covered by the First Amendment, i.e., freedom of religion, critics of Mayor Parker’s ordinance said.

Opponents of the Parker measure organized in their churches and resolved to take the issue to Houston’s voters. They circulated petitions to put the ordinance on the ballot for a referendum. They spoke out in their congregations. They heard sermons from their pastors. They spoke in their fellowship halls and Sunday school classes.

All of these activities were hallmarks of the Civil Rights movement that arose in this country to put an end to Jim Crow injustices. All of these now-threatened activities were employed by Civil Rights advocates throughout the South. Americans are justifiably proud of how we came together to reclaim our American heritage in the 1950s and 1960s.

Visitors to Washington, D.C. can see the timeless words of the First Amendment etched in marble in foot-high letters on the wall of the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The rights protected by the First Amendment cannot be abridged by Houston’s City Council, either. And yet, Mayor Parker and her cohorts are doing that very thing.

Notice the so-called "progressives" in Houston are establishing a de facto religion of tolerant intolerance while seeking to prohibit the free exercise of religious dissidents. They are trying to suppress pastors’ and lay peoples’ freedom of speech and press.

Most egregiously, they are suppressing the First Amendment freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances. One of Mayor Parker’s cohorts, the City Attorney, zealously attacked the more than 50,000 petition signatures submitted by opponents of the Parker ordinance. Only 17,000 valid signatures are required to place a challenged measure on the ballot for repeal by Houston voters. Mayor Parker’s compliant City Attorney managed to keep striking signatures until he had whittled the list down to under 17,000.

Questions: What standards did officials apply to the disqualification of petition signatures? Were those the same standards that had been in force for the submission of other petitions, such as those submitted for the election of Mayor Parker and her fellow liberals on the City Council? Or were these standards applied only this year and only to petitions urging the repeal of the Parker ordinance?

We are reminded not of American election law fairly and openly applied to all sides. Instead, this process reminds us of what Soviet dictator Josef Stalin said about democratic elections in Poland: “What matters is not who votes; what matters is who counts votes;” It stretches credulity to think that twice as many petition signatures in Houston were invalid as were valid. That is a rejection rate far beyond anything we have seen since the days of Jim Crow.

To make matters even worse in Houston, the Mayor and her cohorts are trying to subpoena records of conversations, speeches, articles, letters to the editor, email communications, and telephone messaging by the opponents of the Parker ordinance. This is a clear attempt to intimidate Americans and prevent their exercising their Civil Rights.

Only after an international uproar did the Mayor and the City Council back down from their demand that Houston pastors, priests, and rabbis submit their sermon texts to the government. For what? Censorship? Fines? Threats to their tax-exempt status?

In 1775, the King of England did not demand sermon texts from American pastors, either, but he issued Writs of Assistance to royal officials in the American colonies. Those writs gave them the power to hunt for all the things listed in the Houston subpoenas. (Well, maybe not the emails or telephone logs, but he would gotten around to them, too!)

For such violations of Americans’ Civil Rights, our Founding Fathers denounced King George III as a Tyrant. And to prevent just such abuses by government, we adopted the Bill of Rights. It’s high time to put the arrogant actions of Houston’s Mayor and City Council on notice: You’ve overstepped your authority. This is how Tyranny starts. As James Madison said: “The people are right to take alarm at the first advance on their liberties.”
Ken Blackwell is a former Ohio Secretary of State, mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio, and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He is contributing author to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Ken Blackwell, Houston, Texas, Mayor, Annise Parker, uncivil war, Houston Pastors, civil rights, elections To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Stark Contrast in Iowa

Editor's Note: Rep. Bruce Braley (D., Iowa) was one of the principal backers of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare. In the Senate, he would become part of the Sen. Harry Reid's progressive team. What Iowa and Americans in general do not need is another progressive trial lawyer in the U.S. Senate seeking limits on Free Speech and other aspects of the Bill of Rights.

by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: Everything you need to know about Bruce Braley was made clear by the candidate himself in a thirty-seven second video of him speaking to his real constituents – his fellow trial lawyers – at a fundraiser in Texas.

Most of the attention relating to the video has been about his arrogant denigration of Iowa farmers but, amazingly, that may not even be the most disturbing part of the video.

Read Braley’s full comments to his assembled trial lawyer supporters and let them sink in:“To put this in stark contrast if you help me win this race, you may have someone with your background, your experience, your voice – someone who's been literally fighting tort reform for thirty years in a visible and public way – on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Or you might have a farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Because if Democrats lose the majority Chuck Grassley will be the next chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”Although he is running for office to represent Iowa in the United State Senate, in the video Braley openly boasts to out-of-state trial lawyers that if they help him win his election, he will be their voice in the United States Senate, fighting against tort reform and helping them line their pockets at the expense of the rest of us. And he presents the alternative as well – that if he loses, an Iowa farmer named Chuck Grassley will be in line to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee.

It is a very compelling pitch for the trial lawyers Braley wants to continue representing.

According to the OpenSecrets website that tracks campaign contributions, trial lawyers have sent Braley an astonishing $4.2 million since 2005. Both this year and in his previous campaigns, his fellow trial lawyers have been by far Braley’s largest source of funds.

And they aren’t done. Last week, the national trial lawyers lobbying organization send out an urgent fundraising letter for Braley, noting that he had previously been the industry’s top lobbyist in Iowa and now needed their help:Dear Trial Lawyer Colleague,

One of our own, Bruce Braley, is in the fight of his life to win the Senate seat currently held by Senator Tom Harkin. We are asking you to click here to contribute to this race, this cause, TODAY. There are precious few days left before this critical election and we need everyone in our community to step up now.

As Presidents of the American Association for Justice/ATLA we have all faced critical national elections before. We have seen our share of impossible odds and overwhelming challenges. But never before has an election turned on the race of a former board member, a former President of the Iowa Association for Justice, and a great champion for the rights of your clients.
Or as Braley himself explained it – if they help him win, he’ll be their voice in the Senate, as he has been in the House – where he’s been busy for the last eight years of his 30-year fight against tort reform.

Braley was working hard for his fellow trial lawyers when he blocked tort reform in Obamacare (to the tune of $11 billion a year according to Congressional Budget Office estimates) and helped pass a final version of the bill that actually makes it easier to file abusive lawsuits, a jackpot for trial lawyers at the expense of everyone who has to pay higher premiums.

Bruce Braley was absolutely right that there is a “stark contrast” between his career of being the voice for trial lawyers and Chuck Grassley’s exemplary career of putting Iowa taxpayers first, ferreting out waste fraud and abuse, and serving with honor and distinction.

Voters in Iowa will soon choose to either put Braley on the Senate Judiciary Committee or elevate Grassley to be that committee’s chairman. If you aren’t a trial lawyer, it’s a pretty easy choice.
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment and is a contributing author for the ARRA News Service.He is on Twitter  and on Facebook.

Tags: Phil Kerpen, Contrast in Iowa, stark contrast, Senate race, trail lawyer, Bruce Braley, Chuck Grassley, farmer, businessman, putting Iowan's first, , To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Democratic Voting Bloc-Heads

by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: As this is being written, Rasmussen Reports says that 48% of likely voters approve of President Obama’s performance in office while 50% disapproved. Other polls indicate far more unhappiness with Obama, but in general one must conclude that half the voters are idiots. He is an enormous failure domestically and with his foreign relations.

In early July, a Quinnipiac University national poll found that Obama was regarded as “the worst president since World War II.” The only poll that counts will be the midterm elections on November 4th.

We know that Republicans and a significant percentage of independent voters will pull the lever for the change needed to save the nation from Congressional gridlock and whatever further mischief and idiocy Obama will seek to impose, but what do we know about the Democratic Party’s voting blocs? They say a lot about America today.

A website called, offers a look at the “Economic Demographics of Democrats.” It offered the following conclusions:

# Generally, Democrats live closer to a coast—East or West—living more in cities than Republicans. Populated areas have a higher concentration of minorities who “overwhelmingly vote Democrat.”

# They tend to have more women in their ranks than Republicans and this is true as well of gays and lesbians.

# They support organized labor, unions, more.

# They are slightly younger than Republicans and “increasingly less religious.”

After years have telling Americans that Republicans are engaged in “a war on women” it should not come as a surprise that 37% of women are Democrats while Republicans have 24%. Unmarried women vote Democrat about 62% of the time, while married women tend to split between the parties.

What may well save the nation from the split between the two political parties is the fact that 43% declare themselves to be politically independent.

Economically, people earning less than $15,000 a year represent 31% of Democrat voters. Those earning $50,000 or more vote Republican or independent. The average median household income in the U.S. is $49,777, right near the point where the Democratic advantage in numbers disappears.

While the President and the Democratic Party are forever complaining about the inequality of the wealthy while endlessly taking their money for campaigns, a review of the twenty richest Americans as listed by Forbes magazine found that 60% affiliate with the Democratic Party!

Would it surprise anyone to learn that Republicans are better educated than Democrats? Or that Democrats tend to be slightly younger, with an average age of 47. This voting bloc, 46 million, is anticipated of increase to 90 million in 2020.

Racially and ethnically, Republicans are 87% white as compared to Democratic supporters.

African Americans mindlessly vote Democratic and are literally taken for granted by the party though an Oct 18 New York Times article reported that a confidential memo from a former pollster for President Obama “contained a blunt warning for Democrats. Written this month with an eye toward Election Day, it predicted ‘crushing Democratic losses across the country’ if the party did not do more to get black voters to the polls.” He said, “In fact, over half aren’t even sure when the midterm elections are taking place.” That’s the kind of voter the Democratic Party has relied upon for years.

Jews as well give 80% of their votes to Democrats. Hispanics are the fastest growing group of voters and also tend to support Democrats, voting for them 60% to 70% of the time. They constitute 16% of the population and are expected to nearly double by 2050.

Observers of politics at this point note that Democrats are stepping up an aggressive push to woo single women, regarding of their age, level of education, or earning power, but they also note that many single women do not vote, especially in non-presidential election years like this one. The result is that older, white and more conservative women will vote more. One analyst, Jackie Calmes, notes that, according to the nonpartisan Voter Participation Center, in the 2012 presidential election, 58% of single women voted, but is predicting that will slide to 39%.

In an American Thinker September commentary, Chad Stafko, wrote that “The African-American voting block has become powerless and irrelevant due to its decades-old blind allegiance to the Democratic Party and the growing likelihood (is) that the group will soon be eclipsed in size by the Hispanic voting bloc.” The judgment of this bloc is best seen in the fact that African Americans have voted for Democrats for years to serve as mayors in “what are now some of the most economically-challenged cities in America.” Despite having voted for Obama at a rate of 93%, they have “received the brunt of the effects of the Obama-led stagnant economy.”

While there is much talk of the growing Hispanic bloc, but many are ineligible to vote and those that are often do not or are concentrated in noncompetitive districts and states. One observer, Nate Cohn, noted that “Hispanic voters will represent a tiny fraction of the electorate in the states and districts critical to the battle for control of Congress.” Currently that represent about 17% of the U.S. population and a quarter of them are under age 18 and cannot vote. Only 69% of adult Hispanics are citizens as compared with 96% of adult-non-Hispanics.

In general, Democrats may have numbers, but those voters are just as likely to skip the upcoming midterm elections. When you add in concerns about Ebola and the economy, there’s even more reason to believe they are less motivated to vote. In contrast, Republicans and a large segment of independent voters are far more motivated.

The Democratic Party depends on voting blocs of less educated, less wealthy, more knee-jerk voters than the Republican Party, and thanks to a liberal news media the GOP has problems getting out its message and responding to the lies the Democratic Party incessantly repeat.

Even so, political pundits are predicting that the midterm elections will sweep Democrats from office and defeat their candidates. That’s the good news.
Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs". He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: Democrat Voters, 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!

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