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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 & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
Contact: 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)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Jeb Bush Still Refuses to Rule Out Tax Hikes

by Adam Radman, Americans For Tax Reform: Over the last few years, Jeb Bush has:
Below is a recent piece at The Daily Caller by ATR president Grover Norquist on why Bush's decision not to sign the Pledge is wrong:Jeb Bush Is Learning The Wrong Lesson From His Father About Tax Hikes

Should elected officials sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge committing in writing to oppose and vote against any and all net tax increases?

Today there are 219 members of the House of Representatives who have signed the pledge and 49 Senators. That’s 90 percent of incumbent Republicans. (While Democrats have signed the pledge it tends be to a year or two before they switch parties and become Republicans — seven in 1995 — or just before they lose the general election.)

The short answer is that if as a governor, congressman, or president you are committed to reforming government to cost less you will sign the pledge.

Tax increases are what politicians do instead of reforming government. For Reagan Republicans, a crisis is a teaching moment for reforming government to cost less.

For those willing to hike taxes: “Problems?” says the traditional pol. “I’ll raise taxes to pay for the mistakes of the past and raise taxes to pay for new stuff. No problem.”

But what about the politics of it all? Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post put two thoughts together and raised some interesting questions.

Data point one: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush did not sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge when he was governor and has announced through staff that he would not sign the pledge should he run for President. Is he making a big mistake or being clever?

Data point two: A poll by YouGov highlighting two questions.
  1. Is it ever necessary to raise taxes?
  2. Are you more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate who has signed a pledge promising no new taxes and to oppose any and all tax increases?
Rampell says it is “confusing” that among all voters 37 percent are more likely to vote for the candidate who takes the no tax hike pledge and only 16 percent would be less likely to vote for a pledge taker. (33 percent say they don’t care.)

Republicans are full-on 56 percent more likely to vote for the no-tax-hike candidate and only 5 percent would be less likely. Independents look like Republicans two to one supporting the anti-tax pledge signer 37 to 15 percent.
And yet: 57 percent of Americans answer that it is “sometimes” necessary to raise taxes. And even 50 percent of Republicans agree it is “sometimes” necessary to raise taxes while 40 percent say it is never necessary.Are these not in conflict? No.The first question is about a candidate that you are about to vote for or against. This is your state. Your town. Your president. It is about the future. Your future. Can you foresee a time when in your state, country, town, nation the proper response to a crisis is higher taxes rather than reforming government? No, say most Republicans and the 2:1 majority of independents. Democrats are split 24/23 percent in favor of pledge signers.The question of whether somewhere sometime in the past or other nations or states it could conceivably be “necessary” to raise taxes tells one little. Necessary in what sense? Some politicians say they will shut down all state support for public education if they don’t get a tax hike. Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri did this. Obama tried and failed in 2011 to play the same card. Can special spending interests clobber politicians into passing a tax hike? Too many do.But politics is not about hypotheticals. It is about intensity and vote-moving issues.Rampell led with the news that Jeb Bush learned from his father’s defeat in 2012 that he should not promise the American people he will not raise taxes. But that is the wrong lesson.In the Republican primary in 1988, George H.W. Bush was losing to Senator Bob Dole. Dole had just won Iowa. Bush was losing. Then at the televised debate before the New Hampshire primary the candidates presented Dole with the pledge.Dole recoiled as if the pledge was Kryptonite.Candidate Pete DuPont explained that everyone except Dole had committed to voters they would oppose and vote against tax hikes.Dole Lost. Bush 41 went on to win the primary.And later when he was 14 points behind Massachusetts governor Mike Dukakis he said “Read my lips, no new taxes” and he leapt to a decisive victory in the November general election.In 1990 Bush agreed to sign a tax hike to pay for still more government spending. Taxes went up. The promised spending cuts never happened. In fact, spending increased even faster than before the “deal.”Bush lost the 1992 election to Bill Clinton, whose powerful national television ad said Bush had supported one of the largest tax hikes in American history and he, Clinton, would never raise taxes on middle class Americans (he did.)George Herbert Walker Bush is the perfect teacher on this topic: Sign the pledge and win the primary election. Highlight the pledge against tax hikes and win the general.Raise taxes and break the pledge, lose. His son George W. Bush signed the pledge and won the primary in 2000, kept the pledge in office and won reelection in 2004.Thus endeth today’s lesson.
Tags: Adam Radman, Americans For Tax Reform, candidates, Republicans, refuse to rule out tax hikes, loose, Jeb Bush, history, Grover Norquist, No new tax pledge, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Solar Loafer . . .

. . . Solar subsidies don’t appear to be yielding the worth for taxpayers.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: solar subsidies, failing, taxpayers, 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!

Speaker John Boehner’s Big Week

by Newt Gingrich: These two sets of numbers indicate why historians may look back on this as the week Speaker Boehner really began to run the House.

The first numbers, 228-199, were the final vote on passing the budget. This was a vital step because the budget leads to reconciliation. Reconciliation is the ONLY legislative vehicle that can pass the Senate on a simple majority. If Republicans are to send a bill repealing Obamacare to President Obama’s desk, they have to use reconciliation. Otherwise a regular bill takes 60 votes to pass the Senate. It is obvious that with only 54 Senate Republicans there is no way for them to use the regular procedure.

A week ago observers had suggested that Boehner could never get 218 Republicans to stick together. There was a large block of conservatives who sounded as if they would oppose everything. With help from a conservative leader, Congressman Jim Jordan of Ohio, Boehner developed a plan which enabled conservatives to vote for their budget and then vote for final passage of the budget proposed by Chairman Tom Price of Georgia.

The House leaders allowed six different budgets to be offered so the Democratic liberals, the Black Caucus, and conservative Republicans could all have a chance to present their versions. That enabled many conservatives to vote for more aggressive spending cuts and then vote for final passage of the House GOP Budget. That was a huge victory for Boehner which no one expected a week ago.

The second set of numbers, 392-37, was the startlingly large majority for a genuinely bipartisan combination of fixing doctor and hospital payments and reforming Medicare.

This reform was cosponsored by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in a surprisingly solid bipartisan effort. In part, that bipartisanship was driven by the intense pressure of doctors and hospitals who were desperate to end the annual chaos of trying to fix what was clearly a mistake in the Medicare Law.

Congressman Mike Burgess of Texas, himself a doctor, had led the fight to get a permanent fix to the payment problem. It was a big victory for his perseverance and determination.

In the same bill, the House Republicans got the first serious reform of the Medicare entitlement in 19 years (since 1996). The Democrats had always insisted on a tax increase as their price for any entitlement reform. Under firm pressure from Speaker Boehner, they dropped that demand and the reforms passed with no tax increase. It was a substantial victory for Speaker Boehner and for conservatives.

These two votes enable the House Republicans to go home for Easter with a strong sense that they are beginning to find some models for governing that could enable them to move ideas forward. It was a big week for the House Republicans and a big week for Speaker John Boehner.
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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, Speaker John Boehner, Big Week, the budget, fixing doctor and hospital payments, reforming Medicare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

End the Export Import Bank Croynism

Since the start of the Obama administration, the Export-Import bank has been a vehicle for the President's expensive "green energy" agenda, costing taxpayers millions while padding the pockets of the politically well-connected.

Whenever the government is allowed to pick winners and losers in private industry, cronyism can run rampant. Lawmakers should get taxpayers out of the business of propping up international corporations. It's time to end the Ex-Im Bank and stop the tax dollar giveaways.

The Export-Import Bank interferes with the economy by providing billions of dollars in loans to politically-connected companies overseas in places like Russia and China--. with your hard-earned tax dollars!

The future of the Export-Import Bank -- and whether or not part of your paycheck is going to prop up companies overseas -- sits with Congress. Your lawmakers have a choice: they can either let the Export-Import Bank expirethis June and put an end to this out-of-control corporate welfare, or they can reauthorize the bank and continue sending your hard-earned tax dollars overseas.

Send a message to your lawmakers today: Tell them to let the Export-Import Bank expire in June as schedule!*

The bank's charter ends in June; if Congress simply does nothing, they can end Ex-Im.
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* Via Americans For Prosperity

Tags: End, Export Import Bank, Croynism, Congress let the authority lapse, do nothing To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Repeal, Don’t Reform the IMF!

by Ron Paul: A responsible financial institution would not extend a new loan of between 17 and 40 billion dollars to a borrower already struggling to pay back an existing multi-billion dollar loan. Yet that is just what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) did last month when it extended a new loan to the government of Ukraine. This new loan may not make much economic sense, but propping up the existing Ukrainian government serves the foreign policy agenda of the US government.

Since the IMF receives most of its funding from the United States, it is hardly surprising that it would tailor its actions to advance the US government’s foreign policy goals. The IMF also has a history of using the funds provided to it by the American taxpayer to prop up dictatorial regimes and support unsound economic policies.

Some may claim the IMF does promote free markets by requiring that countries receiving IMF loans implement some positive economic reforms, such as reducing government spending. However, other conditions imposed by the IMF, such as that the country receiving the loan deflate its currency and implement an industrial policy promoting exports, do not seem designed to promote a true free market, much less improve the people’s living standards by giving them greater economic opportunities.

The problem with the IMF cannot be fixed by changing the conditions attached to IMF loans. The fundamental problem with the IMF is that it is funded by resources taken forcibly from the private sector. By taking resources out of private hands and giving them to IMF bureaucrats, government distorts the marketplace, harming both American taxpayers and the citizens of the countries receiving the IMF loans. The idea that the IMF is somehow better able to allocate capital than are private investors is just as flawed as every other form of central planning. The IMF must be repealed, not reformed.

The IMF is not the only US institution that manipulates the global economy. Over the past several years, a mysterious buyer, identified only as “Belgium,” so named because the buyer acts through a Belgian-domiciled account, has become the third-largest holder of Treasury securities. Belgium's large purchases always occur at opportune times for the US government, such as when a foreign country sells a large amount of Treasuries. “Belgium” also made large purchases in the months just after the Fed launched the quantitative easing program. While there is no evidence this buyer is working directly with the US government, the timing of these purchases does raise suspicions.

It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Federal Reserve is involved in these purchases. The limited audit of the Federal Reserve’s actions during the financial crisis that was authorized by the Dodd-Frank Act revealed that the Fed actively intervenes in global markets.

What other deals with foreign governments is the Fed making? Is the Fed, like the IMF, working to bail out Greece and other EU countries? Is the Fed working secretly to aid US foreign policy as it did in the early 1980s, when it financed loans to then-US ally Saddam Hussein? The lack of transparency about the Fed’s dealings with overseas central banks and foreign governments is one more reason why Congress needs to pass the audit the fed bill.

By taking money from American taxpayers to support economically weak and oftentimes corrupt governments, the IMF distorts the market, enriches corrupt governments, and harms both the American taxpayer and the residents of the counties receiving IMF "aid." It is past time to end the IMF along with all instruments of American interventionist foreign policy.
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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. He is known for his criticism of American foreign, domestic, and monetary policies, the military–industrial complex, the War on Drugs, and the Federal Reserve. He is also known for his love of country, government complying with the U.S. Constitution.

Tags: Ron Paul, Repeal IMF, International Monetary Fund To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Christians in America Need To Stop Being Such Wussies

John Hawkins (Via Wiki)
by John Hawkins: Given all the bad press Islam has gotten over the last few years, it might seem surprising at first glance that Islam is still such a vibrant, fast-growing religion. Even setting aside the fact that Muhammad was a bad guy and Allah doesn’t exist, the press about Islam over the last few years has been almost universally negative. If you’re not hearing about terrorist attacks, suicide bombers or sanctioned wife beating, you’re reading about ISIS taking slaves or Iranian morality police beating women with sticks for showing their ankles.

If all of that is so, then why was Muhammad the most popular name for newborn boys in Britain? How is it that the number of mosques in the United States has risen 74% since 2000? How can it possibly be that France is now 10% Muslim?

There’s a very simple answer to that question that goes well beyond, “Muslims are immigrating to Western nations.” Muslims are perceived as being very devout. In fact, most people have concluded that Muslims really BELIEVE IN SOMETHING.

On the positive side, it takes a lot of devotion to pray five times a day. On the more negative side, it also takes a great deal of belief to blow yourself up for Allah, murder people for drawing a cartoon of Muhammad or spend your life encased in a burka.

Do you see the potential appeal of that to someone who’s lost and looking for meaning in his life? Religion isn’t all fun and games. There are a lot of rules and an often inconvenient moral code comes with it. So, if you’re going to turn to religion to help provide direction in your life, wouldn't you want to at least turn to a religion where the adherents really seem to believe in what they’re preaching?

So, if that’s what people are seeing when they look at Islam, what are they seeing when they look at Christianity in America? They see that TV shows and musicians can trash Jesus in the most vulgar ways without fear of getting serious blowback. Public tax dollars are being used to fund art that smears Christianity and “liberal Christians” are fine with it. It seems like every movie that has a Christian in it portrays him as a psychopath, a murderous hick or just a sanctimonious jerk you’re supposed to hate. Who’s keeping these movies afloat in a mostly Christian nation? Who’s buying the records of artists who trash Christians? Who’s voting for the people who funnel your tax dollars into anti-Christian causes?

Christians.

Meanwhile, way too many Christians are embracing this “Buddy Christ,” we-don’t-want-to-make-anyone-uncomfortable, watered-down version of Christianity.

We’ve accepted society’s idea that if you’re flawed, you can’t ever speak out against your flaw or you’re a hypocrite. Of course, since ALL OF US are flawed, many of us never speak out. Even if someone gets tempted to speak up, he stays silent because, “You’re not supposed to mix religion and politics.” Of course, politicians have no problem getting involved in religious matters, but that’s supposed to only go one way while Christians keep their mouths shut. Then if you still want to speak up and say something’s wrong, you’re told not to “talk about social issues.” Meanwhile, people who hate Christians are talking about social issues non-stop. But, we’re not supposed to fire back because that might be “intolerant” or make people “uncomfortable.” Then if all that’s not enough, if you want to condemn bad behavior, you’re told “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Well, unfortunately, too many people seem to confuse the meaning of that statement with, “If it feels good, it’s okay to do it” or “If someone likes it, you can’t say anything about it because you might hurt her feelings.”

Presbyterian Church members, who have dropped their standards so much that I no longer consider them Christians in any meaningful sense, have even stooped so low as to adopt gay marriage in a failed attempt to make themselves more palatable to a world that hates them.

However, what so many Christians are missing is that a neutered religion that has become so stale, timid and uncertain of what it believes in that it’s afraid to offend non-believers doesn’t have a lot of appeal.

Christians go overboard in the country to emphasize that God is all about forgiveness, making you happy and making you successful. Well, God will indeed help people who pray to Him, but He is not a genie who exists to grant your wishes.

We are here to serve God; He is not here to serve us.

God is also not all sunshine and roses. If our country makes Him angry, He may purposefully ruin us. If you displease Him, He will allow you to go to hell. Are you an atheist? A nice one, who’s generally a good guy? Well, life isn’t a pass/fail test and, yes, according to the Bible, you’re going to hell. Are you a Muslim, a Hindu, a Buddhist? You may be a wonderful person and we can certainly be polite to you, treat you decently, and wish you well, but your gods don’t exist and according to Jesus Christ, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."

Quoting Bible verses to people who don’t want to hear them, wagging your finger in their faces or treating sinners hatefully is counterproductive and ultimately, that’s not going to convert very many people to Christ. What will turn people around is showing some spine and standing up for what you believe in. Christians need to take a hint from Phil Robertson, Franklin Graham, Tim Tebow and other Christians who aren’t willing to sanitize their beliefs and their message because people who hate Christians don’t like it.

We should treat people with love and compassion when it’s possible, but we should also be inspired by the courage that early Christians had when preaching the gospel might lead to being thrown to the lions. If we’re not going to talk like we believe, if we’re not going to act like we believe, if we’re not going to live like we believe, then how are people going to become believers through our example?
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John Hawkins is a national conservative writer and activist. He runs Right Wing News and is co-owner of the The Looking Spoon.

Tags: John Hawkins, America, Christians, Wussies To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

But What Does the Supreme Leader Say?

Iran's Supreme Leader Sayyed Ali-Khamenei
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: What Americans have a hard time understanding is that, for all the Iranian negotiators, the outcome of the nuclear arms deal that the United States is leading all comes down to just one man, Sayyed Ali-Khamenei, otherwise known as the Supreme Leader of Iran.

In the 21st century, it is hard to comprehend that a nation could be ruled by a man whose powers supersede that nation’s president, its civil government, its judiciary and its military. Iran has had only one other Supreme Leader since its founding in 1979, Ruhollah Khomeini who held the position until his death in 1989. The 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran overthrew the Shah in order to secure greater freedom, but the Iranians ended up more servile than before.

This is who Obama and P5+1 team (France, Great Britain, Russia, China, plus Germany) is negotiating with as they move toward the March 31 deadline for the talks. Khamenei has already said that the only thing he wants is the immediately lifting of the economic sanctions that are credited with bringing the Iranians to the negotiation table.

The negotiations have to be seen in the context of Iran’s daily cries of “Death to America” and “Death to Israel.” They have to be seen in the context of a history of Iranian aggression against America and Israel that has included the bombing of our Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983, attacks on U.S. embassies and countless other examples of their bad intentions, not the least of which has been its sponsorship of two anti-Israel groups, Hezbollah in Lebanon and, to a lessor extent, Hamas in Gaza.

Any nuclear deal that permits Iran to continue to enrich enough uranium to make its own nuclear weapons is a very bad deal. Netanyahu came to the U.S. at the invitation of Congress to make that point as the leader of the nation the Supreme Leader intends to destroy. We would be next.

All this is just slightly insane when one considers that President Obama has been obsessed with reaching an agreement with Iran before and since he took office in 2009. He has done everything possible to demonstrate his desire to remove the obstacles to conferring approval on Iran. In the process, he has made us look and be weak.

It is hopeful news, therefore, as reported in The Hill that “Congress is growing hostile to the emerging nuclear deal with Iran, leaving President Obama with little political cover as he approaches a critical deadline in the talks. Should a deal be reached, it would transform U.S. and Iranian relations and potentially give Obama the most important foreign policy achievement of his second term.”

His most significant foreign policy failure, however, has been his betrayal of Israel, the only ally in the Mideast that the U.S. truly has had. Declassifying information about Israel’s nuclear arms was pure treachery. That said, it was no secret and no doubt has protected Israel against apocalyptic destruction.

Consider the Middle Eastern foreign policy failures Obama has had to date. The Saudis and other Gulf States have abandoned hope that Obama would resist the Iranian proxies taking over Yemen. They are pursuing their own military operation there. Egypt which replaced the Muslim Brotherhood with a U.S.-friendly president has not seen any renewal of the former friendly relations that existed. Iraq is in turmoil thanks to Obama’s removal of U.S. troops in 2011 and even has Iranian military units fighting ISIS. Syria has been in a civil war that has killed thousands. It’s a long list but it comes down to Obama’s ending of the U.S. role in the Mideast.

Just as the Iranians are controlled by their Supreme Leader, we have a President who sees himself and his role in a similar way. He has demonstrated his dissatisfaction with the Constitution and the limits it puts on the Executive branch. He has ignored Congress and has been experiencing reversals of policy by the judicial branch. In the case of the Iran negotiations Congress has been kept in the dark along with the rest of the American people.

The Secretary of State, John Kerry, has declared that any outcome of the negotiations would legally non-binding. If so, why are they being pursued? Such negotiations at the treaty level have always required the consent of the Senate, but the Obama regime is seeking to by-pass that mandatory factor.

On the other side of the table, it has been reported that the main stumbling block to agreement has been Iran’s failure to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether it tried to build atomic weapons in the past. If United Nations inspectors, in the future as in the past, are unable to verify that Iran is not continuing its nuclear weapons program, there is no way an agreement of any kind could be achieved.

On March 26, the Washington Examiner reported “The Obama administration is giving in to Iranian demands about the scope of its nuclear program as negotiators work to finalize a framework agreement in the coming days, according to sources familiar with the administration’s position in the negotiations.”

You can be very sure that the Supreme Leader is watching this closely. If he can continue to get the kind of negotiations—an accord—that will result in Iran becoming a sanctions-free, nuclear-armed nation, he will permit the deal to proceed.

The Iranians, as always, will cheat on any deal to achieve this goal. Sadly, everyone at the table knows that, but Russia and China have strong economic reasons to pretend otherwise.

If the Supreme Leader gets what he wants the prospect for war in the Middle East would increase immeasurably. The threat level to the U.S. and Israel would be off the charts.
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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 contribution author on the  ARRA News Service.

Tags: Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, Iran, Supreme Leader, Sayyed Ali-Khamenei To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Pickin’ and Grinnin’ . . .

. . . Starbucks Racism campaign is continuing to pick at an old scab that many on the left never want to completely heal.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

Tags: Editorial Cartoon, AF Branco, Starbucks, racism campaign, Pickin' and Grinnin' To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Liberals, Please Don’t Ruin Sports For Our Kids

by Tom Balek, Contributing Author: My grandson just turned five, and that entitles me to coach his little league baseball team. It’s Grandpa Heaven. Our first game was last Saturday.

At this age, the coach pitches to his own players and if they can’t hit it after five good pitches, they hit from a tee. My grandson smashed my first pitch into deep center field, but I digress . . .

I didn't expect a baseball game for five-year-olds to have a political slant. But it sure did.

Our team took the field first, and the other team sent up their first batter. He hit a grounder to our first baseman, who stepped on the bag for the first out. But instead of returning to the dugout, the batter stood on first base, held there by his coach. My other coaches and I looked at each other, confused. Our players looked at us wondering what was going on. We told the opposing coach, “Hey! That kid is out!” (There are no umpires for T-ball.)

“No, we are going to let all the kids run the bases,” he said. “Nobody goes out.”

The second batter hit a grounder to our pitcher, who tossed the ball to first base. Out number two. But no, the coach left both runners on the bases. We didn't put up a fight at the time, because it was our first year coaching in this league, and the other team’s coaches seemed to be veterans with authority. “This is the way we play in this league,” they barked. We had been given the leagues “rules” before the season started, stating, “There will be a maximum of 5 runs or 3 outs per inning, whichever comes first,” and “An out is an out. Player must leave the field of play.” Apparently rules mean as much to these dads as the Constitution does to President Obama.

This morning I wrote a note to the coach of our opposing team next week, asking him to agree that “an out is an out” in our upcoming game. I explained that the kids were confused because rules weren’t enforced, and many of them were getting really bored because every play had the same outcome. I copied my email to the league’s director.

That started a flurry of emails. Turns out the league director is a knuckle-headed liberal who thinks that it is more “fun” for the kids to never fail than it is for them to actually succeed. I pointed out that kids, especially at that age, need order and structure. They want to know what they are supposed to do. What’s the point of throwing the ball to first base if the runner is always safe? And why bother to run hard to beat the throw if you will be safe anyway? The “putout” is fundamental to baseball. There is no game without it. And besides, what is more fun than getting a legitimate base hit, or a putout?

The director, of course, launched into the predictable liberal tirade about the evils of competition. “Besides, kids at this age never put anybody out anyway,” he claimed. That got my daughter (assistant coach) into the fray. “Our team made five putouts in the first inning, three in the second, and two in the third!” she countered. She was a very competitive athlete in younger years, and was obviously keeping score, mentally. “The other team got several putouts too. So did the teams that played after us.” She, too, pointed out that the players were getting bored because every play had the same outcome.

The director said he would think about it. But I’m not optimistic that the integrity of our T-ball league will be saved from a liberal fate.

Why do liberals think they have the only correct understanding of fairness? How fair is it when you put a kid out at first base and he gets to stay there anyway? A “game”, by definition, is a competition with a winner and a loser. Results. Consequences. Reality. No consequences, no game.

Imagine the NCAA championship game coming up in a couple of weeks. Every player gets to take the same number of shots. Every shot is good for two points, whether it goes in the basket or not. But nobody keeps score anyway, because it might make somebody feel bad. Do you think anybody would pay to watch? Or want to play? Even a five-year-old knows that’s just plain stupid.

** UPDATE 3/28/15 – our little “protest” worked – with support from other parents and coaches, we got the league director to enforce the rule. Starting today, in our little kids baseball league, “an out is an out.” Victory!
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Rockin' On the Right SideTom Balek – Rockin' On the Right Side is a fellow conservative activist, blogger and musician. Tom and the ARRA News Service Editor left part of their hearts in Montana. Tom resides in North Carolina and between playing in weekend bands, he seeks to educate those too busy with their work and families to notice how close to the precipice our economy has come.

Just to hit the ball, and touch 'em all
A moment in the sun
It's a-gone and you can tell that one good-bye!

Center Field - John Fogerty

Tags: Tom Balek, Rockin' On The Right Side, Liberals, Don’t Ruin Sports, Our Kids To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Friday, March 27, 2015

M855 Plot Thickens: One Congressman Proposes Center-Fire Ammo Ban | Another Proposes Preventing Obama Admin From Banning Ammo

NRA-ILA: You didn’t need a crystal ball to see this one coming. On Monday, a week after the BATFE withdrew its plan to ban M855 as “armor-piercing ammunition,” U.S. Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) announced that he intends to introduce legislation to “extend the definition of armor-piercing ammunition to include all bullets that can pierce body armor and be used in handguns.”

On March 13, 2015, three days after the BATFE rescinded its proposed ammo ban framework regulation, anti-gun U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) introduced H.R. 1358, a bill designed to ban civilian use and possession of M855 ammunition. This is the same round that the BATFE, after meeting fierce bipartisan opposition from Capitol Hill and from NRA members and supporters across the country, decided to rescind its framework to ban M855 ammunition.

The reason you didn’t need a crystal ball is that gun control supporters have been pushing this idea for years. In the 1980s, after NBC-TV did an attack piece on bullets invented for law enforcement officers to shoot through walls and doors, disingenuously calling them “Cop Killer Bullets,” gun control supporters seized upon the term and proposed legislation to ban any bullet that could penetrate a soft protective vest.

Fortunately, the Departments of Justice and Treasury, along with the NRA, opposed the “performance-based” approach to defining “armor-piercing ammunition,” because it would have banned virtually all center-fire rifle ammunition and some center-fire handgun ammunition. Therefore, in 1986, Congress instead adopted a “construction-based” approach, defining bullets as “armor-piercing ammunition” based upon the metals from which they are made.

In the 1990s, President Bill Clinton and then-Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY) pushed for a performance-based bullet ban within terrorism legislation. A study released by the BATFE in April 1997, however, concluded “existing laws are working, no additional legislation regarding such laws is necessary.”

Now, the BATFE’s recent attempt to ban M855 has inspired gun control supporters to take another shot at a near-total center-fire bullet ban, and in the case of Rep. Israel, to do so without knowing the first thing about the subject. Israel says his bill is necessary “[b]ecause of significant developments in bullet propellants, coatings and materials, such as Teflon.”

To which we have to ask: Seriously, Teflon? The substance used to coat skillets and 1970s-era all-steel handgun bullets invented for law enforcement officers, so the bullets wouldn’t scratch the rifling of the officers’ handgun barrels? Teflon, which has nothing to do with whether a bullet can penetrate a protective vest? Teflon (speaking of Clinton), the substance said to cover dishonest, misbehaving public officials who nevertheless skirt scrutiny and accountability again and again?

As we have previously noted, in the 38 years that the FBI has reported the caliber of handguns used to kill law enforcement officers, no such crime has been committed with a handgun capable of firing M855 or any other .223 or 5.56mm cartridge.

Rep. Israel is right about one thing, however. He says that the 1986 law that the BATFE tried to twist in order to ban M855 “is outdated.” Indeed, it is, but not in the way that Israel imagines. The law should be amended to narrow BATFE’s discretion to ban ammunition. It should be understood to cover only such bullets as are designed for the express purpose of penetrating protective vests when loaded into pistol-caliber cartridges and fired from handguns. It should further exempt all bullets that are primarily intended for any legitimate purpose, including self-defense.

Rest assured we'll keep readers apprised of any new developments.

Update:  Gun owners' ally U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC)  introduced the “Ammunition and Firearms Protection Act”, H.R. 1365, to prevent BATFE from acting on its plans.

Besides expressly protecting M855 and SS109 type ammunition, the bill would also reassert in unmistakable terms Congressional intent that the “armor piercing ammunition” law not be used to ban “ammunition designed, intended, and marketed for use in a rifle.” As NRA noted in its recent comments on BATFE’s Framework, the law at issue “focuses narrowly on the specific concern of projectiles that are purposely designed to penetrate bullet resistant armor when fired from a handgun, rather than those that are incidentally capable of doing so because of their design for some other legitimate purpose.” This is a key point in correctly understanding the intended scope of the law, as its original authors emphasized their intention not to ban ordinary rifle ammunition overwhelmingly used for law-abiding purposes.

Of course, anti-gun members of Congress are incensed that BATFE has been forced into retreat, and they have introduced their own bill (see related stories) to codify and expand upon BATFE’s distorted reading of the law. The overwhelming response by NRA members and other gun owners stopped BATFE’s proposed ban in its tracks. Now, those who hold dear their Second Amendment rights must ensure that any Congressional response to BATFE’s actions protects liberty, rather than infringes it.

Please contact your U.S. Representative and ask him or her to SUPPORT H.R. 1365 and oppose any attempts to further restrict the availability of ammunition as a direct assault on your Second Amendment rights. The NRA thanks Rep. McHenry for his leadership in this important effort.

You can contact your U.S. Representative about this legislation by using our "Write Your Lawmakers" tool at www.NRAILA.org, or by phone at (202) 224-3121.

Tags: gun ammo, M855, Representative, anti-gun, Eliot Engel, D-NY, ammo ban, H.R. 1358, pro-gun, Patrick McHenry, R-NC, “Ammunition and Firearms Protection Act”, H.R. 1365, NRA, NRA-ILA To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Sellout Sunday?

Is This The Sellout Sunday Team?
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: There is speculation based on the travel schedules of the key figures involved in the Iranian nuclear negotiations that a potential deal could be announced this Sunday. From everything we know, that deal will be a disaster for us and our allies, and a gift for the Iranian regime.

Consider the news just from the past week:
  • The New York Times told us that the Iranians were resisting "any kind of formal 'framework' agreement." In other words, they want as little as possible to be put in writing. The Times adds that this could lead to the Obama White House claiming one thing while Tehran claims something completely different, which happened the last time Obama claimed to have a deal with Tehran.
  • The Associated Press reported that Iran was refusing to permit "snap inspections" of its nuclear facilities by U.N. inspectors.
  • The Washington Post wrote, "The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said that Iran has failed to provide the information or access needed to allay the agency's concerns about the weapons potential of the country's nuclear program."
  • There are reports today that the Obama Administration "may allow Iran to run hundreds of centrifuges" -- this is truly unbelievable -- at "a fortified underground bunker."
  • The Iranians are bragging about how much we have conceded. A key Iranian negotiator said this week, "The [West] has withdrawn from its positions compared with the past, otherwise we wouldn't have stood at this point and stage in the talks at all."
Responding to the latest revelations, Senator Robert Menendez, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, "We are not inching closer to Iran's negotiating position, but leaping toward it with both feet." If there is a deal announced this weekend regarding Iran's nuclear program, by all indications it will be a sellout of U.S. and Israeli security interests. Not surprisingly, such a sellout will only accelerate nuclear proliferation in the Middle East as Arab nations realize that the Obama White House has no intention of reining in Iran's nuclear ambitions.
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Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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

Water Crimes and Criminals

by Paul Jacob, Contributing Author: Which is worse, paying for stuff you use . . . or being constantly harassed for using it?

One consequence of widespread failure to charge market rates for water turns out to be hyper-regulation of hydro-usage, and the penalizing - even criminalizing - of using "too much" H2O.

To deal with drought, California now regards it as riminal to "waste" water. Don't hose down that sidewalk! Las Vegas tries to save water by paying people to rip out their lawns. The EPA is developing technology to force hotels to monitor guests' specific water usage.

In unhampered markets, sudden and big drops in supply tend to cause sudden and big rises in prices. People economize without being forced. If you must pay more for orange juice because of frozen crops, you either buy less juice or buy less of something else (if orange juice is your favorite thing). But the shelves don't go bare.

The worse supply problems are, the higher the prices, the more customers economize, the more producers produce. So when there's a local drought, what will a water company do (as opposed to an overweening water authority)? Charge more. Pipe in water from other states. Other solutions I can't think of offhand . . . because I'm not running a water company. I lack the direct incentive that the possible profit from solving the problem provides.

Let people cooperate with each other. That is how they'll solve their water problems - without governmental bullying.

The water will come like rain.

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

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The Secret Life of Barack Obama

by Ben Shapiro: There is a unicorn lair in North Korea. We know this because the Dear Leader of North Korea, Kim Jung Un, tells us so. According to the official Korean Central News Agency, archaeologists have “recently reconfirmed” the existence of the unicorn lair dating back to the Koryo Kingdom (918-1392).

President Obama has his own unicorn lair. It is the world as it exists inside his head, Walter Mitty-style. In no way does this world resemble reality; it is a bizarre fantasyland of Obama’s own construction, in which he is all-powerful, all-knowing and always right. It is a world in which his foreign policy predictions come true, in which his policies are successful, in which the flaming world he has helped create sparkles rather than burns.

In President Obama’s world, Iran is not a threat, but an ally. Iran, in this world, is not an Islamic dictatorship, but a rational actor simply demanding the global respect to which it is entitled. The Ayatollah Khamenei’s public statements of “Death to America” constitute a rhetorical love tap, designed for a “domestic political audience” — presumably an audience to whom the ayatollahs must answer, despite the lack of real elections in Iran for well over three decades. Iran’s repeated statements that it intends to wipe Israel from the map simply show that Iran requires more concessions, not less. Iran’s open suggestion that snap nuclear inspections be ruled out of negotiations show it is untrusting, not untrustworthy. Iran’s expansionist policies in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen are all growing pains that can be eased by Western kowtowing.

In fact, in President Obama’s world, Yemen is a shining example of American foreign policy at work. Just months ago, Obama used Yemen as his paradigm of functional anti-terrorism; two days ago, Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, said that Yemen “did serve as a sort of template for the kind of strategy that we would employ to mitigate the threat from extremists around the world.” Earnest claimed that the Obama administration’s anti-terror policy in Yemen helped to “stabiliz[e] the country so extremists can’t use it to plot against the West.” Last month, the American embassy closed in Yemen, with its Marine guard evacuated without its weapons. Last week, the last American forces left the country, which has been plunged into full-scale civil war by the Iranian-backed Houthi militias.

But the real threat to global peace, in President Obama’s world, lies with the quarrelsome Jews some 1,200 miles to the northwest. There, the democratic country of Israel has endangered its status as a democracy by failing to negotiate with terrorism-backing Palestinians; there, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a troublesome Jew if ever there was one, insists that Iran, not Jews building bathrooms in East Jerusalem, represents a threat to global order. If only the United States could achieve some daylight between itself and the Jewish state, all would be well — even though Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have never drawn closer to Netanyahu, knowing that Netanyahu is a far better guarantor of their security against an Iranian bomb than Barack Obama.

Delusional dictatorship is a danger to regional peace. But delusional American leadership is a threat to global peace. Nonetheless, things are going swimmingly in Barack Obama’s head. Iran is a regional ally, Yemen is a model of peace and security, and Israel is an incipient enemy. The unicorns still roam free, even if free people live in danger of chains.
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Ben Shapiro is a graduate of UCLA and (unlike Barack Obama a documented) Harvard Law School, a radio host on KTTH 770 Seattle and KRLA 870 Los Angeles, Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org, and Senior Editor-at-Large of Breitbart News.

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We Are Losing to an Enemy We Refuse to Name

by Newt Gingrich: Congress Needs a Strategy to Defeat Violent and Cultural Jihad!

This week, the House Committee on Homeland Security, under the leadership of Chairman Michael McCaul, held the first of a series of very important hearings on the threat of radical Islamism.

As I told the committee in my testimony, it is vital that the United States Congress undertake a thorough, no-holds-barred review of the long, global war in which we are now engaged with radical Islamists. This review will require a number of committees to coordinate since it will have to include Intelligence, Armed Services, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, and Homeland Security at a minimum.

There are three key, sobering observations about where we are today which should force this thorough, no-holds-barred review of our situation.

These three points—which are backed up by the facts—suggest the United States is drifting into a crisis that could challenge our very survival.

First, it is the case that after 35 years of conflict dating back to the Iranian seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran and the ensuing hostage crisis, the United States and its allies are losing the long, global war with radical Islamists.
We are losing to both the violent Jihad and to the cultural Jihad.

The violent Jihad has shown itself recently in Paris, Australia, Tunisia, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Nigeria, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Yemen to name just some of the most prominent areas of violence.

Cultural Jihad is more insidious and in many ways more dangerous. Cultural Jihad strikes at our very ability to think and to have an honest dialogue about the steps necessary for our survival. Cultural Jihad is winning when the Department of Defense describes a terrorist attack at Fort Hood as “workplace violence”. Cultural Jihad is winning when the President refers to “random” killings in Paris when they were clearly the actions of Islamist terrorists and targeted against specific groups. Cultural Jihad is winning when the administration censors training documents and lecturers according to “sensitivity” so that they cannot describe radical Islamists with any reference to the religious ideology which is the primary bond that unites them.

In the 14 years since the 9/11 attacks, we have gone a long way down the road of intellectually and morally disarming in order to appease the cultural Jihadists who are increasingly aggressive in asserting their right to define how the rest of us think and talk.

Second, it is the case that, in an extraordinarily dangerous pattern, our intelligence system has been methodically limited and manipulated to sustain false narratives while suppressing or rejecting facts and analysis about those who would kill us.

For example, there is clear evidence the American people have been given remarkably misleading analysis about Al Qaeda based on a very limited translation and publication of about 24 of the 1.5 million documents captured in the Bin Laden raid. A number of outside analysts have suggested that the selective release of a small number of documents was designed to make the case that Al Qaeda was weaker. These outside analysts assert that a broader reading of more documents would indicate Al Qaeda was doubling in size when our government claimed it was getting weaker—an analysis also supported by obvious empirical facts on the ground. Furthermore, there has been what could only be deliberate foot-dragging in exploiting this extraordinary cache of material.

Both Lt. General Mike Flynn, the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and Colonel Derek Harvey, a leading analyst of terrorism, have described the deliberately misleading and restricted access to the Bin Laden documents.

A number of intelligence operatives have described censorship from above designed to make sure that intelligence which undermines the official narrative simply does not see the light of day.

Congress should explore legislation which would make it illegal to instruct intelligence personnel to falsify information or analysis. Basing American security policy on politically defined distortions of reality is a very dangerous habit which could someday lead to a devastating defeat. Congress has an obligation to ensure the American people are learning the truth and have an opportunity to debate potential policies in a fact based environment.

Third, it is the case that our political elites have refused to define our enemies. Their willful ignorance has made it impossible to develop an effective strategy to defeat those who would destroy our civilization.

For example, the President’s own press secretary engages in verbal gymnastics to avoid identifying the perpetrators of violence as radical Islamists. Josh Earnest said such labels do not “accurately” describe our enemies and that to use such a label “legitimizes” them.

This is Orwellian double-speak. The radical Islamists do not need to be de-legitimized. They need to be defeated. We cannot defeat what we cannot name.

There has been a desperate desire among our elites to focus on the act of terrorism rather than the motivation behind those acts. There has been a deep desire to avoid the cultural and religious motivations behind the Jihadists’ actions. There is an amazing hostility to any effort to study or teach the history of these patterns going back to the Seventh Century.

Because our elites refuse to look at the religious and historic motivations and patterns which drive our opponents, we are responding the same way to attack after attack on our way of life without any regard for learning about what really motivates our attackers. Only once we learn what drives and informs our opponents will we not repeat the same wrong response tactics, groundhog day-like, and finally start to win this long war.

Currently each new event, each new group, each new pattern is treated as though it’s an isolated phenomenon—as if it’s not part of a larger struggle with a long history and deep roots in patterns that are 1400 years old.

There is a passion for narrowing and localizing actions. The early focus was Al Qaeda. Then it was the Taliban. Now it is ISIS. It is beginning to be Boko Haram. As long as the elites can keep treating each new eruption as a free-standing phenomenon, they can avoid having to recognize that this is a global, worldwide movement that is decentralized but not disordered.

There are ties between Minneapolis and Mogadishu. There are ties between London, Paris and ISIS. Al Qaeda exists in many forms and under many names. We are confronted by worldwide recruiting on the internet, with Islamists reaching out to people we would never have imagined were vulnerable to that kind of appeal.

We have been refusing to apply the insights and lessons of history but our enemies have been very willing to study, learn, rethink and evolve.

The cultural Jihadists have learned our language and our principles—freedom of speech, freedom of religion, tolerance—and they apply them to defeat us without believing in them themselves. We blindly play their game on their terms, and don’t even think about how absurd it is for people who accept no church, no synagogue, no temple, in their heartland to come into our society and define multicultural sensitivity totally to their advantage—meaning, in essence, that we cannot criticize their ideas.

Our elites have been morally and intellectually disarmed by their own unwillingness to look at both the immediate history of the first 35 years of the global war with radical Islamists and then to look deeper into the roots of the ideology and the military-political system our enemies draw upon as their guide to waging both physical and cultural warfare.

One of the great threats to American independence is the steady growth of foreign money pouring into our intellectual and political systems to influence our thinking and limit our options for action. Congress needs to adopt new laws to protect the United States from the kind of foreign influences which are growing in size and boldness.

Sun Tzu, in the Art of War, written 500 years before Christ, warned that “all warfare is based on deception”. We are currently in a period where our enemies are deceiving us and our elites are actively deceiving themselves—and us. The deception and dishonesty of our elites is not accidental or uninformed. It is deliberate and willful. The flow of foreign money and foreign influence is a significant part of that pattern of deception.

We must clearly define our enemies before we can begin to develop strategies to defeat them.
We have lost 35 years since this war began.

We are weaker and our enemies are stronger.

Congress has a duty to pursue the truth and to think through the strategies needed and the structures which will be needed to implement those strategies.
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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, we are losing, enemy, we refuse to name To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Dereliction of Duty . . .

. . . Missing Leadership in the free world in the midst of global chaos.
Editorial Cartoon by AF Branco

Tags: missing leadership, U.S PResident, President Obama, dereliction of duty, 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!

Indiana Protects Religious Liberty. Why That's Good Policy!

by Dr. Ryan T Anderson & Sarah Torre, Heritage Foundation: In a victory for religious freedom, earlier today Gov. Mike Pence, R-Ind., signed into law the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act. This is good policy that protects the fundamental freedom of Indiana citizens from unnecessary and unreasonable government coercion.

The Indiana law is based on the 1993 federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act—a law that has served the American people well for more than 20 years. Passed with 97 votes in the Senate and by unanimous voice vote in the House, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act was signed into law by then-President Bill Clinton. This federal law prohibits substantial government burdens on religious exercise unless the government can show a compelling interest in burdening religious liberty and does so through the least restrictive means.

These protections for religious freedom, like the one passed in Indiana, provide a commonsense way to balance the fundamental right to religious liberty with compelling government interests. The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects against federal government violations of religious liberty, and state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts protect against state violations.

By passing its Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Indiana joins the 19 other states that have implemented such laws. Eleven additional states have religious liberty protections that state courts have interpreted to provide a similar level of protection. These commonsense laws place the onus on the government to justify its actions in burdening the free exercise of religion.

Responding to critics of the bill, who wrongly characterized the religious freedom protections, Pence stated in a press release following the signing:For more than twenty years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation’s anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana. ...

Faith and religion are important values to millions of Hoosiers and with the passage of this legislation, we ensure that Indiana will continue to be a place where we respect freedom of religion and make certain that government action will always be subject to the highest level of scrutiny that respects the religious beliefs of every Hoosier of every faith.
The Indiana law, like all state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts, prevents government discrimination against religious free exercise. Religious Freedom Restoration Acts simply provide a way to balance religious liberty with compelling government interests.

There are now numerous cases of photographers, florists, cake makers and farmers being forced to participate in celebrating same-sex weddings in violation of their belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. These are citizens who have no problem serving gays and lesbians but do object to celebrating same-sex weddings.

Religious liberty isn’t an absolute right. Religious liberty doesn’t always trump. Religious liberty is balanced with concerns for a compelling state interest that’s being pursued in the least-restrictive means possible.

But it isn't clear that forcing every photographer and every baker and every florist to help celebrate same-sex weddings is advancing a compelling state interest in the least-restrictive way possible. Protecting religious liberty and the rights of conscience doesn’t infringe on anyone’s sexual freedoms.

No one has the right to have the government force a particular minister to marry them, or a certain photographer to capture the first kiss or a baker to bake the wedding cake. Declining to perform these services doesn’t violate anyone’s sexual freedoms. Some citizens may conclude that they cannot in good conscience participate in a same-sex ceremony, from priests and pastors to bakers and florists. The government should not force them to choose between their religious beliefs and their livelihood.

Of course, religious liberty isn’t just about the marriage debate. Just last year, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act protected the Green family and the Hahn family — owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood—from government coercion at the federal level. Protecting this fundamental freedom has benefited many Americans during the last two decades, including those of minority faiths.

As Jasjit Singh, executive director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, explained:RFRA [Religious Freedom Restoration Act] means myself, my brothers, my sisters, my mom, my dad, we can all participate in American life in the way we had dreamed and really the way it is promised as written out in the Constitution. We have an opportunity to get jobs and to fully integrate within American society without having to sacrifice or compromise any part of our religious identity. And earlier this year, in a 9-0 ruling the U.S. Supreme Court held that a similar federal religious liberty law protected a Muslim inmate’s right to grow a short beard.

Again, Religious Freedom Restoration Acts don’t allow individuals to do whatever they wish in the name of religion. There will be times when the government can show it has a compelling reason for burdening religious expression—to ensure public safety, for instance.

But Religious Freedom Restoration Acts set a high bar for the government to meet in order to restrict religious freedom. The way we’ve learned to live in a pluralistic society, with diverse religious and moral opinions, is to have a balancing test like the one the Religious Freedom Restoration Act provides.

A robust conception of religious liberty provides every person the freedom to seek the truth, form beliefs, and live according to the dictates of his or her conscience—whether at home, in worship or at work.

Fortunately, citizens of Indiana now have greater protection of that fundamental right to live out and express their faith.
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Ryan T. Anderson (@RyanT_Anderson)researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He also focuses on justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education, and has expertise in bioethics and natural law theory. Sarah Torre / (@sarahtorre) focuses on policy issues related to religious liberty, marriage and family as policy analyst in the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation.

Tags: Indiana, protects, religious liberty, good policy, Ryan T. Anderson, Sarah Torre, Heritage Foundation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Senate Passes Budget | Harry Reid To Retire

Sen. Harry Reid to Retire End of 2016
Today in Washington, D. C - March 27, 2015:
The House is not in session today. They have headed to their home states for "District Work" until and unless recalled earlier will return on April 13 with votes postponed until 6:30 PM. On Wednesday the House passed their budget plan.

Yesterday the House passed H.R. 2 (392-37) — "To amend title XVIII of the Social Security Act to repeal the Medicare sustainable growth rate and strengthen Medicare access by improving physician payments and making other improvements, to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program, and for other purposes."

The Senate is now adjourned for Easter Recess. They worked in an all-night session and at 3:28 AM today passed a Senate budget plan that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, fundamentally remake federal health care for the poor and elderly, and push the federal deficit toward zero over the next decade. The vote was 52-46 along party lines. The Senate considered hundreds of amendments and voted on dozens of amendments. Republicans cheered and Democrats cursed.

The House and Senate will have to reconcile their passed plans. Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said, "Fortunately for the country, the Republican budget will not become law." He was referring to a expected future veto by the President of any Republican budget. Both Sen. Harry Reid and former Rep nancy Pelosi (D-CA) as leaders continued to support continuing resolutions verses the requirement to pass a balanced budget.

The good news today is that Sen. Harry Reid, age 75 and minority leader in the U.S. Senate, has announced he will not run re-election at the end of his term. He has been in the Senate since 1986. He vowed to work to regain the Democrat's majority and control of the Senate in the 2016 elections. Prior to being elected to the Senate, he served two terms in the House. he is a former former trial lawyer and head of the Nevada gaming commission.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

The Constitution Isn't Kindling

Will Democrats Continue To Aid Obama’s War On Coal Families?

Today, Dems Have An Opportunity To Help Rein In The EPA’s ‘Constitutionally Reckless’ War On Coal Families

McConnell / Paul Amendment ‘prohibition on withholding highway funds from States that refuse to submit State Implementation Plans’ to the EPA: “To establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to the regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency of greenhouse gas emissions, which may include a prohibition on withholding highway funds from States that refuse to submit State Implementation Plans required under the Clean Power Plan of the Agency.” (S.Amdt.836, Introduced 3/25/15)
Harvard Law Professor: ‘Burning The Constitution Should Not Become Part Of Our National Energy Policy’

PROF. LAURENCE TRIBE: “In my considered view, EPA is off on a constitutionally reckless mission.” (U.S. House Of Representatives, Committee On Energy And Commerce, Hearing, P.1, 3/17/15)
JODY FREEMAN & RICHARD LAZARUS, Harvard Law Professors: “The EPA has no legal authority—none—to force the states to file plans. The agency cannot cut off highway funds…” (Politico Magazine, 3/25/15)

Liberals Terrified McConnell Plan To Fight EPA ‘Might Actually Work’

Salon: “Mitch McConnell is going all in on his promise ‘do everything [he] can to try to stop’ the EPA.” (Salon, 3/20/15)
OBAMA ADMIN: ‘A War On Coal Is Exactly What’s Needed,’ ‘Make Examples Out Of People’

DANIEL P. SCHRAG, White House Climate Adviser: ‘A war on coal is exactly what’s needed’ “The one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. …a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.” (The New York Times, 6/25/13)

Obama EPA Official: ‘Make examples out of people’ “The Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean. They’d go into a little Turkish (sic) town somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they saw and they would crucify them. And then you know that town was really easy to manage for the next few years. And so you make examples out of people...” (Forbes, 4/26/12)

THEN-SEN. BARACK OBAMA: “Under my plan of a cap and trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket, even, you know, regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad, because I'm capping greenhouse gases, coal powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.” (The San Francisco Chronicle, 1/17/08)

THEN-SEN. BARACK OBAMA: So if somebody wants to build a coal fired plant they can, it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that is being emitted.”(The San Francisco Chronicle, 1/17/08)

“Regulations for new coal plants would increase electricity prices by as much as 80 percent, an Obama administration official told lawmakers on Tuesday. Julio Friedmann, deputy assistant secretary for clean coal at the Department of Energy, told members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's oversight board that carbon capture and storage technology was still not ready for prime time.” (Washington Examiner, 2/11/14)

‘Examples’ Made In Kentucky: 20,000+ Impacted By Democrat War On Coal Families

“…in coal country, the changes have meant layoffs. Nowhere has been hit harder than eastern Kentucky, where more than 6,000 miners have lost their jobs since January 2012. For each mining job, there are estimated to be at least three directly related jobs, like trucking, that also disappear.” (Fox News, 1/16/14)
  • “According to [Bill] Bissett, [the president of the Kentucky Coal Association] the coal industry has lost more than 6,000 direct jobs, and 18,000 people indirectly connected to the coal industry are out of work. Coal production in Eastern Kentucky is down 30 percent...” (Commonwealth Journal [KY], 1/7/14)

COAL MINER: ‘Never Know From Day To Day If You Are Going To Have A Job’>

GARY LOCKHART, Coal Miner: “Our biggest worries now are just trying to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, telling your family that this was all caused by the EPA, directed by our President for his political agenda.” (Coal Listening Session, Kentucky, 12/6/13)

PHILLIP CONLEY, Coal Miner: “I just believe the Obama administration has taken a huge impact on the coal industry and Appalachia. Anymore, you just never know from day to day if you are going to have a job or not.” Fox News, 1/16/14)

HOWARD ABSHIRE, Coal Miner: “I say to you, Mister President of the United States… We're hurting.  You say you're the president of the people?  Well we're people too. No one loves the mountains no more than we do. We live here. We crawl between them. We get up every morning and we go on top of a mountain in a strip job in the cold rain, snow, to put bread on the table.” (Coal Listening Session, Kentucky, 12/6/13)
  • ABSHIRE: “Come and look at our little children, look at our people, Mr. President. You're not hurting for a job; you've got one. I don't have one.” (Coal Listening Session, Kentucky, 12/6/13)
JUSTINE BRADFORD, Teacher: “Dear EPA:  Will you please tell Santa Claus all we want for Christmas this year is to be able to work. Here in Eastern Kentucky we too are real people.” (Coal Listening Session, Kentucky, 12/6/13)

Tags: Obama administration, War on Coal, EPA, News Reports,  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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  • 9/15/13 - 9/22/13
  • 9/22/13 - 9/29/13
  • 9/29/13 - 10/6/13
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  • 10/13/13 - 10/20/13
  • 10/20/13 - 10/27/13
  • 10/27/13 - 11/3/13
  • 11/3/13 - 11/10/13
  • 11/10/13 - 11/17/13
  • 11/17/13 - 11/24/13
  • 11/24/13 - 12/1/13
  • 12/1/13 - 12/8/13
  • 12/8/13 - 12/15/13
  • 12/15/13 - 12/22/13
  • 12/22/13 - 12/29/13
  • 12/29/13 - 1/5/14
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  • 1/12/14 - 1/19/14
  • 1/19/14 - 1/26/14
  • 1/26/14 - 2/2/14
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  • 2/9/14 - 2/16/14
  • 2/16/14 - 2/23/14
  • 2/23/14 - 3/2/14
  • 3/2/14 - 3/9/14
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  • 3/23/14 - 3/30/14
  • 3/30/14 - 4/6/14
  • 4/6/14 - 4/13/14
  • 4/13/14 - 4/20/14
  • 4/20/14 - 4/27/14
  • 4/27/14 - 5/4/14
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  • 5/11/14 - 5/18/14
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  • 6/1/14 - 6/8/14
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  • 6/15/14 - 6/22/14
  • 6/22/14 - 6/29/14
  • 6/29/14 - 7/6/14
  • 7/6/14 - 7/13/14
  • 7/13/14 - 7/20/14
  • 7/20/14 - 7/27/14
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  • 8/3/14 - 8/10/14
  • 8/10/14 - 8/17/14
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  • 8/24/14 - 8/31/14
  • 8/31/14 - 9/7/14
  • 9/7/14 - 9/14/14
  • 9/14/14 - 9/21/14
  • 9/21/14 - 9/28/14
  • 9/28/14 - 10/5/14
  • 10/5/14 - 10/12/14
  • 10/12/14 - 10/19/14
  • 10/19/14 - 10/26/14
  • 10/26/14 - 11/2/14
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  • 11/9/14 - 11/16/14
  • 11/16/14 - 11/23/14
  • 11/23/14 - 11/30/14
  • 11/30/14 - 12/7/14
  • 12/7/14 - 12/14/14
  • 12/14/14 - 12/21/14
  • 12/21/14 - 12/28/14
  • 12/28/14 - 1/4/15
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  • 1/18/15 - 1/25/15
  • 1/25/15 - 2/1/15
  • 2/1/15 - 2/8/15
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  • 2/15/15 - 2/22/15
  • 2/22/15 - 3/1/15
  • 3/1/15 - 3/8/15
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  • 3/15/15 - 3/22/15
  • 3/22/15 - 3/29/15
  • 3/29/15 - 4/5/15