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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] - editor@arranewsservice.com (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)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Canada’s Shale Boom: More To Come In Montney

by James Burgess: In the world of a constantly changing oil and gas environment, the Montney shale basin is the sleeping giant that holds the key to accelerating Canada’s shale oil and gas boom, but the real treasure within this giant is a tight liquids-rich zone (approximately 15-20 miles wide) that has big and small players alike narrowing their focus for the potential of a giant payout.

A pervasive hydrocarbon system in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB) in Alberta and British Columbia, the Montney is estimated to hold 2,200 trillion cubic feet of gas, almost 29 billion barrels of natural gas liquids and over 136 billion barrels of oil. But it is the tight liquids rich fairway (approximately 15-20 miles wide) that contains high concentrations of both free condensate and natural gas liquids that everyone is pursuing in what may very soon be one of the largest commercially viable plays in the world.

Investors aren’t exactly shying away from the challenge, and the overall trend within this large basin is a shift towards liquids-rich areas, which is what the Middle Montney (the middle portion of the Montney resource) is all about.

Initially, companies targeted the Upper Montney, and the entire formation was viewed more as a dry gas play with high productivity and immense gas in place. Through the technological advances that have begun to move up to Canada and a general de-risking of the play, the Middle Montney is proving that there is a very large liquids-rich fairway available with a potential for incredible returns and economics.

Canadian supermajor Encana (NYSE:ECA)—a Montney shale heavyweight—is focusing its drilling to the east of the formation. Last year, Encana announced it would spend over 25 percent of its capex for 2014 on the Montney, and the liquids-rich plays in the eastern area will get the lion’s share of this, with 80-85 new wells planned for this year alone.

There are also a number of growing mid-cap players and one micro-cap honing in on this liquids-rich scene and benefitting from supermajor drilling, including mid-cap NuVista (NVA.TO) and micro-cap Blackbird Energy (BBI.V).

Earlier this month, NuVista signed a deal to purchase another 12.5 gross sections of undeveloped land in the Montney’s liquids-rich zone, which puts its total at over 220 gross sections, while Blackbird has 117 sections of multi-zone Montney rights—again, with a focus on the liquids-rich zone.

It’s a very fast-paced game of follow the leader.

When Encana drilled a well in a previously unproven Middle Montney area and came up with two very economic middle Montney wells that both had condensate gas ratios of approximately 100 barrels of oil per million feet of gas, Navistar responded by immediately buying up land in the vicinity, driving prices up over $2.9 million per section. Blackbird followed suit, capturing a 36-section land position right between Shell and Encana and next to NuVista, which drilled a well with 2,195 boe/d.

And while there is still land available here, prices are rising fast, which makes the situation interesting for the small player like Blackbird Energy, which finds that its land value alone is higher than its current market cap.

Explorers and producers are surrounding the Middle Montney in a pincer movement, and liquids-rich sweet spots are shaping up to be the key to unlocking this next North American treasure chest. And the end of the day, the amount of shale gas under Montney’s surface would be enough to supply Canada’s needs for 145 years, making it one of the top basins in the world, outdone only by Qatar.
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James Stafford is Editor of OilPrice.com and he contributes to the ARRA News Service. James Burgess is Deputy Editor, OilPrice.com - "the most popular energy news site in the world."

Tags: James Burgess, James Stafford, OilPrice.com, Canada, Shale boom,  Montney, Canada,  oil, natural gas To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

NRA Fakers

. . . Democrats During Election Season.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: NRA, gun rights, fakers, Democrats, election season, 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!

‘Local Choice’ - Let’s Roll Back Some Crony Socialism, Shall We?

Don’t Turn to This Clown 
by Seton Motley, Contributing Author: Cronyism. Or Crony Capitalism. It’s actually Crony Socialism - because it actually has nothing to do with capitalism.

Crony Socialism is not an unfettered free market where the best ideas and companies win. It’s the government warping and distorting the market: favoring with absurdly tilted policies some ideas and companies - and thus inherently dis-favoring everyone else in said sector.

How much you pay to watch TV has been a Crony Socialist nightmare mess since basically the creation of cable TV. Thanks to government meddlesomely messing with the market.
The Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act of 1992 (also known as the 1992 Cable Act) is a United States federal law which required cable systems to carry most local broadcast channels and prohibited cable operators from charging local broadcasters to carry their signal.Get that? Cable companies are required by law to deliver all local broadcast stations in every channel package. Cable companies must then sit down with broadcasters and pretend to negotiate a “free market” deal for how much they pay for those stations.

If you and I sat down to negotiate a price for my widgets - after the government has mandated that you purchase my widgets - don’t you think I’m going to inflate the price of my widgets?

And broadcasters are thanks to government a monopoly - in the sense that they alone carry the product cable companies are mandated by government to purchase. And thus their prices are perpetually on the rise.

Of course the more cable companies pay for these local stations - the more we pay for them.

And cable companies—and thus you—are required by government to pay rigged prices for a product that you used to get for free with a rooftop antenna or a pair of rabbit ears.

Government mandates rarely go well. Government is now mandating that everyone buy health insurance - how’s that going?
ObamaCare will increase average individual-market insurance premiums by 99% for men, 62% for women; ObamaCare will raise premiums for 65% of small firms; ObamaCare taxes add billion to rising premiums.And broadcasters know: when your cable bill goes up, you don’t get mad at the broadcasters for overcharging for their channels - you get mad at your cable company for having to pass those costs on to you.

As sweet as this broadcasters’ deal is - it ain’t anywhere near all.
The Broadcasters are actually the beneficiaries of decades of government good grace – well beyond the uber-tilted Cable Act.

They received free from government charge their spectrum - the airwaves they use to broadcast. Surely something the cellular phone companies have eyed as they’ve paid the government tens of billions of dollars for their spectrum.

And now we have the looming spectrum incentive auction. Where Broadcasters get to sell their spectrum – that they, again, received for free – to the cell phone companies (via the government middle man).

I’m sure a company like Verizon - a cell phone company who with Fios is also a television Provider – is thrilled to pay Broadcasters for spectrum the latter received for free, while also having the government tilt the Retransmission rules against them, in the Broadcasters’ favor.
The Broadcasters have a pretty sweet omni-directional Crony Socialist deal going. Little wonder they are fighting so hard against any changes to it.

If we can get an injection of Free Market (Food and Drug Administration [FDA] approval-pending) anywhere into this Crony Socialist organism - we should absolutely take it. The “Local Choice” bill now before the Senate would do just that.
Taking a novel approach to broadcast retransmission consent, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) joined forces with ranking committee member John Thune (R-SD) in unveiling a proposal that would allow subscribers to multichannel video program distribution (MVPD) services to select the local broadcast channels they want while permitting MVPDs to bill subscribers directly for licensing fees connected with the broadcast channels of their choice.Any roll back of any Crony Socialism is a turn in the right direction.
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Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Please feel free to follow him him on Twitter   /   Facebook.

Tags: local choice, roll back, crony socialism, government mandates, broadcasters, Seton Motley, Less Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Jindal: How the ‘Radical Left’ Uses Energy Costs to Control Americans

The Daily Signal Producer Kelsey Harkness (@kelseyjharkness): Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal yesterday accused the Obama administration of making energy more expensive with the goal of making Americans more dependent on government.

“The Left, they like to tell us they are the ones [who] are following science and we’re the science deniers,” Jindal said to a small group of reporters after delivering a speech at The Heritage Foundation to debut his energy jobs plan. “But I think overall, their approach to energy is telling.”

The Republican governor said the “radical” Left wants energy to be scarce and expensive because it empowers the federal government to be more involved in Americans’ lives.

Doing so, the potential 2016 presidential candidate said, essentially allows the Obama administration to decide what kind of car you drive, what kind of home you live in, what kind of education your children receive, what kind of health care insurance is adequate for you, and what size soda you can drink.

Right now, Jindal said, America “is on the road to failure.” He said:
It’s war on coal today; it’s going to be a war on natural gas tomorrow—it’s a war on any natural energy source. [The Left] wants it to be scarce; they want it to be expensive. You can see it in their actions, you can see it in their policies.Jindal, elected governor of Lousiana in 2008 after two terms in Congress, has presided over a state hit by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico while still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

He cited what he called the Left’s “startling” views on natural gas.

“When [natural gas] was 13 dollars, boy they loved it. As soon as it became affordable, all of the sudden they decided they didn’t like it so much,” Jindal said.

Nicolas Loris, a Heritage economist who specializes in energy policy, agreed that some liberals initially supported natural gas “as a bridge fuel to take us to renewables.” But because the revolution in shale gas provided an abundance of cheap natural gas, he said, “that bridge became a lot longer than they anticipated.”

“While it may be bad news for other sources of energy,” Loris added, “the low-cost energy is great news for American families and businesses.”

Jindal also cited regulations on carbon dioxide as proof of an “ideologically extreme” agenda by President Obama and other liberals. He said:

“For much of the Left, the whole debate about [carbon dioxide] is really a Trojan horse because these are folks that never did want a free market. This was a group that was always looking for an excuse to impose more government regulation, more government oversight. … This is just their latest vehicle to do it.”

Jindal’s energy plan, co-authored by Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, is called “Organizing Around Abundance: Making America an Energy Superpower” and promises to usher in an “unprecedented” era of energy development and job growth.

Here are the main points:

1. Promote responsible development of domestic energy resources and construct infrastructure to transport it.

2. Encourage technological innovation of renewables and emerging energy without picking winners and losers. In other words:Stop giving taxpayer-funded handouts to politically preferred energy sources and technologies. Let the market work.

3. Unlock the economic potential of the manufacturing renaissance by putting America’s energy resources to work.

4. Eliminate burdensome regulations such as the Obama administration’s increased carbon dioxide restrictions on power plants.

5. Bolster national security by ending policies that ban the exporting of natural resources.

6. Pursue “no regrets” policies that reduce carbon dioxide emissions without punishing the U.S. economy by putting it at a disadvantage to those of other nations.

Loris gave points to the Jindal-Flores plan for building on “what we see and know to be successful” when it comes to American energy production.

“Free market policies that open access, remove handouts and peel back burdensome regulations will reward risk-taking, stimulate economic growth and provide Americans with affordable energy,” he said.

What the nation shouldn’t pursue, Loris added, is a policy of reducing carbon dioxide.

“That assumes carbon emissions are a problem,” he said. Instead, “we can recognize that free markets that reward technological innovation can fuel the economy and reduce emissions.”

Watch this video for Jindal’s complete public remarks at The Heritage Foundation.

Tags: Governor, Bobby Jindal, Louisiana, Heritage Foundation, radical left, Energy Costs, control, America, Rep. Bill Flores, R-Texas, Organizing Around Abundance, Making America an Energy Superpower To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Go Away. Hillary

Toon by Glenn McCoy (Img Via Warning Signs)
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Other than earning her law degree, name one thing that Hillary Clinton has accomplished on her own. Her accomplishments—slim as they are—have been achieved on the coattails of either Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.

Had she not been the First Lady, would anyone have ever heard of her in the context of high power political posts? The short answer is no. She had traded on her celebrity and name recognition to become a Senator from New York and then, after a failed bid to become the Democratic Party’s candidate for President, accepted the position of Secretary of State.

Obama wanted to make sure she was “inside the tent” during his first term and, following that, her resignation has permitted her to now begin distancing herself from a man that many regard the worst President the nation has ever had.

Let’s back up a moment. Is there a single piece of major legislation during her term as a Senator from January 3, 2001 to January 21, 2009 attributed to her? The answer is no even though she served on important committees that included the budget; armed services; environment and public works; health; education; labor and pensions; and a special committee on aging. No point reviewing her voting record. If her former votes pose a political problem for her now, they will simply be dismissed.

During her four years as Secretary of State, can you name a single treaty that generated any significant media coverage? Again, no, If what political pundits believe and her own book reflects, her views on foreign affairs, strategic objectives and other weighty matters was entirely directed from the Oval Office of the White House. Now, it is true that the Secretary of State’s job is to carry out the President’s foreign policy, but at this point we know he had no consistent or strategic policy other than to ignore the Middle East and make nice with Russia.

As Secretary of State Hillary spent most of the time flying anywhere in the world so as not to be seen that much with Obama, but when the Benghazi consulate was attacked on September 11, 2012, killing our ambassador and three security personnel, what we learned was that she had previously paid little or no attention to the question of its protection at a time when other embassies in Libya were closing their doors to avoid attacks. The picture that emerged following the attack was that of someone simply occupying the office without devoting much time to the management of the State Department.

It’s one thing to allocate management to those in the Department responsible for its vast responsibilities, but the buck still stops at the Secretary’s desk and what we learned following the attack is that she backed up the absurd lies of the President who claimed that it was the result of a video no one had seen and a casual group of men who decided to attack the consulate. On the anniversary of 9/11!!! Questioned about it by a Senate committee, she famously said, “What difference at this time does it make?” It makes a lot of difference when the President and Secretary of State lie to the nation and the world.

After returning to private life following Obama’s reelection Hillary outrageously claimed that she and Bill were “dead broke” when they left the White House. Hillary’s inclination to say stupid things and lie without any need to should be especially troubling should she run for President and, yes, she has been running for a very long time.

In Hillary we have a person who has given little evidence of legislative or management skills who wants to be the first woman President of the United States. It will look good on her resume.

What, in fact, does she have to offer? Just as Obama offered voters the chance to say they had voted for the first black candidate for President, Hillary offers them the chance to say they voted for the first woman President.

That is not reason enough to elect anyone, black, white, man or woman.

We have learned from the Obama experience that his Marxist ideology, attachment to Islam, and disdain for the U.S. military has proven to be a formula for economic and foreign policy disasters. His signature legislation, Obamacare aka the Affordable Patient Care Act, has proven to be the antithesis of his promises that one could keep their own healthcare insurance and doctor if they wanted. It has been an unmitigated failure since a Democratic Party controlled Congress voted it into law in 2009 without a single Republican vote. In 2010 the voters gave political power in the House to the GOP.

Would Hillary allow Obamacare to be repealed if that was passed by Congress? Would she take steps to destroy the Islamic State threat in the Middle East? Or simply said, would she cease to be an extreme liberal masquerading as a moderate or centrist?

Do we want to elect a woman who in early September told a conference in Las Vegas that “Climate change is the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collections of challenges we face. The threat is real, and so is the opportunity…if we make the hard choices.” This is abject idiocy.

I find all the talk of her candidacy at this point to be obscene. It is an insult to the Democratic Party, but then so is Obama. If she is not opposed by primary candidates within the Party or she floats to candidacy simply as a political celebrity, simply as a woman, then the Party deserves to be massively defeated in 2016. We may get an indication of that in the November midterm elections.

I wish Hillary Clinton would simply go away and permit a serious election to occur.
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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: Hillary Clinton, Go Away Hillary, accomplishments—slim, Alan Caruba, warning signs, editorial cartoon, Glenn McCoy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Reassurer-in-Chief

Yeah - like we are reassured ...
Editorial Cartoon by William Warren

Tags: Barack Obama, Reassurer-in-Chief, 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!

Congress Goes Home To Campaign | Continuing Resolution Passed | Obamacare Remains A Mess

Today in Washington, D.C. - Sept. 19, 2014:
The House reconvened today at Noon for a few minutes before adjourning until November 12, 2014 after the elections.

Yesterday, the House was in session for twelve hours and passed the following bills and resolutions:
H.R. 4 (253 - 163) — "To make revisions to Federal law to improve the conditions necessary for economic growth and job creation, and for other purposes."
H.R. 2 (226 - 191) — "To remove Federal Government obstacles to the production of more domestic energy; to ensure transport of that energy reliably to businesses, consumers, and other end users; to lower the cost of energy to consumers; to enable manufacturers and other businesses to access domestically produced energy affordably and reliably in order to create and sustain more secure and well-paying American jobs; and for other purposes."
S.J. Res. 40 (Unanimous Consent) — "Providing for the appointment of Michael Lynton as a citizen regent of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution."
H. Res. 707 (Unanimous Consent) — "Condemning all forms of anti-Semitism and rejecting attempts to justify anti-Jewish hatred or violent attacks as an acceptable expression of disapproval or frustration over political events in the Middle East or elsewhere."
H. Res. 734 (Unanimous Consent) — "Expressing the condolences of the House of Representatives to the families of James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and condemning the terrorist acts of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant."

Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) applauded the House passage of the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs & More American Jobs Act (H.R. 2) and the Jobs for America Act (H.R. 4), two major jobs bills comprised of common-sense solutions to boost American energy and fuel economic growth. He said: “America’s energy boom provides an opportunity for us to reset America’s economic foundation now and for generations to come, but to get there we need a much different approach than what we’ve seen from the president and Senate Democrats. While production – and the jobs and growth that come with it - are skyrocketing on state and private land, the Obama administration has repeatedly blocked access to the vast areas under its control. The House has sent the Democratic-controlled Senate numerous bills to expand our energy infrastructure, increase exploration and production, and stop the onslaught of regulations that are raising costs and destroying jobs. That’s why we passed a bill today that combines all of these solutions into one measure that the Senate could act on immediately to put more Americans back to work, advance our energy independence, and create a better environment for private-sector growth.

“There are also, however, a number of additional steps we ought to be taking to spur job creation in America. The second package of bills we passed, H.R. 4, includes numerous common-sense solutions, like cutting red tape and simplifying and making permanent certain tax provisions, that would do just that. Many of these bills passed the House with bipartisan support and with millions of Americans still asking the question, ‘where are the jobs,’ they too deserve an immediate vote in the Senate. Taken together, these two major jobs bills would go a long way toward helping American families not just get by, but get ahead. Senate Democrats owe them that opportunity.”

Yesterday morning, Speaker Boehner delivered a speech at the American Enterprise Institute laying out his five-point long-term vision for resetting America’s economic foundation, including fixing our tax code, solving our spending problem, reforming our legal system, reining in red tape, and improving our education system.

The Senate is not in session today and is currently scheduled to hold a pro forma session at 4 PM on Monday. The Senate will return for legislative business on November 12th, when votes will be held on cloture on two district judge nominees.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 78-22 to pass H.J. Res. 124, the continuing resolution (CR) that funds the government through December 11. Prior to passage, senators voted 73-27 to invoke cloture (cut off debate) on the bill.  Earlier, Senate Democrats voted to block any possibility of amendment to the CR, with the vote failing .

GAO Report On Security Problems And Obamacare Exchange Problems:
With a new enrollment period just around the corner, CNNMoney summarizes recent news about ongoing security problems with the federal Obamacare exchange today. “Healthcare.gov still isn't as safe as it should be, and the annual open enrollment period starts again in just two months. To be clear: Hackers haven't stolen sensitive data from the Obamacare site. But ongoing security and privacy issues plague Healthcare.gov, potentially putting your personal information at risk.

“A report by the investigative arm of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, shows why the Obamacare website has room for improvement: Security tests aren't complete. Health officials aren't conducting full, system-wide exams to make sure everything works together safely. The Obamacare website didn't require strong passwords. The website didn't patch bugs quickly enough. The system didn't restrict test servers from accessing the Internet. That last one sounds innocuous, but it's why the Obamacare site was hacked this summer. A test server -- that was never supposed to be connected to the Internet -- got infected with malware. . . . At a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing Thursday, Gregory Wilshusen, the GAO's information security issues director, testified that the weaknesses that remain ‘put these systems and personal information at an increased and unnecessary risk of compromise.’ There could be other problems facing Healthcare.gov too -- but Wilshusen complained health officials aren't giving investigators enough access to spot problems.”

Meanwhile, many of the state health care exchanges are still struggling with bureaucratic snafus, including in states with governments dominated by Democrats that eagerly worked to push Obamacare. According to the AP, “The leader of California's health exchange said Thursday that the state is trying to improve notifications to consumers whose policies are shifted from private insurance to Medi-Cal during income checks and eligibility updates. Covered California Executive Director Peter Lee told board members that an unknown number of individuals were taken off their private health plans, then switched with no or inadequate notice to the state's version of Medicaid, which serves those who are poor, have lower-incomes or are disabled. . . . The Associated Press reported earlier this month that people who bought individual health coverage through Covered California were being dropped or transferred — often without notice — to Medi-Cal, which fewer doctors and providers accept.”

Obamacare remains a mess. The federal website still suffers from security vulnerabilities and other problems going back to its rushed, botched launch last fall. On top of that many states that set up their own exchanges are plagued with problems, like the notorious failures of the exchanges in Maryland and Oregon, or the ongoing glitches, problems and bureaucratic confusion with exchanges in Minnesota, Vermont, and California.

Tags: Congress Recessed, House, jobs bills, Senate, House , Continuing Resolution To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Benghazi Select Committee Answers 'What Difference Does It Make?'

Sec. of State Hilary Testifys Before Congress on
Benghazi. Says, 'What difference does it matter?'
IBD Editorial: Scandal: Democrats claim it's been asked and answered, but the question of why four Americans had to die in a diplomatic outpost in a terrorist haven with inadequate security and no plans for rescue has not.

That all questions regarding Benghazi have not been answered and new ones have in fact arisen was shown by the recent revelation by former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell to reporter Sharyl Attkisson.

Maxwell said he witnessed State Department personnel sifting through stacks of documents and emails to filter out those that would put the department in a bad light before turning any over to the Accountability Review Board tasked to find out the truth.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and the Select Committee he chairs is also tasked with uncovering the truth.

Before Maxwell spoke to Attkisson, Gowdy — along with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah — deposed Maxwell. Chaffetz said he was told that then-Clinton Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills and Deputy Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan were there to oversee the document cleansing.

"For Hillary Clinton's chief of staff and deputy chief of staff to be making a concerted effort to hide documents (and to) make sure that the Accountability Review Board (ARB) and Congress did not see these documents is unbelievable and wrong," Chaffetz says.

Chaffetz told Attkisson he is "100% confident that the Benghazi Select Committee is going to dive deep into that issue," Ed Morrissey at HotAir.com reports.

An interesting exchange occurred when Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, R-Ga., asked Greg Starr, assistant secretary for diplomatic security at the State Department, about "tripwires" — incidents that are supposed to trigger concrete action to enhance security at a given post.

Westmoreland asked Starr if he thought an earlier attack on a convoy carrying the British ambassador, an attack that caused them to leave Libya, or a June 2012 attack where an IED blew a hole in the consulate wall, might have been considered tripwires. Starr said yes.

Yet no more action was taken than after the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, as Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., pointed out in her initial questioning.

Recommendations made by another Accountability Review Board were never followed, and the mistakes there are eerily similar to Benghazi.

A review of those attacks showed that the CIA repeatedly told State Department officials in Washington and the Kenya embassy that there was an active terrorist cell in Kenya connected to Osama bin Laden, who masterminded the attack.

As in Benghazi, requests for more security were denied, warnings were issued, prior incidents were ignored and Susan Rice, then assistant secretary of state for African affairs, went on PBS as spokesperson for the administration to explain it all away.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, pointed out the similarity between Nairobi and Benghazi in his questioning of Todd Keil, former assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at the Homeland Security Department.

Jordan pointed out that Lt. Col. Andrew Wood, the commander of a Security Support Team (SST) sent home in August 2012, has said, regarding requests for more security: "We were fighting a losing battle. We couldn't even keep what we had." Wood said having the SST sent home was against his wishes and those of Ambassador Chris Stevens.

Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., failed to get a good answer to his question to Starr on why the pleas of Stevens were ignored. On Aug. 8, 2012, Stevens sent a two-page cable to the State Department titled "The Guns of August: Security in Eastern Libya" and noting a dangerous "security vacuum" in and around Benghazi and the presence of terrorist training camps. He was ignored.

As the first Select Committee hearing underscores, there's another security vacuum. It's in our own State Department, which long before Benghazi refused to recognize there are people trying to kill us and that we should do whatever it takes to make sure they do not.

Tags: Benghazi, Select Committee, answers, Hillary Clinton, What Difference Does It Make, Investors Business Daily, IBD, editorial To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

An Illegal Immigrant Lives in U.S. for 12.7 Years … and Other Interesting Factoids

Josh Siegel / @JoshDailySignal : The number of immigrants living illegally in the United States has leveled off in recent years, but those who remain are staying much longer than they did a decade ago, according to a recent study.

The number of people living in the U.S. illegally last year was steady at 11.3 million, the Pew Research Center reported Sept. 3. But in 2013, illegal immigrants had been living in the country for an average of 12.7 years, Pew found, up from a median of less than eight years a decade earlier.

In fact, more than 60 percent of the nation’s illegal immigrants have lived in the United States for at least a decade, up from about 35 percent in 2000, according to Pew.

Pew’s findings come as President Obama is weighing executive action to further stem deportations of illegal immigrants.

Tags: illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, factoid, United States, Pew Center, Josh Siegel To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Opponents of Internet Regulation Flip the Script

by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: An incredible thing happened in the recent reply-comment period regarding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposal to regulate the Internet like old-fashioned monopoly telephone service: the side telling the agency not to regulate carried the day.

The radical left, demanding federal regulatory control of the building blocks of Internet, brought all the usual hype and hoopla and had free-spending corporate backers in Google and Netflix, who want regulators to force you to pay the costs of their downstream bandwidth.

This campaign by liberal special interests like MoveOn and the Sierra Club converted forty thousand websites into campaign advertisements urging visitors to support Internet regulation.

The websites participated in a stunt called “Internet Slowdown Day.” These sites lied to visitors, claiming that without unprecedented new government regulation, broadband providers would start slowing down and degrading service.

Of course, such a thing has never happened, even without politicians in charge of the Internet. If a broadband provider ever tried such a stupid move, they’d lose customers in droves, and the board of directors would fire the CEO. The very fact these sites had to fake a slowdown should serve as proof that liberals are engaging in pure fantasy.

American Commitment refused to let these rent-seekers and ideologues claim to speak for the American people.

For years, these groups had played a double game, acting as if they only wanted reasonable, “light-touch” regulation when talking to the general public, but boasting among their fellow travelers that, in the words of the founder of “slowdown” organizer Free Press: “the ultimate goal is to get rid of the media capitalists in the phone and cable companies and to divest them from control.”

So we rang an alarm bell. Loud. We launched StopInternetRegulation.org to mobilize comments from regular Americans who oppose the Internet being reduced to a government-controlled public utility.

When all was said and done, the huge liberal pro-regulation campaign, which dubbed itself “Battle for the Net” claimed they sent 777,364 comments to the FCC.

StopInternetRegulation.org in just three weeks, beat them by more than 30,000 comments. Our total was 808,363. We won the battle for the net.

Does it matter? Should it?

Would the FCC, which is supposed to be an expert agency, actually make policy decisions of enormous consequence for the U.S. economy based on an email plebiscite? It appears they fully intended to, which is frightening.

Liberal activists embedded inside the FCC have been cheering on their allies and planned to tout the number of pro-regulation comments in a self-serving effort to increase their own power. Probably because stoking the liberal mob is easier than engaging in a substantive debate proponents of regulation can’t win.

At the height of the “slowdown” campaign, Gigi Sohn (@GigiBSohnFCC) (a senior FCC staffer who was, until recently, the longtime president of pro-regulation group Public Knowledge) tweeted:

If you're participating in #InternetSlowdown pls consider filing your comment via openinternet@FCC.gov. It's faster & each will be countedShe didn't say each would be read and considered on its merits. She said each would be “counted.” It was a numbers exercise. And the liberals lost.

Now that the agency has been denied the cover of pretending the American people want the Internet regulated, they should turn to their actual jobs – undertaking a sober analysis of the actual merits of the proposal, which are severely lacking.

The idea of reducing a vibrant, competitive, well-functioning, privately-funded market to a government-controlled public utility has been dubbed the “nuclear option” on Wall Street because it would obliterate the private sector capital investment that has made the Internet a remarkable engine of economic growth, innovation, and creativity.

The FCC should give up its desire to regulate and allow the Internet to keep improving as it has for decades.
------------------
Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment He is on Twitter  and on Facebook and is a contributing author for the  ARRA News Service.

Tags: Opponents, FCC, Internet Regulation, Flip the script, Phil Kerpen, American Solutions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Big Labor Bosses And So-Called “Solidarity”

At their best, labor unions can be a strong advocate for employees, but often union leaders stop effectively representing their members and focus rather on personal gain. Watchdog.org recently found that hundreds of union officers and employees made more than a quarter of a million dollars last year - and all of it came straight out of the pockets of hardworking Americans.  Many employees have little choice in how their dues are spent, so we want to make sure they're informed about the inner workings of the labor groups that are supposed to represent their interests. Holding government accountable means holding influential interest groups accountable too.  ~ Jason Stverak, President, Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity

by Andrew Collins, Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity: The year of the union?

Last February Franklin Center posted an article highlighting Watchdog.org’s coverage of organized labor’s political shenanigans. With reports of illegal activity allegedly perpetrated by union workers, and with organized labor gearing up for massive spending in the coming mid-term elections, we wondered whether 2014 would be the “year of the union” even though membership has been on the decline. Since then, subsequent investigations by Watchdog.org reporters show that in many ways the answer is yes – this has been a big year for unions.

Watchdog.org reporter Jason Hart recently published a “Meet the Bosses” list of America’s 100 highest-paid union officers and employees. In all, he found that they received a total $54.8 million in direct compensation, taken from employees last year. If you kept going down the list of top earning union officers and employees, you’d find that 472 of them were paid more than $250,000 in 2013.

For many Americans, such payouts fly in the face of the “solidarity” rhetoric that union leaders frequently use. As Hart reported in a subsequent story, for example, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten earned $543,150 last year. Yet the AFT released a statement in Weingarten’s name that stated “We can create a nation fueled by democracy, justice and opportunity for all, instead of for the very few.”

“In unity,” it concluded.

What is organized labor up to in your state?

Other Watchdog.org reporters have since helped localize the story in their states. In Montana, Dustin Hurst found that the head of the thinly populated state’s largest labor union earned $125,995 in total compensation in 2013. That’s puts him in the top 10 percent of Montana’s wage earners – closer to the “one percent” than the working class.

Meanwhile, Watchdog.org reporter Arthur Kane found that big money flows to the top brass of an Oklahoma-based plumbers and pipe welders union. A dozen of their top officials, in fact, made more than $200,000 last year. As one of Kane’s sources noted, that’s lot of money for a local union.

In Hart’s home state of Ohio, he found that 413 union leaders in the state were paid more than $100,000 last year. And of those, 75 were paid at least $150,000 — 25 more than the previous year — and there were 16 paid more than $200,000. Topping that statewide list were the leaders of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 75, whose motto is: “A voice for working America.”

What do they have to say for themselves?

So far, responses from top officials cited in the story have been underwhelming.

“Union officials seem to find it easier to ignore revelations about their pay,” Hart said. “Unfortunately, because everyone has other things on their minds, many union members rely on their union for information about politics and the role Big Labor plays in policy.”

Hart has found that more generally speaking, union advocates respond to $250,000-plus union boss salaries with complaints about CEOs, who often make many times that amount. However, he notes, the critical difference between CEOs and labor bosses is that CEOs don’t take their money from workers by force.

Wait, where’s the traditional media?

Hart’s “Meet the Bosses” story can serve as a template for reporters and even citizen journalists who want to expose organized labor’s influence and hypocrisy in their state. Surprisingly, it is not difficult to find this information from the Department of Labor. Hart suggests that citizens in particular refer to the DOL’s Bureau of Labor-Management Standards for union annual reports that contain officer and employee pay as well as all sorts of other interesting information.

Watchdog.org reporters have been owning this beat in their states, but if stories about union leader pay conflicting with their “solidarity” rhetoric are not difficult to unearth, why the dearth of media coverage from traditional outlets?

“I think part of it is access,” said Hart, “reporters know they’re not likely to get quotes from union leaders whose six-figure salaries they’ve drawn attention to.”

Where is it going from here?

While 2014 may be the year of the paycheck for labor leaders, it does not necessarily bode well for their future. Momentum from worker freedom laws like the ones passed in Indiana and Michigan — and in Wisconsin for most public-sector workers — is poised to spill into more states over the next several years. The discrepancies between labor leaders and the working class, and their exposure to the public, can only speed up the process.

“I would expect this trend to accelerate if more Americans could see the clash between what union bosses pay themselves and what they claim to stand for,” said Hart.

“Here in Ohio the NEA affiliate has paid ever-higher salaries to officers and employees even as membership has dropped from over 130,000 to under 120,000,” Hart adds. “I would expect that to be true nationally.”

Tags: Big Labor, Unions, so-called solidarity, solidarity, Andrew Collins, Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Immigration Chicanery

Wild Thing Image via Theodore's World
by Phyllis Schlafly: The strategists who base their political advice on public opinion polls have just had a surprise. A new poll reports that the American people are now more likely to trust Republicans to handle immigration and less likely to trust Democratic plans to offer illegals a path to citizenship (a.k.a. amnesty).

Many people have believed this for some time. But it is now confirmed in a poll taken by the pro-amnesty Wall Street Journal, so it must be so.

The new survey is decisive; 35 percent say the Republican Party would do a better job on immigration while only 27 percent say the Democrats would. That’s a dramatic reversal from the previous year.

The Wall Street Journal poll also revealed another change in public opinion that should get the attention of candidates. Support for the much-discussed “pathway to citizenship” has dropped significantly from 64 percent in April to 53 percent today.

Obama had promised to ease the entry of more illegals this summer, but he obviously has heard from Democrats running for office in November. The Central American kids who are crashing over our border have made it more difficult to pretend there is no problem.

Another pollster, the Polling Company, Inc., reports that half of Americans age 65 and over support a zero immigration policy and that three-quarters of respondents believe “green cards” should be given to fewer than 100,000 immigrants per year. The Polling Company, Inc. also reports that Independents (47 percent) are more likely than Republicans (40 percent) or Democrats (37 percent) to want zero new immigrants allowed into our country.

With colossal impertinence, the Mexican government attacked Texas Governor Rick Perry for sending National Guard troops to guard our southern border, saying that Mexico “deeply rejects and condemns the deployment.” The Mexicans accused Perry of taking this action to advance his political ambitions.

Perry did order 1,000 guardsmen to the border in July in support roles to assist the Texas Department of Public Safety, which Perry believes was necessary to compensate for federal inaction. They are deployed in support roles such as observation and tracking of illegal activity.

The Mexico City annual conference of the Telmex Foundation, headed by Mexican billionaire (and New York Times investor) Carlos Slim, included speeches by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Slim was perhaps repaying the honor of having received the 2012 Global Citizen Award from the Clinton Global Initiative.

In his so-called keynote speech on September 5 to Slim’s assembly of “global citizens,” Zuckerberg took the opportunity to attack America’s laws. He said, “We have a strange immigration policy for a nation of immigrants. And it’s a policy unfit for today’s world.”

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was in Mexico City for a separate meeting on September 4, but he found time to attack the United States for what he called its “foolish regulation” of energy, such as laws that help keep oil and gas prices low by limiting the export of those precious resources. He refused to answer reporters’ questions about security along our border with Mexico, but issued this teaser: “I won’t have anything to say on immigration unless, and until, I become a candidate for the president of the United States.”

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, on a two-day “state visit” to California, speaking in Spanish to a joint session of the California state legislature on August 26, praised legislators for allowing illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses and state-funded scholarships at public universities. He ignored American demonstrators demanding the release of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, the U.S. Marine who has been wrongly held in a Mexican prison for over 5 months.

Obama was saying all summer that his plan was to bypass Congress and the Constitution and issue an “executive amnesty” for millions of illegal aliens. His amnesty plan has since changed to be issued only after the 2014 elections so as not to defeat Democrats up for election in November.

His planned amnesty will include work permits, photo IDs, and Social Security numbers for millions of people who entered the U.S. illegally, overstayed their visas, or defrauded U.S. immigration authorities.

As Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said, “Never in recent memory has the divide between the everyday citizen and the political elite been as wide as it is now.” He says the immigration debate comes down to several major questions:

Does our country have the right to decide who comes to live and work here? Do we have the right to demand that our representatives enforce our laws? Should American workers get priority for jobs?

If your answer is Yes, it is essential to block Obama’s planned executive amnesty and demand that Harry Reid call this up for a vote.

As Sessions said, “Let this sink in. The majority leader of the Senate is bragging that he knows the president will circumvent Congress to issue executive amnesty to millions.”

Tags: Border Security, Immigration Chicanery, democrats, new poll trust, Republicans, Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, image,  Wild Thing, Theodore's World To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Obama: "No Boots On The Ground"

Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: President Obama, no boots on the ground, fighting, ISIS, editorial cartoon, AF Branco To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Caruba: Arab Muslims Suffer Mentally and Economically

by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: “For years there has been a rising tide of Islamic radicalism, starting in the Middle East, providing a hospitable environment in which terrorism grew naturally,” wrote former Ambassador John Bolton, in a May edition of The Washington Times.

The eruption of the Islamic State (ISIS) has demonstrated how swiftly it has been able to recruit thousands of jihadists to its ranks. The millions it is earning from selling oil on the black market enables it to provide salaries to those recruits. And weapons.

“This radical wave has been spreading throughout northern Africa, into Asia, and now around the world,” warned Bolton.

There is a reason why there is such a supply of recruits to the self-proclaimed caliphate that controls a large swath of northern Syria and Iraq. Jim Clifton, CEO of the Gallup polling organization, says, “The Middle East has collapsed into a state of chaos, conflict, and suffering that was unimaginable and unforeseen just four years ago.”

Clifton took note of the incident that triggered the “Arab Spring” in which dictators were deposed in Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. “Food vendor Mohammed Bouazis set himself on fire. Bouazizi didn’t hell ‘Death to America’ or ‘U.S. out of Iraq’ or ‘Allahu Akbar.’ He cried out, ‘I just want to work!’”

No Customers.

Clifton said, “Here’s an explanation you don’t hear very often that is likely the root cause of the entire meltdown in the Middle East: no customers.”

He noted that “When a society fails to create jobs, as in countries throughout the Middle East, young men get up each morning with zero hope for a great life, zero hope to get married (you usually can’t marry in Middle Eastern society without a real job), zero dream of a family, zero dignity, and zero self-respect.”

“What millions of young Middle Eastern males wake up to every morning is unimaginable humiliation, indignation, desperation, and a form of dangerous boredom.” Clifton noted that “There are over 100 million young people aged 18 to 29 in the Middle East/North Africa area—meaning there are probably 50 million young males.”

That is more than enough to recruit a huge army of holy warriors who find meaning in their lives by joining ISIS and other groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria. We are witnessing a war between Sunnis and Shiites, and Clifton warned that “Western leaders prefer to operate through delusional wishful-thinking policies.”

I received an account by an unidentified Lockheed employee who cited research by a Danish psychologist, Nikolai Sennels as published in 2010. The Lockheed employee had been in Saudi Arabia on three assignments and noted that Saudi pilot trainees often had “dim memories and had to be constantly reminded of things that were told to them the day before.” They also had very limited night vision, “even on the brightest of moonlit nights.”

The larger problem as noted by Sennels was attributed to 1,400 years of inbreeding, the Muslim practice of marrying first cousins; it has been in effect for fifty generations and is based on the teachings of Muhammad, their revered prophet, and the prohibition on marrying outside of the Muslim faith.

Sennels noted that “The consequences for offspring of consanguineous marriages are unpleasantly clear: Death, low intelligence or even mental retardation, handicaps and diseases often leading to a slow and painful death.”

“Other consequences are: Limited social skills and understanding, limited ability to manage education and work procedures and painful treatment procedures. The negative cognitive consequences also influence the executive functions. The impairment of concentration and emotional control most often leads to anti-social behavior.”

“The economic costs and consequences for society of inbreeding,” said Sennels, “are of course secondary to the reality of human suffering.”

Sennels concluded that “A lower IQ, together with a religion that denounces critical thinking, surely makes it harder for many Muslims to have success in our high-tech knowledge societies.” In the case of the United States, He noted “One study based on 300,000 Americans shows that the majority of Muslims in the USA have a lower income, are less education, and have worse jobs than the population as a whole.”

There are many ramifications of the inbreeding that Judeo-Christian faiths prohibited from their inception. It explains in many ways why it is wrong to believe that Muslims in the Middle East, North Africa, and elsewhere “think” in the same fashion as those in the West.

It permits them to believe that beheading westerners is a way to impose their will by videotaping this ancient, barbaric practice. It encourages the belief that all non-Muslims are worthy of death.

The flow of Muslims from the Middle East and North Africa into Europe has created a massive problem for its native population. In Great Britain measures are being taken to crack down on those who go abroad to become jihadists and return.

According to Wikipedia: ”The Muslim population of the U.S. increased dramatically in the 20th century, with much of the growth driven by a comparatively high birth rate and immigrant communities of mainly Arab and South Asian descent. About 72% of American Muslims are immigrants or "second generation". In 2005, more people from Islamic countries became legal permanent United States residents— nearly 96,000 — than in any year in the previous two decades. In 2009, more than 115,000 Muslims became legal residents of the United States.” The other element of the American Muslim population is African-Americans who have been converting to Islam.

Westerners are perplexed by the rise of fanatical Islam, but the answer comes down to a lack of entrepreneurism in Middle Eastern and other Muslim nations, combined with the problems resulting from generations of inbreeding.

It still means war at some point and for some time to come.
-----------------
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: Arab Muslims, fanatical Islam, Islamic radicalism, lack of entrepreneurism, 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!

Nancy Pelosi Warns About the End of Civilization if Republicans Win in November

Time to Fire Harry Reid as House Majority Leader
just like we fired Nancy Pelosi as House Speaker.
by Katie Pavlich, Townhall: Back in July, former House Speaker and current Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said the terrorist group Hamas might be a humanitarian organization because the Qataris said so. Now, she's warning about the end of civilization as we know it...if Republicans win back the Senate in November.

"It would be very important for Democrats to retain control of the Senate. Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if the Republicans win the Senate. It's really important," she said on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher.
Meanwhile, former White House Press Secretary and newly minted CNN contributor Jay Carney said over the weekend that November is looking pretty rough for Democrats.  "It's not going to be a good year for Democrats by definition," he said Sunday on State of the Union.
Hunker down everyone, the Republicans are coming! The Republicans are coming!

Tags: Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, fire Harry Reid, 2014 elections, GOP, The Republicans are coming, 2014 Election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Ukraine President Poroshenko Speaks To Congress | Obamacare Train Wreck Continuing in MN, NY, VT

Ukraine President Poroshenko asked a joint meeting
of Congress for military weapons to use against East
Ukrainian  separatists.  The U.S.  has already provided
about $60 million in nonlethal aid. 

 Imagine: What if King George had gone to his Russian
and German relatives and asked for weapons to stop
 the American colonial separatist?  They did pay
for German Hessian (soldiers) whom we defeated. 
Editor's opinion: Ukraine has revenue and taxes from
transporting propane through the Ukraine to Europe.
Let him get the French and Germans to help him.
Today in Washington, D.C. - Sept. 18, 2014:
Joint Session of Congress: This morning, Speaker John Boenher welcomed President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine to the United States Capitol to address Congress. Boehner issued the following statement: "“Today, Vladimir Putin and the world saw Republicans and Democrats stand in unity with President Poroshenko and his people’s aspirations for freedom, democracy, and economic opportunity. Now we must answer his call for America’s leadership, not only in sentiment, but in action. We can start by imposing tougher sanctions, providing military and intelligence assistance, and breaking Russia’s energy stranglehold on Europe. It was my privilege to welcome President Poroshenko to the Capitol, and pledge to him personally that the House will continue to lead the effort to help his people.”

The House reconvened at 9 AM today. At 10 AM, The House has reconvened in Joint meeting with the Senate to receive an address by His Excellency Petro Poroshenko, President of Ukraine.

After the Joint meeting of Congress, the House is scheduled to take up the following bills:
H.R. 2 — "To remove Federal Government obstacles to the production of more domestic energy; to ensure transport of that energy reliably to businesses, consumers, and other end users; to lower the cost of energy to consumers; to enable manufacturers and other businesses to access domestically produced energy affordability and reliably in order to create and sustain more secure and well-paying American jobs; and for other purposes."
H.R. 4 — "To make revisions to Federal law to improve the conditions necessary for economic growth and job creation, and for other purposes."

Yesterday the House passed:
H. Res. 726 (Voice Vote) — "Strongly supporting the right of the people of Ukraine to freely determine their future, including their country's relationship with other nations and international organizations, without interference, intimidation, or coercion by other countries."
H.J. Res. 124 (319 - 108) — "Making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2015, and for other purposes."
H.R. 24 (333 - 92) — "To require a full audit of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal reserve banks by the Comptroller General of the United States, and for other purposes."
H.R. 5462 (423 - 0) — "To amend title 49, United States Code, to provide for limitations on the fees charged to passengers of air carriers."
S. 476 (419 - 0) — "To amend the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Development Act to extend to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park Commission."

The Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today. Senators then proceeded to the House chamber for a joint meeting of Congress to hear a message from President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine.

At 1 PM, the Senate will begin consideration of H.J. Res. 124, the continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government through December 11. If all debate time is used, at 4:30 PM, the Senate will vote on motions to table an amendment or waive the budget with respect to the resolution, if either is raised. Senators will then vote on cloture on H.J. Res. 124 and then, if cloture is invoked, on final passage of the bill.

After completing work on the CR, the Senate will take up a series of nominations, which are expected to be voice votes. Among these will be nominees for ambassadors to South Korea and Ireland, a nominee to be Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, as well as nominees for posts in the State, Energy, Defense, Treasury, and Homeland Security Departments.

Obamacare Train Wreck Continues: While it’s easy to focus on the problems created by Obamacare nationally and at the federal level, like the ongoing problems with Healthcare.gov and report after report showing serious problems with the bureaucracy’s implementation of the law, Obamacare is still having negative consequences for Americans in their state and local health systems.

In one of the biggest health care stories this week, PreferredOne, a Minnesota insurer, which had the most customers and offered the lowest rates among those on the state’s troubled health insurance exchange announced that it would be leaving the exchange. The AP and WCCO in St. Paul reported, “The insurance company that grabbed the most customers on Minnesota’s health care exchange by offering the lowest rates told state officials Tuesday that it’s pulling out of MNsure, a major blow to the exchange as the next open enrollment period approaches. The decision by Golden Valley-based PreferredOne may mean higher rates and again puts the troubled exchange front-and-center in Minnesota’s governor and House elections. . . . Company spokesman Steve Peterson told KSTP-TV, which first reported the decision, that staying on MNsure wasn’t financially or administratively sustainable. The membership they gained through MNsure was small, but was taking ‘a significant amount of our resources’ to administer, Peterson said.”

In New York, the Albany Business Review reported, “MVP Health Care, an insurer based in Schenectady, New York, is dropping some of its plans tied to Medicare and raising rates for other related coverage under the health care program for elderly people. Denise Gonick, president and CEO of MVP Health Care, delivered the announcement during a news conference this morning. She also said the Schenectady-based insurer with about 700,000 members in New York is projecting it will run at a deficit in 2015 because of the issue. Gonick said the decision was prompted in part by reduced reimbursement payments tied to Medicare, the federal program generally covering people age 65 and above. Of the company's five Medicare Advantage plans, two are being dropped. That will primarily affect 17,000 people in the Rochester area, Gonick announced. . . . Gonick said factors prompting the move touched on a range of economic issues, including the reduced Medicare Advantage reimbursement. Cuts to other government subsidies and taxes on health insurance premiums also played a role, she said. . . . The company has about 1,500 employees and has been reducing its workforce, including 100 job cuts earlier this year.” Remember, of course, that Obamacare included over $300 billion in cuts to Medicare Advantage.

On the West Coast, KGO-TV in Sacramento noted this week, “On Wednesday, 31 employees at Washington Hospital in Fremont were laid off. The hospital has been struggling financially and blames the Affordable Care Act and significant reductions in Medicare for the layoffs. . . . Following a major financial overhaul, Washington Hospital will soon operate with 244 fewer employees. . . . That adds up to 244 positions that, according to the hospital, will simply go away -- they will not be replaced. Sandi Van Brocklin is a clerk in the emergency room. She says, ‘And that is going to hurt everybody else in the long run because right now we don't have enough people to manage all the call lights that go off when a patient calls. Somebody has to respond and it's not always the nurse because now the staffing ratios have changed.’”

To the north in Oregon, the AP wrote on Monday, “Cover Oregon has identified 775 households that will owe money to the federal government because they were given tax credits that were too large, the agency's director told a state legislative committee on Monday. . . . Cover Oregon officials have acknowledged they used an incorrect formula to calculate tax credits for people purchasing private health plans through the state's insurance marketplace.”

On Tuesday, WPTZ-TV in the Green Mountain State reported, “The dysfunctional, more than $70-million Vermont Health Connect website is down for maintenance for a period of what state officials expect will be weeks, not days. Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vt., yanked the portal, which is used by Vermonters who don't get health insurance through work to manage the plans federal law now requires them to have. ‘Nobody's more frustrated than me,’ Shumlin told reporters Tuesday. . . . The site still cannot fulfill all its intended goals, despite having launched nearly a year ago. . . . Vermont's health care reform chief, Lawrence Miller, said the move was not in response to any data breach, but acknowledged cyber security risks are real. . . . ‘If I was an attacker, these websites--these health exchanges--may be the one place I'm going to focus all of my time and effort on,’ said Jon Rajewski, the director of Champlain College's Leahy Center for Digital Investigation. Rajewski called the very personal data on a health care exchange the ‘holy grail’ for hackers, because information entered into that kind of site would contain everything they'd ever need to steal someone's identity.”

These stories are just from this week, yet they present a microcosm of Obamacare’s failures: lost jobs, canceled insurance coverage, higher premiums, cuts to Medicare advantage, bureaucratic breakdowns at every level, and technology problems that make getting insurance difficult while putting Americans’ personal information at risk. The law is a train wreck and needs to be repealed and replaced.

Tags: Ukraine, President, Petro Poroshenko, Joint Session of Congress, Continuing Resolution, Obamacare, Train Wreck, Minnesota, New York, Vermont 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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