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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
Monday, January 26, 2015
Chopping Down Our Own
Bill Smith, Editor:Thank goodness someone has finally said it! The following Op-Ed by Jennifer Jacques addresses the "ripping apart" that is occurring within the "Conservative Movement." Anger over the onslaught of progressive programs is understandable. And, it is difficult for many individuals who expect everything to be corrected right away. Battles can take years. Progressives have shifted the dynamics that may take years to correct. Also, conservatives are not clones. We come in various packages, shades and beliefs. Lately, in some situations and on some topics, it looks like feeding frenzy by piranha feeding on themselves. And this suits the liberal progressives just fine! When we had the first TEA Party events across the nation, we scared the literal hell out of the establishment. Why, because we were focused one one thing in the midst of many other bad things to come. However, we did not think alike on a myriad of other issues or were even conservative. Today, every conservative / independent demanding obedience to "there way or the highway," is hurting the Retaking of America being fought on many fronts. And for you chuckle headed progressives, big government liberals and globalists, we may stumble but we are not giving up the fight for our families, rights, neighborhoods, communities, states or Nation. Thank you Jennifer Jacques - our side needed a dose of reality.
by Jennifer Jacques, Op-Ed: I've long commented on how the left remains united through thick and thin. They bury their failures, ignore when they make ignorant or false statements, turn a blind eye to scandals, affairs and financial misconduct, even gloss over murders, psychiatric disorders and tax evasion. No matter what blunders they bury, they do it together and they do not waiver in their support of their own. They dig a deep hole, throw in their mistakes, make sure it’s covered and filled in tight, then never speak of it again. It’s like it never even happened.
Now take a look at the right. I’m seeing more and more people on our side fighting openly on social media, even hit pieces against our own. How can we fight together for our cause when we’re so busy focusing on who’s fighting next to us? This person had an affair! That person said something contradictory on Facebook! Posting screenshots, gossiping about what they heard, commenting on what they’re opinion of that person is, bringing up old, insignificant bullshit: blah, blah, blah. My eyes glaze over when I read this bologna on our side from our side and it seriously gives me a headache. Why are we taking our own people out at the kneecaps? I have a few theories, but first: some background on me.
I've only been blogging on the national scene for a year now, but I have always been involved in politics and I've always been a writer. I was really sucked into the political world after I met my husband in 2003. As a private detective, he would listen to talk radio while out on surveillance each day, and come home all fired up over what he had heard. I would sit in the office while he edited video and ran reports, listening to him recount all the crazy things learned in his hours of listening to talk radio while on surveillance. When we started our own agency in 2005, I also became a State Licensed Private Detective, then spent my own time in the back of the van; watching my subjects for hours on end while absorbing the news from my favorite radio hosts like Sykes, Belling, Hannity and Savage. In time, I actually surpassed him and by the 2008 elections, knew more about the political landscape, taking my turn at filling him in every night on my news of the day.
It was actually fun! I ate up all the day's political news, found my favorite political pundits to follow, and started to share my own take on things via Facebook and Twitter. It was great; connecting with like minded people and actually being heard. Spreading information to people who may have been checked out of politics. Really being involved and feeling like I was making a change in this country I love so much was amazing. I worked on campaigns, was on TV, radio and even in the newspaper a few times. Being involved felt fantastic.
These days, it’s emotionally exhausting to be in the fight on the right. I constantly feel like I'm stepping through a minefield, never knowing which retweet or ‘like’ I give an article or author will piss someone off. It's very draining to constantly be pushing back against the progressive agenda of the left. However, the fact that I also need to put effort into carefully selecting who I associate with in that fight on the right is completely absurd.
If you guys want to keep writing in your Burn Book like a gaggle of high school Mean Girls, go right ahead – I want no part of it. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of people I sincerely respect and genuinely like in this business. I’ve also met a few that I simply do not agree with, our personalities clash or with whom I do not wish to be associated with. I simply choose to interact with those I like and ignore those I don’t. Why, you may ask? Well, because like it or not, we don’t exactly have the luxury of choosing who we are in this fight with. If you need evidence of that, then look at the last presidential election. The midterms were great, but did anyone else notice that for a brief moment, we were all focused on the task at hand, not the other people on our side?
I’ll tell you what I tell my kids: It is it what it is. There are good and bad in every party. If you think someone on our side needs to be weeded out, either weed them out quietly or let them wither or thrive on their own. Trust me, I know it happens and I know it’s hard; I had a less than pleasant experience with someone on our side this past year but instead of running around telling everyone what happened or spilling the gory details I knew about what they had done, instead of publishing it and posting screenshots or forwarding emails: I just shut up. Airing someone else’s dirty laundry says more about you than it does about them. Eventually, they will either expose themselves to more people by continuing that behavior, or they get it together and continue to fight for the cause. …and right now, we need every able bodied man, woman, and child we can get to stand with us.
With the main stream media in the tank for the progressives and the united sycophants on the left, we have enough to deal without creating enemies within. I’m not saying we should turn a blind eye to bad behavior either; part of the reason I love the right is that we do hold ourselves to a higher standard, but I think we can all agree that it needs to be done in a way that doesn't give the left the impression that we aren't united in our fight. Keep it civil. Stay united. Fight nice. Let the weeds choke themselves out, I promise they will – just please don’t go all Joan Crawford in the garden at midnight.
----------------- Jennifer Jacques is a conservative blogger and blogs at Guns and Curves. Tags:conservatives, chopping down our own, Jennifer Jacques, Guns and CurvesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The last 100 years can safely be placed into the following eras. World War I (1914-1918), Interwar (1918-1939), World War II (1939-1945), the Cold War (1945-1991), and the present epoch, the Age of Islamic Terror (1991-present). Certainly there were Muslim-inspired terror acts before 1991, such as the assassination of Anwar Sadat ten years earlier by an Islamist. But the Cold War was the driving international political force then.
Now Islamic terror and the rest of the world’s response to it is the global impetus of change, for good or for ill.
And what has happened since 1991? Some of the atrocities include the first World Trade Center attack, Osama bin Laden’s two jihad fatwas, al Qaeda’s African embassy bombings and its bombing of the USS Cole, 9/11, the 2002 Bali bombings, the 3/11 bombings in Madrid, Hamas’ takeover of Gaza, Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapon, the 7/7 bombings in London, Hezbollah’s war with Israel, the 2008 Mumbai attacks, Fort Hood, thousands of sectarian murders in Iraq and Pakistan, the Boston Marathon bombings, the rise of Boko Haram in Nigeria, Benghazi, the ascent of the Islamic State in Syria and northern Iraq, and this month’s Charlie Hebdo slaughter in Paris. This rundown reads like a listing of the theaters of conflict during the Second World War.
Sometimes radical Islamists attacks other Muslims, such as last week’s removal from office of the president of Yemen by Iranian-backed Shi’ites.
For the most part world leaders ignore or obfuscate the reality that they are living in the Age of Islamic Terror. resident Obama regularly refers to Islamic terror as “violent extremism,” a term that is broad enough to include gang-bang murders on Chicago’s South Side. Great Britain’s prime minister, David Cameron, says his nation is not at war with radical Islam, countering it’s “just a huge challenge our society faces.” But the war is there. Just as the sun is there as well–even if we don’t point a telescope at it.
------------- John Ruberry is an Illinois conservative who writes at and for numerous other publications. This article was also shared by the . Tags:Age of Islamic Terror, 1991 to Present, John RuberryTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski Delivers Weekly Republican Address On Keystone Pipeline Jobs Bill
It’s time we embrace the opportunities before us. Republicans have a positive agenda that will help create jobs, keep energy affordable, and increase our security. Over the next two years, it is our hope that President Obama will be a partner in our efforts, and that he will start by finally approving the Keystone XL pipeline.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the Weekly Republican Address, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska says the world is watching to see whether the United States is willing to lead as a global energy superpower. Murkowski, chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, says she believes America is ready for that role and our leadership can start by passing legislation approving construction of the bipartisan Keystone XL Pipeline and President Obama signing the bill into law. “After more than 2,300 days of presidential indecision, it’s important for us to act,” Murkowski says. Alaska’s senior senator adds, “This important infrastructure project will support thousands of jobs. It will carry both American and Canadian oil, in the safest manner available to us, and help keep energy affordable for American families.”Video and transcript below:
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Full transcript of the address follows:“Hello. I’m Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. This past week, President Obama, in his State of the Union address, laid out his plans for America. And as part of his speech, he called on Congress to pass an infrastructure bill that will create jobs and make our nation stronger for decades to come.
“I welcomed that message, and the fact is, we’ve already started. For over two weeks now, the Senate has been working hard on a bipartisan bill to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. This important infrastructure project will support thousands of jobs. It would carry both American and Canadian oil, in the cleanest and safest way, and help keep energy affordable for American families.
“After more than 2,300 days of presidential indecision, it’s important for us to act. The world is watching to see whether the United States is willing to lead as a global energy superpower that respects its neighbors, trades with its allies, and builds needed infrastructure. I believe we are ready for that role – and our leadership can start with the approval of Keystone XL.
“The new Republican congress you elected has only been in office a few weeks now, but already we’ve made important strides towards making congress function again and getting Washington back to work. We’re fulfilling the promises made in the recent elections, and considering legislation in an open and a transparent manner where both Republicans and Democrats can offer their ideas.
“Now, here’s an interesting fact: more amendments were voted on in the Senate just this past week, than were voted on during all of 2014. Our approach to this energy infrastructure bill is one that allows members from both parties – and every state – the chance to have their voices heard.
“Once Congress approves the Keystone XL pipeline with bipartisan support, we will have an opportunity to put forth additional energy solutions that will grow our economy and help hardworking Americans.
“We are focusing on energy because it is vital to our prosperity, and a strategic asset that we can use to assist our allies and trading partners. It is in our interest to continue making our energy abundant, affordable, clean, diverse, and secure. And I am confident we can reach those goals by strengthening our supply, modernizing our infrastructure, supporting energy efficiency, and ensuring federal accountability.
“As Chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I will do my best to ensure the Senate approves broad energy legislation this year. The last time that happened was in 2007. That was a time of scarcity, but America is now producing more energy than ever before. We've seen firsthand that American supply matters to global prices – and the only question now is whether we’re going to take the steps necessary to keep energy affordable.
“We can start by looking to Alaska, where we have tremendous amounts of oil just waiting to be produced. We have prolific resources in our National Petroleum Reserve and offshore. If we also unlock just a fraction of the non-wilderness portion of ANWR, we could bring about a huge range of economic benefits. Some may consider this controversial, but it really is not. Even the head of the Alaska Democratic Party wrote a piece this week, urged that it be opened. It’s time we embrace the opportunities before us.
“Republicans have a positive agenda that will help create jobs, keep energy affordable, and increase our security. Over the next two years, it is our hope that President Obama will be a partner in our efforts, and that he will start by finally approving the Keystone XL pipeline.
“Thank you for listening.”Tags:Senator, Lisa Murkowski, Alaska, weekly Republican address, Keystone Pipeline, Jobs Bill. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Education is Too Important Not to Leave to the Marketplace #SchoolChoice
by Dr. Ron Paul: This week, events around the country will highlight the importance of parental control of education as part of National School Choice Week. This year’s events should attract more attention than prior years because of the growing rebellion against centralized education sparked by the federal Common Core curriculum.
The movement against Common Core has the potential to change American education. However, anti-Common Core activists must not be misled by politicians promoting “reforms” of the federal education bureaucracy, or legislation ending Common Core while leaving all other federal education programs intact. The only way to protect American children from future Common Core-like programs is to permanently padlock the Department of Education.
Federal programs providing taxpayer funds to public schools give politicians and bureaucrats leverage to impose federal mandates on schools. So as long as federal education programs exist, school children will be used as guinea pigs for federal bureaucrats who think they are capable of creating a curriculum suitable for every child in the country.
Supporters of federal education mandates say they are necessary to hold schools “accountable.” Of course schools should be accountable, but accountable to whom?
Several studies, as well as common sense, show that greater parental control of education improves education quality. In contrast, bureaucratic control of education lowers education quality. Therefore, the key to improving education is to make schools accountable to parents, not bureaucrats.
The key to restoring parental control is giving parents control of the education dollar. If parents control the education dollar, school officials will strive to meet the parents’ demand that their children receive a quality education. If the federal government controls the education dollar, schools will bow to the demands of Congress and the Department of Education.
So if Congress was serious about improving education it would shut down the Department of Education. It would also shut down all other unconstitutional bureaucracies, end our interventionist foreign policy, and reform monetary policy so parents would have the resources to provide their children with an education that fits their children’s unique needs. Federal and state lawmakers must also repeal any laws that limit the education alternatives parents can choose for their children. The greater the options parents have and the greater the amount of control they exercise over education, the stronger the education system.
These reforms would allow more parents access to education options such as private or religious schools, and also homeschooling. It would also expand the already growing market in homeschooling curriculums. I know a great deal about the homeschooling curriculum market, as I have my own homeschooling curriculum. The Ron Paul Curriculum provides students with a rigorous program of study in history, economics, mathematics, and the physical and natural sciences. It also provides intensive writing instruction and an opportunity for students to operate their own Internet businesses. Of course, my curriculum provides students with an introduction to the ideas of liberty, including Austrian economics. However, we do not sacrifice education quality for ideological indoctrination.
It is no coincidence that as the federal role in education has increased the quality of our education system has declined. Any “reforms” to federal education programs will not fix the fundamental flaw in the centralized model of education. The only way to improve education is to shut down the Department of Education and restore control of education to those with the greatest ability and incentive to choose the type of education that best meets the needs of American children — American parents.
For information about the Ron Paul Curriculum go to ronpaulcurriculum.com.
-------------- Dr. Ron Paul, Chairman of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, is a former U.S.Congressman (R-TX) for 21 years. He twice sought the Republican Party presidential nomination for President. As a MD, he was an Air Force flight surgeon and has delivered over 4000 babies. Paul is an active writer on political and economic theory. Tags:Ron Paul, National School Choice Week, school Choice, Common Core, Federal programs, taxpayer funds,public schools, give parents control, education dollarTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR): The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) estimates 22 veterans commit suicide every day. This trend is tragic and unacceptable. It is our responsibility to provide the necessary, life-saving mental health resources for the men and women who honorably wear our nation’s uniform in defense of our freedoms. As a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, my colleagues and I are working to fully understand the scope of mental illness in our veteran community. One thing is clear; VA lacks the personnel, services and proper tools to help veterans facing mental illness struggles.
In testimony before the VA Committee last year, Susan Selke shared the story of her son’s struggle with mental illness including obstacles he encountered to getting VA treatment. Her son, Marine Corps veteran Clay Hunt who earned a Purple Heart in Iraq, committed suicide in 2011.
Congress has an opportunity to deliver help to veterans living with mental illness. This can be accomplished by honoring the memory of Hunt and other veterans whose struggle with mental illness by supporting The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act.
This legislation would improve mental health care and suicide prevention resources for veterans by increasing access to mental health programs, providing incentives to recruit and retain psychiatrists to treat veterans and enhancing resources for members of the military transitioning to civilian life. In addition to providing increased access, the legislation also requires VA to evaluate its mental health programs using metrics common to mental health practitioners in order to determine which programs are successful and which are not. This will help VA more efficiently use the taxpayer funding it receives to support the programs most beneficial to our veterans.
There are also a number of non-profit mental health organizations that are doing great work for our veterans but have struggled to gain the cooperation of VA in their efforts because of outdated laws. That will no longer be the case. This legislation gives the VA Secretary authority to cooperate and share resources with non-profit mental health organizations working to prevent veteran suicides.
Our veterans should never face an uphill battle to get the care they earned. On Wednesday, the Senate VA Committee met for the first order of business in the 114th Congress – approving this bill with a bipartisan vote of 15-0. Our veterans deserve this care. That’s why I cosponsored this legislation. The House approved this bill last week and I’m confident the Senate will follow its lead. It is my hope that Congress will reaffirm its commitment to our veterans by having the Clay Hunt SAV Act be the first piece of legislation that we send to the President for his signature and enactment into law. Tags:veterans, suicide, invisible wounds, wounds of war, Veteran Affairs, The Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans (SAV) Act, John Boozman, Senator, ArkansasTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, President Obama, I built that, taking credit, low gas pricesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obama Administration Setting Dangerous Precedents on Every Front
by Newt Gingrich: For an administration that is in many areas the most incompetently managed in recent history, the Obama White House has been stunningly effective at one thing: using the bureaucracy to impose its political priorities, regardless of public opinion or Congressional approval.
In November, the President announced a major revision of immigration policy without Congress’s approval. The Department of Homeland Security is began hiring, illegally, more than 1,000 new bureaucrats to process applications for a waiver program that suspends immigration law for more than five million people.
Americans recognize the fundamental challenge these “executive actions” pose to the Constitutional balance of power. A large majority–68 percent, according to a recent Fox News poll – worry that “Obama’s use of executive orders and unilateral actions may be ‘permanently altering’ our country’s system of checks and balances.”
The immigration actions were only the most brazen of the legal contortions the Obama administration has performed to impose its preferred outcomes by bureaucratic overreach.
When the President reached an agreement with China to cut U.S. carbon emissions dramatically (a target that would require major domestic policy changes), he announced he has no plan to submit the agreement to Congress. Instead, the administration justifies rewriting environmental regulations by citing the official-sounding “Climate Action Plan,” which, like the immigration policy, is nothing more than a presidential speech.
President Obama nullified the 1996 welfare reform law’s work requirement by announcing HHS will grant waivers to states that don’t want to enforce it–waivers which the law gives the President no authority to grant and states no authority to implement.
The administration paid $178 billion to insurance companies to compensate them for higher-than-expected costs under Obamacare. As the House of Representatives’ lawsuit against the President points out, the law does not, in fact, give the administration the authority to transfer that money. But the bureaucrats did it anyway.
Perhaps the administration’s most ingenious maneuver–and among the most dangerous precedents–has been “Operation Choke Point,” in which officials at the Justice Department, FDIC and CFPB collaborate in an effort to put law-abiding American companies out of business.
They do so by pressuring banks and payment processors to deny service to entire categories of perfectly legal businesses–effectively crippling those industries’ ability to function. A 2011 document from the FDIC names 30 industries of focus, including “ammunition sales,” “firearms sales,” “pay day loans,” “coin dealers,” “online gambling,” “tobacco sales,” “racist materials,” “pornography,” and “telemarketing,” among others. Banks have been telling legal businesses in these industries that they can no longer serve them because federal regulators have threatened to hold banks liable for the businesses’ activities.
A report published last month by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee found that in many cases, regulators targeted these legal industries out of “personal animus,” and “effectively ordered banks to terminate all relationships” with an industry that senior officials said in emails they “literally cannot stand.”
The United States Consumer Coalition, which advocates for consumer freedom to choose, published audio recordings this month from Mike Schuetz, who sells guns and ammunition in Wisconsin. Schuetz recorded employees of his credit union explaining to him how federal regulators had encouraged the credit union to terminate his account.
As Breitbart reports:“Examiners…came in and looked at our accounts…looked at our books,” one official of Heritage Credit Union is heard telling Schuetz on one of the tapes. “Here’s some accounts that we feel that we’re going to regulate you on…and kinda put the screws to us as far as what we could and couldn't do. The regulatory and compliance issues that we said earlier are true. We never used to have to do that stuff…and our hands are tied by it.”
Other audio recordings are equally chilling. “You wouldn’t believe the regulations we have and when they came in and nailed us on that [accounts] there were about a dozen of them crawling around the building,” a Heritage Credit Union official is heard on the tapes telling Schuetz.This is a sign of an administration that has figured out how to do whatever it wants, whether Congress approves or not.
Thankfully, Congressman Sean Duffy, who chairs the Oversight subcommittee the House Financial Services Committee, has announced he is committed to holding hearings on Choke Point in the new Congress.
They are urgently needed. On every front, the Obama administration is pushing the limits of its authority, enforcing change by bureaucratic overreach.
These are dangerous precedents, extending executive power in ways difficult to reverse, at the expense of Congress’s constitutional authority. The 68 percent of Americans who worry that the President is permanently altering the balance of power are right to be concerned, and their representatives should be, too. The new Congress has a mandate to reclaim its rightful authorities from an executive branch that is out of control. It should take the opportunity.
---------------- Newt Gingrich is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. The above commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions. Tags:Newt Gingrich, Obama administration, executive actions, presidential speech, dangerous presidents, waivers, Operation Choke Point, Climate Action Plan, extending executive ordersTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Can anyone remember how awful the U.S. healthcare free market system was that it needed to be replaced by the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare? Can’t remember? That’s because it was ranked one of the best of the world and represented 17.9% of the nation’s economy in 2014. That’s down from the 20% it represented in 2009 when ObamaCare was foisted on Americans.
One of the best ways to follow the ObamaCare story is via Health Care News, a monthly newspaper published by The Heartland Institute. The January issue begins with an article by Sean Parnell, the managing editor, reporting that ObamaCare enrollment is overstated by 400,000.
“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) once again lowered its estimate of the number of Americans enrolled in health plans through government exchanges in 2014. The 6.7 million enrollees who remain are far lower than the eight million touted in May at the end of the last open-enrollment period.”
ObamaCare has been a lie from the moment it was introduced for a vote, all 2,700 pages of it, to the present day. Everything President Obama said about it was a lie. As to its present enrollments, they keep dropping because some 900,000 who did sign up did not make the first premium payment or later stopped paying.
Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies as the Cato Institute, said the dropout rate is a troubling trend. “It means that potentially hundreds of thousands of Exchange enrollees are realizing they are better off waiting until they get sick to purchase coverage. If enough people come to that conclusion, the exchanges collapse.”
Elsewhere in this month’s edition, there is an article, “States Struggle to Fund Exchanges”, that reports on the difficulties that “states are experiencing difficulty in paying the ongoing costs of the exchanges, especially small states. “’The feds are asking us to do their jobs for them. We get saddled with the operating costs,’ said Edmund Haislmaier, senior research fellow for health care policy studies at The Heritage Foundation.” Some are imposing a two percent tax on the insurance companies which, of course, gets passed along to the consumer. Even so, the exchanges are not generating enough income to be maintained.
Why would anyone want ObamaCare insurance when its rates keep rising dramatically? In Nebraska the rates have nearly doubled and another article notes that “A 2014 study finds large numbers of doctors are declining to participate in health plans offered through exchanges under the Affordable Care Act, raising questions about whether people buying insurance through exchanges will be able to access health care in a timely manner.” One reason physicians gave was that they would have to hire additional staff “just to manage the insurance verification process.”
Dr. Kris Held, a Texas eye surgeon, said ObamaCare “fails to provide affordable health insurance and fails to provide access to actual medical care to more people, but succeeds in compounding existing health care costs and accessibility problems and creating new ones.”
Health Care News reports what few other news outlets have noted. “In Section 227 of the recently enacted ‘Cromnibus’ spending measure, Congress added critical but little-noticed language that prohibits the use of funds appropriated to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to pay for insurance company bailouts.” William Todd, an Ohio attorney, further noted that “Congress did not appropriate any separate funding for ‘bailouts.’” Todd predicted that “some insurers are likely to raise premiums to avoid losses, or they will simply stop offering policies on the exchanges altogether.”
The picture of ObamaCare failure emerging from these excerpts is a very true one. Its momentum, in fact, is gaining.
In mid-December, the Wall Street Journal opined that “With the Supreme Court due to rule on a major ObamaCare legal challenge by next summer, thoughts in Washington are turning to the practical and political response. If the Court does strike down insurance subsidies, the question for Republicans running Congress is whether they will try to fix the problems Democrats created, or merely allow ObamaCare damage to grow.”
“King v. Burwell will be heard in March with a ruling likely in June. “Of the 5.4 million consumers on federal exchanges, some 87% drew subsidies in 2014, according to a Rand Corporation analysis.”
The Wall Street Journal recommended that “The immediate Republican goal should be to make insurance cheaper so people need less of a subsidy to obtain insurance. This means deregulating the exchanges, plank by plank. Devolve to states their traditional insurance oversight role, and allow them to enter into cross-border compacts to increase choice and competition. Allow insurers to sell any configuration of benefits to anyone, anywhere, and the private market will gradually heal.”
Or, to put it another way, eliminate ObamaCare entirely and return to the healthcare insurance system that had served Americans well until the White House decided that socialism was superior to capitalism.
The problem with the Affordable Care Act is that the cost of the insurance sold under the Act is not affordable and ObamaCare is actually causing hospitals and clinics to close their doors, thus reducing healthcare services for those who need them.
ObamaCare must go. If the Republicans in Congress did nothing more than repeal ObamaCare, the outcome of the 2016 election would be a predictable win no matter who their candidate will be. If not repeal, some separate actions must be taken such as eliminating the tax on medical instruments.
If the Republican Congress fails to take swift and deliberate action on ObamaCare between now and the 2016 elections, they will have defeated themselves.
----------------- 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:Obamacare, must go, Alan Caruba, warning signsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Sandy Hook Commission Gun Ban Ignores Constitution
Investment Business Daily Editorial: Second Amendment: The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, formed in the wake of the school shooting tragedy in the Connecticut town, wants restrictive gun laws that do nothing and are in fact unconstitutional.
At Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, 2012, 27-year-old teacher Victoria Soto bravely hid students in a restroom or closet, then died trying to protect them from shooter Adam Lanza. If she, the principal or any of the other adults in the school had access to a firearm, things might have turned out differently. As it was, 20 students and six teachers were killed that day.
The lesson of the folly of gun-free zones, where only predators are armed as they hunt down their victims, is one that repeatedly is lost on gun-control advocates. They simply ignore the lives saved when armed citizens can fire back in self-defense. From Virginia Tech to a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., to the school in Newtown, mass shootings are often in venues declaring themselves gun-free zones.
Before the Newtown shooting, a gunman walked into a shopping mall on Dec. 11, 2012, in Clackamas, Ore., with the intention of killing as many as possible. He managed to kill two before being confronted by Nick Meli, an armed citizen with a concealed-carry permit who refused to be a victim. Meli prevented another mass tragedy and saved countless lives.
Gun-control advocates conveniently forget that the Aurora shooter had a choice of seven movie theaters within a 20-mile drive of his home that were showing the "Batman" movie he was obsessed with. The Cinemark Theater he chose wasn't the closest, but it was the only one that banned customers from carrying their guns inside, otherwise allowed under Colorado law.
Undaunted by such evidence that guns save lives, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission agreed Friday to include in its final report a recommendation that the state ban the sale and possession of any gun that can fire more than 10 rounds without reloading, notwithstanding the fact that the Second Amendment does not come with an asterisk.
How this would have prevented the tragedy at Sandy Hook was not exactly explained by the commission. Limiting the size of gun magazines is not effective, since a predator who has already decided to break the law and kill will either disregard that law as well, or simply carry more clips.
Nor was it explained how this would pass constitutional muster. But commission members did not care.
"Whether or not this law would stand the test of constitutionality is not for this commission to decide," said former Hartford Police Chief Bernard Sullivan. "The commission has expressed very strongly that this is a statement that is needed regarding the lethality of weapons."
This gun ban and magazine restrictions would be on top of a 2013 Connecticut law that prohibits guns defined as "assault weapons" based largely on how scary their appearance is, and ammunition magazines defined as "large capacity" even though the guns fire only a single time with each trigger pull.
Connecticut, ironically also known as the "Constitution State," is shredding the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Criminals do not register their weapons and people willing to commit murder are not deterred by gun-registration requirements or magazine limitations.
The answer to mass shootings is not found in assault-weapons bans or bureaucratic paperwork. Nor is it built on laws that make felons out of otherwise law-abiding citizens who are merely trying to exercise their constitutional rights to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families and their Constitution. Tags:Investment Business Daily, editorial, Sandy Hook Commission, gun ban, Constitution, 2nd Amendment, guns save lives To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Bauer's Weekend Review: Global Joke | Jindal Gets It | Radical Islam | The New Persian Empire
by Gary L. Bauer, Contributing Author: A Global Joke - You might think that is a comment about Barack Obama's foreign policy, but it is actually a statement about our immigration policy. There are disturbing reports from Capitol Hill that the so-called border security bill currently being drafted by the House Homeland Security Committee represents a step backwards.
First, The Daily Caller reported that the bill unbelievably reduces the amount of double-layer fencing along the border. Now, Kenneth Palinkas, president of a union representing 12,000 United States Citizenship and Immigration Service officials, is blasting the bill for undermining the enforcement powers of immigration officers. In a letter released yesterday, Palinkas wrote:"H.R. 399 . . . does nothing to preclude anyone in the world from turning themselves in at the U.S. border and obtaining automatic entry and federal benefits. Almost anyone at all can call themselves an asylum-seeker and get in; it's a global joke. . . .
"We admit individuals who have no business being admitted the United States, whether public charges, health risks, or radicalized Islamists, and in large numbers. It is unfair to employees, unfair to taxpayers, and unfair to anyone concerned about immigration security."Jindal Gets It - I noted with interest something Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said yesterday regarding immigration. While discussing our history and current threats, he said the following:"We need to stand up and say, 'If you want to come to America to be Americans, if you want to learn our language and our values, we welcome you here. But you can't come here if you want to overthrow our culture, set up your own communities where you don't abide by the same laws and freedoms we expect for everybody.' . . . If people don't think America is this great country, don't come here. They can stay where they came from."I've written about America being a country in which we let a thousand flowers bloom. But what if there were an imaginary faith that felt black men and women were not people for the purposes of protection under the law. Would anyone say, "Come on in. This is a land that welcomes anyone who believes whatever they want"? Would we want to welcome such a group with open arms?
Let's put aside the Islamist propaganda of our president and the ayatollah for a moment and look at the facts about Islamic countries around the world.
According to one recent report, Muslim-majority nations represent nine of the ten worst violators of religious liberty.
The status of women in Islamic countries is dismal. Two women are currently on trial for driving in Saudi Arabia. They didn't hit anything. They were not intoxicated. Saudi women simply are not permitted to drive cars.
Let's put illegal immigration aside. Why isn't there a serious national debate about whether we should be permitting legal immigration from those who think women should be treated like property, who reject religious pluralism and think you should be put to death if you insult Muhammad?
America's great experiment in ordered liberty under God is not a suicide pact, as one Supreme Court justice famously said about the Constitution. Nothing in our history should require us to knowingly bring into the country those who in many cases appear to reject all of our founding principles.
Radical Islam Must Be Defeated - I know it can be tempting to ignore events beyond our borders. But history has proven the dangers of doing so. That's why I feel compelled to share with you the statements of German journalist Jurgen Todenhofer.
Todenhofer recently spoke with Al Jazeera about his brief time embedded with ISIS fighters in Iraq. Ponder this exchange:Al Jazeera: What was the most difficult discussion or uncomfortable issues?
Todenhofer: . . . As far as our meetings with the ISIL fighters were concerned, the discussions were very hard. I have read the Quran many times in German translation, and I always asked them about the value of mercy in Islam. I didn't see any mercy in their behaviour. Something that I don't understand at all is the enthusiasm in their plan of religious cleansing, planning to kill the non-believers. . . .
"These were very difficult discussions, especially when they were talking about the number of people who they are willing to kill. They were talking about hundreds of millions. They were enthusiastic about it, and I just cannot understand that."There is no negotiating with barbarians like that. And the enemy isn't just ISIS. It's Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Al Qaeda and Shiite mullah's chanting "Death to America! Death to Israel!" Radical Islam -- in all its forms -- must be defeated.
The New Persian Empire -
The death of King Abdullah has put Saudi Arabia in the spotlight. For their part, the Saudis feel like they are in a vice: ISIS is on the march to their north, while Iranian-backed Shiite rebels have seized Yemen to their south. (By the way, the Saudis are building a serious border security fence. Why can't we?)
Charles Krauthammer writes that a new Iranian empire, stretching from Syria to Yemen, is emerging in the Middle East. And pro-American Arab states are looking on in horror as Barack Obama acquiesces not only to Iran's territorial gains but to its nuclear ambitions as well. Tags:Gary L. Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Weekend Review, Global Joke, Jindal Gets It, Radical Islam, The New Persian Empire To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Federal Agencies Stonewall House Committee’s Benghazi Investigation
Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., listens as ranking member
Elijah Cummings, D-Md., speaks during the House Select
Committee on the Events Surrounding the 2012 Terrorist
Attack in Benghazi hearing on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014.
(Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call / Via The Daily Signal)
by Sharyl Attkisson: : Some federal agencies continue to stonewall when it comes to the ongoing investigation into the Benghazi terrorist attacks, according to insiders familiar with the process. They say the House Benghazi Select Committee isn’t getting access to all relevant documents and witnesses.
That will be the topic of the committee’s first public hearing of 2015 called for Tuesday next week.
Most of the committee’s work since a (slightly) bipartisan vote created it May 8, 2014, has quietly focused on the massive task of gathering information. The committee has provided relevant federal agencies a list of several dozen witnesses it wishes to interview.
But Republican staff members are encountering some of the same roadblocks that other committees met as they investigated pieces of the events surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, died in the assaults.
One congressional official noted that some federal agencies, such as the Justice Department, appear to be working to comply with committee requests, engaging in productive negotiations over requested materials and access to witnesses. However, the official says that there are still outstanding issues with the Justice Department, and that other agencies, including the State Department and some in the intelligence community, have not been as cooperative.
The House resolution creating the committee authorized it to investigate all aspects of what happened in Benghazi, as well as looking at how to improve executive branch cooperation with congressional oversight. Tuesday’s hearing is part of the effort to obtain a complete record of the events before, during and after the attacks, on a timely basis.
The committee’s goal is to strike a balance between information and witnesses withheld for legitimate reasons of national or individual security—and the possibility that those reasons may be improperly invoked to prevent the release of information embarrassing or damaging to the Obama administration or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Much of the Benghazi committee’s work will be done in non-public interviews rather than public hearings. Committee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a former prosecutor, has said that format allows members and staff to spend “hours” with a relevant witness rather than having to ask questions in short, restricted bursts under the rules of a public hearing.
Democrats, including Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, praised Gowdy’s measured approach last fall when he agreed to their request to have the first hearing be on their topic of choice: the Accountability Review Board’s recommendations and progress on implementing them.
“I sincerely hope the select committee will stay on the course of constructive reform and keep this goal as our north star,” Cummings said. “It would be a disservice to everyone involved to be lured off this path by partisan politics.”
Cummings did not respond to a request for comment for this article.
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has called the continuing investigation into Benghazi a Republican “witch hunt,” and said there have been more than enough hearings and all questions have been answered.
When asked to comment on the impetus behind next week’s hearing, Gowdy said it would be a “reasonable inference that we would not be having a hearing to compliment [the federal agencies] on the speed with which they have complied with [our] requests.”
What happens if federal agencies simply refuse to provide documents to Congress, as they have done in the past?
It’s not clear there is much Congress can or will do about it.
One official said they could try to get help from Senate Republicans to exert pressure, or could figure out a way to use the federal funding process, which is in the House’s hands, to exert pressure.
Among the many outstanding issues and questions the committee is expected to take on:
1) Interviewing key witnesses who have never yet appeared before any congressional committee.
2) Obtaining the elusive military “after action” report(s) that detail the military response and any issues encountered.
3) Piercing secret processes used by the Accountability Review Board in its investigation into the State Department’s actions.
4) Who was behind the administration’s decision to direct the narrative of the attacks as having been prompted by a YouTube video that caused a protest to spiral into violence?
5) Who wrote the original talking points and who was behind the edits and deletions before they were used by U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice when she appeared on Sunday network talk shows to discuss the attacks?
6) What did Rice know, and from whom, prior to her appearances on the programs?
7) Was there a State Department “document separation” operation designed to withhold embarrassing documents, as former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Raymond Maxwell alleges? If so, who was behind it?
8) What role did presidential adviser Ben Rhodes and former Deputy CIA Director Mike Morell play in the talking points and narrative?
9) What light can former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus shed on the events?
-------------- Sharyl Attkisson, an Emmy award-winning investigative journalist, is a senior independent contributor to The Daily Signal. She is the author of the book, "Stonewalled." Learn more at SharylAttkisson.com and follow her (@SharylAttkisson). Tags:House Benghazi Select Committee, Benghazi, investigation, stonewalled, Federal agencies, Sharyl Attkisson, The Daily SignalTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:King Obama, Kindom good, SOTU, Not so good, editorial cartoon, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The Senate will reconvene at 4:30 PM on Monday. At 5:30 PM, there will be a vote on cloture on the Murkowski substitute amendment, as amended, to S.1, the bill to authorize construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Last night, the Senate voted on 15 more amendments to the Keystone bill.That is the same number of votes on amendments Democrats allowed in the entire year of 2014. The Senate Senators voted:
55-44 to reject an amendment from Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) expressing the sense of Congress on public land designations,
54-45 to reject an amendment from Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) limiting the designation of new protected public lands,
53-46 to table (kill) an amendment from Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) expressing the sense of Congress that climate change is real and caused by human activities,
56-42 to table (kill) an amendment from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), expressing the sense of Congress that climate change is real and caused by human activities and calling for a transition to renewable energy,
51-47 to reject an amendment from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) speeding the process of issuing drilling permits,
75-23 to adopt an amendment from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) expressing the sense of the Senate that the law should be modified so that oil sands should be subject to an excise tax funding the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund,
50-47 to reject an amendment from Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) classifying oil sands as crude oil in order to subject them to the excise tax,
51-46 to reject an amendment from Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) expressing the sense of the Senate that the greenhouse gas emissions agreement with the Obama administration announced with China has no force and effect. Americans for Limited Government had supported this amendment (additional info at the end of this article).
64-33 to adopt an amendment from Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) clarifying that any eminent domain activities around the Keystone XL pipeline must be consistent with the requirements of the Constitution,
43-54 to reject an amendment from Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) prohibiting the use of eminent domain for the construction of the pipeline,
53-42 to table (kill) an amendment from Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) delaying the construction of the pipeline until oil sands are treated as crude oil for excise tax purposes,
57-38 to table (kill) an amendment from Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) to impose a fee of 8 cents per barrel on oil transported through the Keystone XL pipeline,
52-43 to table (kill) an amendment from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) requiring new campaign finance disclosures for people receiving revenues in relation to oil sands development,
53-41 to table (kill) an amendment from Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT) removing a provision giving original judicial review of civil actions relating to the pipeline to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals,
49-45 to table (kill) an amendment from Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) expressing the sense of the Senate that the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) should be funded at least $4.7 billion per year.
Next week, then, Americans will finally get to see if all the Democrat senators who have previously voted for and vocalized their support for this shovel-ready job-creating infrastructure project will vote for it when it counts and send the bill to the president’s desk.
Then President Obama will have the opportunity to follow through on his constant exhortations to send him bills creating jobs and supporting American infrastructure. Unfortunately, the list of veto treats emanating from the White House is growing almost daily, among them the Keystone XL pipeline bill.
As Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Keystone has support in both parties. It’s an important piece of infrastructure for our country. And, according to what the Obama Administration’s own State Department has said previously, constructing the pipeline would support thousands of jobs. It’s already passed the House. We’re currently working to pass it through the Senate. It will be on the president’s desk before long. We see no reason for him to veto these jobs.”
Yesterday, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning had urged passage of the Blunt-Inhofe amendment against the
China climate deal:He said, "President Obama's China climate
change deal puts the United States economy and our workers at a competitive
disadvantage and the Senate is urged to pass a sense of the Senate resolution
opposing its implementation without having gone through the full ratification
"American workers continue to be hurt
by President Obama's extremist environmental policies with stagnant wages and
lost job growth opportunities. Obama's
China deal would further escalate the cost of electricity stunting the
rebuilding our nation's manufacturing base.The Senate must stand up for
America's workforce by making it clear that the President's China climate deal
should not be implemented."
New U.S. Senate Holds More Amendment Roll Call Votes In One Week Than
Total Held Last Year; And Even Democrats Are Praising The Change
SEN. MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY):“We’ve actually reached a milestone here that I think's noteworthy for the Senate. We just cast our fifteenth roll call vote on an amendment on this bill, which is more roll call votes on amendments than the entire United States Senate in all of 2014. … This is the way the Senate ought to work.” (Sen. McConnell, Floor Remarks, 1/22/15)
Dems Are ‘Very Excited,’ Praise ‘Healthy Environment On The Floor’
SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “I welcome what Senator McConnell, our new majority leader, has envisioned as a more active floor in the Senate where we … bring amendments to the floor, debate them, vote on them, and ultimately pass legislation.That is the procedure of the Senate which historically had been honored but fell, sadly, into disrepair over the last several years.”(Sen. Durbin, Congressional Record, S.29, 1/7/15)
DURBIN: “I think that we are in a healthy environment on the floor of the Senate where we are pursuing amendments and active debate, and it is great to see that happening… I commend not only the leadership on the majority side but I commend my colleagues too.” (Sen. Durbin, Floor Remarks, 1/22/15)
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-WV): “I am very excited about the process, the open amendment process. … This presents an incredibly valuable opportunity to accomplish some of our Democratic priorities...” (Sen. Manchin, Congressional Record, S.162, 1/13/15)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (I-VT): “I thank Senator Murkowski and Senator Cantwell for working on a sensible process.”(Sen. Sanders, S.329, 1/21/15) Tags:U.S. Senate, new era, votes on the floor, more votes, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Legislatures Should Curb Judicial Supremacy Over Marriage
by Phyllis Schlafly: It’s Roe v. Wade all over again, as the Supreme Court is poised to invent a new right to same-sex marriage found nowhere in the four corners of the Constitution. Fortunately, the Founders gave us checks and balances against this overreaching in power.
The Framers understood the tendency of a branch of government to expand, and they empowered both Congress and the States with the legislative tools necessary to avert the encroachment. A branch of government will transgress its boundaries until the other branches exercise their authority to restrain the breach.
When the Supreme Court ruled that the State of Georgia should give land back to an Indian tribe, President Andrew Jackson reportedly responded by saying, Chief Justice “John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.” Both Georgia and Jackson then ignored and declined to enforce that act of judicial supremacy.
President Abraham Lincoln, himself an esteemed attorney, reacted similarly when the Court subsequently overstepped its bounds in the Dred Scott case. He rejected submission to “that eminent tribunal.”
It is the duty of legislatures to step up and limit the federal judiciary’s expansion of power, particularly on marriage, a matter central to state sovereignty. Both Congress and the States should fulfill their obligations to safeguard the Constitution and the American people against a usurpation in power by the Supreme Court over marriage.
Congress should enact laws denying funding and withholding jurisdiction from enforcement of any redefinition of marriage by the federal judiciary. Congress has repeatedly withdrawn power from the federal courts over many other topics, ranging from Medicare reimbursement to the clearing of underbrush in South Dakota, and marriage is certainly no less important an issue.
On the Second Amendment, Congress passed and President Clinton signed the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” which abruptly shut down pending litigation against gun manufacturers for crimes committed with guns. That legislation properly ended judicial activism against guns.
On the Establishment Clause, President Clinton signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2001, which had passed by unanimous consent, including a provision to deny funding for the enforcement of an order to remove a Cross from public land. Courts do not enforce their own orders, and the withholding of funding to enforce overreaching federal orders is a proper curb on judicial supremacy.
Congress should also exercise its special authority under Section Five of the Fourteenth Amendment to clarify that States retain full authority to limit marriage between one man and one woman. Unlike the first ten amendments to the Constitution, which depend on the federal courts for enforcement, the Fourteenth, which contains the equal protection clause relied on by same-sex marriage advocates, gives Congress the power to enforce its provisions against the States.
Republican presidential candidates should make clear that, if elected, they will not allow the executive branch to bully States into adopting same-sex marriage against the will of their residents.
States should act on their own to protect their sovereignty over marriage, without waiting for Congress or the election of a new president. Good bills have already been introduced in South Carolina (H3022) and Texas (HB 623) to ensure that no taxpayer dollars, including official salaries, are spent on same-sex marriages that are prohibited by state law there.
The costs of same-sex marriage include billions in new entitlements, consumption of family court resources, and lawsuits for alleged discrimination. The elected branches of federal and state government, which retain the “power of the purse,” should not have to foot the bill for those costs, and the Constitution ensures that they can cut off the money.
Forty-two years ago this week, a 7-2 majority of the Supreme Court invented a new constitutional right to abortion and many politicians mistakenly thought that settled the issue. But the advantage in the polls formerly enjoyed by the pro-abortion side has completely disappeared.
Moreover, even the Court that had declared a “right” to abortion subsequently held that Congress and the States retain power to cut off money for abortion, and to regulate that dirty business to promote the health of its victims. Likewise, States have full authority to cut off money for the homosexual agenda today.
History may soon repeat itself with a judicial mistake of similar magnitude, but the Constitution allows Congress and the States to counteract it. They should immediately enact laws to “check and balance” this brazen power grab by the judicial supremacists over marriage.
-------------------- Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues. Tags:State, Federal, legislatures, curb, judicial supremacy, marriage,Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle ForumTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: For decades conservatives have advocated scaling back the role of the federal government in transportation, yet the federal gas tax that was supposed to end in 1969 is still hanging around 46 years later. Fortunately, there is a feature of the current law that gives states the the upper hand, and they should seize the opportunity to act.
Most of the federal gas tax is temporary, set to automatically expire. If Congress simply does nothing, the tax will automatically drop from 18.3 cents per gallon on September 30, 2016 to just 4.3 cents the next day and thereafter. (The permanent 4.3 cent tax is Al Gore’s crowning achievement: a vestige of Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax hike that was – try not to laugh – supposed to be dedicated to deficit reduction.)
To allow that date to come and go as scheduled, each state should pass a pick-up law that would take effect if and only if the temporary portion of the federal gas tax lapses. The pick-up law would replace the lapsed 14 cent federal tax with a lower state gas tax of 8 to 10 cents. Freed of all the strings that come with running money through Washington – most infamously the Davis-Bacon requirements that inflate construction costs – states could easily deliver more while motorists receive a net tax cut.
Momentum would build as more states enacted such laws. There would eventually be a stampede as the expiration date approached and it became apparent that many states, and their congressional delegations, were prepared to let the federal tax expire. Fearing being left out and stuck with no replacement for lost federal gas tax dollars, even the most liberal states might consider pick-up laws as a safeguard.
States and local governments are already responsible for most of the country’s transportation spending.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, in 2013 governments at all levels spent a staggering $156 billion on highways and another $60 billion on mass transit. Federal funding was only a quarter of the total. But it comes with all kinds of insidious strings attached to reward union bosses and empower federal bureaucrats, radical environmentalists, and even the nanny-staters who gave us the national 55 miles-per-hour speed limit and 21 year-old drinking age.
The Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 established the Highway Trust Fund to dedicate federal gas taxes exclusively to the construction of the Interstate Highway System, which the Eisenhower administration consideration a federal responsibility for national defense reasons. The system was supposed to be completed by 1969, at which time the gas tax was supposed to sunset.
It didn’t happen. Instead, the tax was hiked repeatedly, with funds diverted to mass transit starting in 1983. Since the passage of the 1991 bill, funds raised from motorists at the pump have been diverted to bicycle paths, scenic landscape designs, pedestrian walkways, parking garages, and almost any non-highway project you can imagine.
Republicans lost Congress in 2006 in large part because they had elevated wasting federal gas tax dollars to an art form with embarrassing pet projects and earmarks including the infamous Bridge to Nowhere.
Of course, states can and do waste taxpayer dollars too. But running the taxes you pay at the pump through a vast political apparatus and massive bureaucracy in Washington before it returns to the states can only make things worse.
Fortunately, the bulk of the federal gas tax is set to expire. If states seize the initiative and pass pick-up laws, Congress can achieve a major policy victory simply by doing what it’s best at: nothing.
------------------ Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment. Follow him at (@kerpen) and on Facebook. He is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service. Tags:States, force, Federal Gas Tax, cut, Phil Kerpen, American CommitmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:editorial cartoon, AF Branco, President Obama, O-FLATE-GATE, SOTU, State of the Union, inflating job performanceTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Over the course of its history the Supreme Court has made some very bad decisions and the decision to declare abortion legal ranks high among them. On January 22, 1973, in Roe v. Wade the Court interpreted the due process clause of the 14th Amendment to extend a right of privacy to a woman’s decision to have an abortion prior to the third trimester of pregnancy.
There have been 57.5 million abortions since 1973—42 years—when the decision became the law of the land. In all the wars America has fought, going back to the Revolution, the total of those killed in combat as of September 2014 was 1,343,812.
The casualties of the Supreme Court’s decision about unborn Americans reveal the wide gap between the morality, as opposed to the legality, of the Court’s decision.
Now the Court has taken on cases that will determine the legality of same-sex marriage and here again the morality of sanctioning this definition of marriage is a world apart from the morality of marriage occurring exclusively between a man and woman as has been the norm since the earliest history of mankind.
Marriage has always been understood as the critical cornerstone of a healthy functioning society. It has always been understood that children raised by a mother and father are a benefit to society while those deprived of this union are frequently subject to problems of one sort or another.
In the United States, however, many of the traditional morals that served the interest of society have been abandoned since around the middle of the last century. The gap between liberals and conservatives has widened.
One result was recently announced in a Pew Research Center study that found that less than half of all American children now live in a two-parent household with two married heterosexual parents who are, in fact, their own parents.
The Daily Caller reported that “In addition, fully 41% of all American babies are currently born out of wedlock. By way of comparison, in 1960 73% of all American children” lived in a traditional married household.
An earlier Pew Research Center study, announced in August 2013, depicted mothers as the main provider in 40% of American households with children. Jennifer Marshall, Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at the Heritage Foundation, noted that 25% of “households with children under 18 are supported by a single mother.” Their median income was $23,000 and 44% are never-married moms. “More than a third of these single mothers aren’t working at all—meaning they are much more likely to depend on government welfare.”
What all these statistics add up to is a nation in which traditional marriage is under attack while living together unmarried or having children as a single mother have become accepted at an alternative lifestyle.
Now we are being told that America should abandon the concept of legal citizenship and accord it to anyone who crosses the border. This isn’t how an orderly society or sovereign state is defined. It is a definition of anarchy.
As the Supreme Court gets ready to hear the same-sex marriage case, the rest of us are wondering why a tiny minority of society should be granted a right that no society in history has ever imparted.
How small is it? In September 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report that men who have sex with men (gay and bisexual) comprise about 2% of the U.S. population. When you add in lesbians the number moves up to about 3%.
The CDC tracks such things because “In 2010, among persons newly infected with HIV, 63% were men have sex with men (MSM) and among persons living with HIV, 52% were MSM.” According to the CDC, it is contracted primarily through anal sex. Despite federal spending to combat AIDS, between 2008 and 2010 “new infections increased 22% among young (aged 13-24) gay and bisexual men and 13% among gay and bisexual men overall” regardless of age.
So the nation has been experiencing a holocaust of murdered fetuses thanks to the Supreme Court’s ruling and now we are supposed to abandon the ancient definition of marriage to accommodate a tiny minority of those who engage in sex with the same gender. If justification for that can be found in the Constitution, then it can be interpreted in any manner to degrade our society and the nation.
Same-sex marriage is an issue that President Obama said was “America at its best” in his State of the Union speech. Seven years earlier, campaigning to become President, he said that marriage was “a sacred union” and was “between a man and a woman.”
I don’t care that a number of states have already extended a legal status to same-sex marriage. I don’t care that it applies to a very small number of Americans. They can have “civil unions” that resolve any legal issues, but “marriage”? No.
Just as I say no to those who want to strip the practice of religion from any public ceremony or remove the saying of prayer in our schools, I will say no to those who want to remove the moral pillars that have served our society and all societies over the millennia.
We can only hope that enough of the current Supreme Court justices feel that way too.
----------------- 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:Supreme Court, malfeasance, Roe v. Wade, abortions, gay marriage, CDC HIV, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Personal Tweets by the editor: Dr. Bill - OzarkGuru
Married 48yr #Conservative #Constitution #NRALife #GunRights #USAF 22yr #military #veteran #Christian #CCOT #ProLife #TEAParty #GOP #TCOT #SGP #schoolchoice
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