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] - firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Terrorist Islamic Convert | Jihad In Jerusalem
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Canadian Terrorist Islamic Convert - We know more today about the man who shot and killed a soldier standing guard at Canada's National War Memorial. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, had a long criminal history. He had spent time in prison for drugs and robbery and had recently converted to Islam.
Like Martin Couture-Rouleau, who used his car as a weapon to rundown two Canadian soldiers Monday, Zehaf-Bibeau had planned to travel to Syria to fight with ISIS, but his passport had been revoked. Ironically, his mother is a top Canadian immigration official.
During yesterday's chaos in Ottawa, there was one man who understood the situation, stayed calm and did what had to be done. That man was Kevin Vickers, the 58 year-old Sergeant-At-Arms of the Canadian Parliament, a ceremonial position that doesn't involve arms at all. But it was Vickers, a 30-year veteran of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who brought down Zehaf-Bibeau before he was able to kill again.
When the Canadian Parliament convened this morning, the hallways were lined with grateful Canadians cheering Vickers as he marched ahead. When he entered the House of Commons, the members of Parliament greeted him with thunderous applause and a standing ovation that lasted for several minutes. You can watch it here.
That is what manhood has meant for centuries. When fate puts you in such a position, you must stand and fight back. As has been the case throughout history, it took a good guy with a gun to stop the bad guy with a gun. And so it will be with radical Islam. Thank God we still have men like Kevin Vickers.
Jihad In Jerusalem - As we mentioned yesterday, the assault at the Canadian Parliament was the second jihadist attack in Canada in 48 hours. While the media were justifiably focused on that event, there was a terrorist attack in Jerusalem similar to Monday's attack in Canada.
Abed a-Rahman a-Shaludi, a radical Palestinian Muslim, plowed his car into a crowd of pedestrians injuring nine and killing one. The victim, Chaya Zissel Braun, a 3-month-old baby girl, was an American citizen.
Abed a-Shaludi was shot and killed by Israeli police when he tried to flee the scene of the attack. His family claims this was just a simple car accident. But a-Shaludi had a history of criminal offensives, including attacks against Jews. He is also the nephew of a top Hamas terrorist, who was killed in 1998, and a-Shaludi had posted online messages praising Hamas and homicide bombers.
There has been increasing violence in Jerusalem in recent months. It erupted again in the aftermath of yesterday's attack. Palestinians threw rocks at cars, police and even at a Jewish kindergarten. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to restore order in Jerusalem, saying:
"United Jerusalem was and will always remain the capital of Jerusalem. Every attempt to harm its people will be met with a stronger response. We will return peace and security to Jerusalem. . . . We support the Israeli police, and will give it all the reinforcements necessary. But the attack in Jerusalem is supported by Abu Mazen (Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas) who glorifies the murderers and embraces the organization to which the terrorists belong - Hamas." Please join me in praying for the peace of Jerusalem.
------------- Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families Tags:Canada, Terrorist, Islamic convert, Israel, Jerusalem, Jihad, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working FamiliesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Arkansas' is ranked "2nd highest percentage of children living in scarcity." Our poor children should not have their lives impacted by their families or guardians having to compete with illegal immigrants for limited resources. ~ Dr. Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service
by Nicole Haas, Guest Editorial: Americans are anxious regarding the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants pouring over our southern border. An online Reuters/Ipsos poll with a 2.5% margin of error, showed that 70% of Americans believe illegal immigrants threaten traditional U.S. beliefs and customs. While 63% surveyed also believe they place a burden on our economy.
That’s logical thinking, as many crossing into the U.S. have little work experience or education. The latest, most dramatic, wave of illegals has produced an unprecedented amount of minors that will need food, water, shelter, medical attention, and if they are allowed to stay... education.
So who’s going to pay?
It’s a good question, especially considering we are a nation deeply in debt, with record breaking poverty levels.
If anything, in our growing condition of destitution, attention should be payed to states like Arkansas. No one’s really sure how the state will sway in November’s election and the outcome could prove pivotal for the fate of our nation.
While Arkansas is a beautiful state with much to offer, it is also plagued by poverty. According to the highly regarded statistical data by KidsCount.org, over a quarter of Arkansas’ children have been living in 100% poverty since 2008.
No doubt, the nationwide recession plays a part in the steady growth of Arkansas’ child poverty level. Yet, it climbed 6 points above the national average of 23%, and holds the bitter ranking of a state with the 2nd highest percentageof children living in scarcity.
With the recent influx of unaccompanied foreign-born children that will pull limited resources, it is reasonable to question our Representatives about their stance on the border crisis.
Reports that illegals have already been dispersed throughout the state, prompted Arkansas Republican State Senator, Bart Hester to take a proactive position, sending a public letter to Gov. Mike Beebe demanding answers about Arkansas’ immigration status and current policy.
Arkansas’s Democrat Senator, Mark Pryor, who’s up for re-election this November, has come under fire for his wishy-washy remarks on the subject. Previously, Prior stated in an interview that the border is “much more secure” than it was 10 years ago. He also admits, the border is “not perfect,” and “needs some work.”
His support for meaningful legislation seems to match his, ‘kinda-sorta’ take on the matter. Seemingly, with a-path-to-citizenship (also called, ‘amnesty’ in some circles), as criteria to get his YEA vote for more border protection.
After a failed 2006 attempt at comprehensive immigration reform, Pryor voted NAY along party-lines, on a GOP backed Amendment that would have denied legal status to immigrants convicted of certain crimes including, stalking, domestic violence, aggravated felonies, and crimes against children.
Many people see our current open-border as a massive crime against children, both foreign and U.S. born. Since the ongoing problem of illegal immigration was never seriously addressed, the ramifications will be far reaching for the country as a whole and will likely have the most negative impact on our already struggling communities and states.
------------- Nicole Haas (@PatriotKids) is author of Freedom Bee, a book about self-reliance and liberty for lil' Patriots! She is a member of Smart Girl Politics where this article was first published and she serves on the SGP Communications Team. Tags:Nicole Haas, SGP, Smart Girl Politics, Arkansas, U. Senator, Mark Pryor, Border Crisis, Illegal Immigration, Arkansas families, Arkansas kidsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Grim Reapings, walking dead, Democrat, voters, editorial cartoon, AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: The lull in the coverage of all things Islamic was broken by two terrorist attacks in Canada, a reminder that so long as the world does not unite to destroy the Islamic State, we shall all remain vulnerable. A “lone wolf” terrorist can kill you just as dead as one in a terrorist organization, particularly one encouraging these attacks.
While the media’s herd mentality continues to report about Ebola in West Africa and gears up for massive coverage of the forthcoming November 4 midterm elections, the Middle East remains in a low state of boil, never failing to produce bombings, skirmishes, and the usual inhumanities we associate with Islam.
Americans pay attention to the Middle East only when blood is flowing and at the present time the only element generating that is the Islamic State (ISIS) which continues to attack Kobani in northern Syria and assault the Yazidis and other targets in Iraq. The U.S., Britain and France are bombing ISIS forces, largely to protect and assist the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, the only fighting force of any consequence.
Virtually unreported are the 18 million Muslim refugees throughout out the Middle East. The U.N. reports that these and internally displaced persons reflect the turmoil in Afghanistan, Iraq. Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. To grasp this, think about what either the U.S. or Europe would be like with a comparable number of refugees.
As David P. Goldman, a Senior Fellow at the London Center for Policy Research and Wax Family Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, noted October 20 on the Forum website, “That is cause for desperation: unprecedented numbers of people have been torn from traditional society and driven from their homes, many with little but the clothes on their backs.”
“There are millions of young men in the Muslim world sitting in refugee camps with nothing to do, nowhere to go back to, and nothing to look forward to…never has an extremist movement had so many frustrated and footloose young men in its prospective recruitment pool.”
So what does John Kerry, our Secretary of State, think is the greatest problem in the Middle East? While discussing the ISIS coalition with Middle East leaders, Kerry expressed the opinion a week ago that the Israeli-Palestine situation was the real problem. Apparently he is unaware that there is no Palestinian state and never has been. The one on the West Bank exists thanks to Israeli support and the one in Gaza, controlled by Hamas, provoked Israeli defense measures by rocketing it for months.
Prof. Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies and a Shillman/Ginsberg fellow at the Middle East Forum, has a quite different point of view. “In reality, however, the novelty of the Islamic State, as well as the magnitude of the threat it poses, are greatly exaggerated.”
Noting that many of the Arab states have “failed to modernize and deliver basic services” Prof. Inbar has little anticipation that ISIS could do that either. Moreover “Much of the fragmented Arab world will be busy dealing with its domestic problems for decades, minimizing the possibility that it will turn into a formidable enemy for Israel or the West.”
What has seemed to escape Kerry’s and the President’s attention is the threat of a nuclear armed Iran. The negotiations to encourage Iran to step back from its efforts to create the warheads for its missiles do not appear to promise a favorable outcome. Iran managed to get some sanctions lifted and that was likely why Iran entered into them. They don’t care what the West or the rest of the Middle East wants.
Neither Israel, nor Saudi Arabia are as naïve as the U.S. In March, Richard Silverstein, writing in Tikun Olam, reported that “the level of intense cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia in targeting Iran has become clear. Saudi Arabia isn’t just coordinating its own intelligence efforts with Israel. It’s actually financing a good deal of Israel’s very expensive campaign against Iran.” A recent explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility suggests that the campaign is still quite active.
Noting “airtight military censorship in Israel”, Silverstein pointed out that information about the Israeli-Saudi relationship would not have been reported in an Israeli daily newspaper, Maariv, if both governments did not want Iran and the U.S. to know. In effect, the Saudis have replaced the U.S. as a source of support given President Obama’s barely concealed dislike of Israel.
“But Israel,” wrote Silverstein, “isn’t going to war tomorrow.” Israel will watch the outcome of the U.S.-Iran negotiations and determine what action to take or not at that point. Meanwhile, it will keep the pressure on Iran with its covert program.
At some point the news media will begin to pay more attention to the Middle East. It will not get much cooperation, however, from ISIS because the Islamic State has made it clear that only journalists that obey its rules and write what it wants will live very long.
The “religion of peace”, Islam, has not produced much peace in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world for the last 1,400 years.
----------------- 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:Islamic, madness, Alan Carubam Warning SignsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: With planes being grounded in my home state of Ohio and hospital workers in Texas contracting Ebola, Americans now have stark examples of the danger of President Barack Obama's policies.
Obama has refused to impose a travel ban on flights from Ebola-stricken African countries for political reasons. He does not want to quarantine people who have been in those regions during the past month because it would hurt the already fledgling prospects of Democrats during this midterm election. Our Campaigner-in-Chief is now dangerously derelict in his official duties.
But this weakness on a Ebola travel ban is simply an extension of his larger, pro-amnesty, open border position. While promising voters in 2008 that he would secure the border, it is clear that not only is the border not a priority, but Obama is promising to use an executive order to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in this country. In addition, not only are deportations down 15% this calendar year, the Obama administration is already secretly preparing to print permits for approximately 11 million illegal immigrants.
The President is acutely aware that the more impoverished immigrants come to America, the more muscle Democrats have to expand social welfare programs and ensure electoral victories. But at what cost?
Local communities along the Southern border are especially hard by having to fund the types of law enforcement that the Federal government has failed to do. And states everywhere face the extraordinary burden of illegal immigrants, which are bussed around the country without warning. This puts an unbearable strain on public services, increases crime rates, and spreads dangerous communicable diseases such as scabies and chickenpox.
As illegal immigrant families - along with their children - are shoved into substandard housing facilities where bathrooms are not properly used, the chances for a widespread epidemic of deadly diseases among illegal immigrants is extraordinary. Anyone who thinks its more humane to keep those illegals in such conditions than send them home are sorely mistaken.
Shamefully, it was recently announced that thousands of illegal immigrants with felony convictions are being released from detainment. The cost is so great to manage incarcerated illegal immigrants that local agencies are unwilling to hold them beyond their scheduled release date to start deportation proceedings. The Obama administration is bending over backward to ensure these violent criminals are released into American cities.
In addition, the border security crisis is keeping our nation vulnerable to threats from terrorists, including the Islamic State (ISIS). While details are cloudy for national security reasons, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) believes 10 ISIS terrorists have already been picked up at the border.
With the threat of a growing welfare state, deadly diseases, Islamic radicals, Obama's pro-amnesty agenda is reshaping America while putting us all at risk. The border must be secured now, before it is too late. And,our immigration policy must be reworked!
Americans need to send a message to Mr. Obama on November 4:
Stop the Madness!
---------------------- Ken Blackwell is a member of the Policy Board of the American Civil Rights Union and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. He is a contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Immigration policy, naive, existential threat, releasing criminals, illeglas, amnesty, global threats, ISIS, Ken BlackwellTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Obama Admin ‘Misinformed Congress, Public On Immigrant Release’ | Some Released ‘Faced Serious Criminal Charges’
According to USA Today, “New records contradict the Obama administration's assurances to Congress and the public that the 2,200 people it freed from immigration jails last year to save money had only minor criminal records.
“The records, obtained by USA TODAY, show immigration officials released some undocumented immigrants who had faced far more serious criminal charges, including people charged with kidnapping, sexual assault, drug trafficking and homicide.
“The release sparked a furor in Congress. Republican lawmakers accused the Obama administration of setting dangerous criminals free. In response, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said it had released ‘low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal records,’ a claim the administration repeated to the public and to members of Congress. . . .
“The new records, including spreadsheets and hundreds of pages of e-mails, offer the most detailed information yet about the people ICE freed as it prepared for steep, across-the-government spending cuts in February 2013. They show that although two-thirds of the people who were freed had no criminal records, several had been arrested or convicted on charges more severe than the administration had disclosed. . . .
“Lawmakers expressed concern. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said it is ‘deeply troubling that ICE would knowingly release thousands of undocumented immigrant detainees – many with prior criminal records – into our streets, while publicly downplaying the danger they posed.’ . . .
“A spreadsheet ICE officials prepared listing the detainees includes one person in Texas charged with aggravated kidnapping and sexually assaulting a child, as well as others charged with armed assaults or assaulting police officers. Another immigrant released from Miami had been charged with conspiracy to commit homicide. Two detainees from Boston had been charged with aggravated assault using a weapon. One in Denver had a sexual assault charge. The agency released the spreadsheet to USA TODAY under the Freedom of Information Act.
“ICE's records do not indicate whether the detainees were convicted of those crimes or merely charged with them. The agency said it would not release information identifying any of the detainees because doing so would invade their privacy, so it was impossible to examine the details of their cases.” Yes, privacy for serious and even criminal illegals.
USA Today reminds readers what the Obama administration said at the time it was asked about these releases. “In hearings last year, Republican lawmakers pressed then-ICE Director John Morton for specifics on the criminal records of the people the agency had freed. At one, Rep. J. Randy Forbes, R-Va., asked Morton directly, ‘No one on that list has been charged or convicted with murder, rape or sexual abuse of a minor, were they?’
“Morton answered, ‘They were not.’
“He told lawmakers that, to his knowledge, none had faced child pornography charges.
“White House spokesman Jay Carney similarly described them as ‘low-risk, non-criminal detainees.’ . . .
“Morton, who resigned last year, told Congress that the more than 2,200 immigrants ICE released included 629 people with criminal records, all of them people who had been charged with misdemeanors ‘or other criminals whose prior conviction did not pose a violent threat to public safety.’”
The story notes, “Homeland Security officials have acknowledged that ICE handled the detainee release badly.” That seems to be a common refrain with the Obama administration. Tags:Obama administration, misinformed Congress, Illegal immigrants released, serious criminal chargesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
The number of active rigs drilling for oil and gas fell by their most in two months, according to the latest data from oil services firm Baker Hughes. There were 19 oil rigs that were removed from operation as of Oct. 17, compared to the prior week. There are now 1,590 active oil rigs, the lowest level in six weeks.
"Unless there's a significant reversal in oil prices, we're going to see continued declines in the rig count, especially those drilling for oil," James Williams, president of WTRG Economics, told Fuel Fix in an interview. "We could easily see the oil rig count down 100 by the end of the year, or more."
Baker Hughes CEO Martin Craighead predicted that U.S. drilling companies could begin to seriously start removing rigs from operation if prices drop to around $75 per barrel. Some of the more expensive shale regions will not be profitable at current prices. For example, the pricey Tuscaloosa shale in Louisiana breaks even at about $92 per barrel.
But that also reflects the high costs of starting up a nascent shale region.
Much of the shale basins that are principally responsible for America's oil production will not feel the effects of low prices as quickly as many are predicting.
Better-known shale formations, such as the Eagle Ford in South Texas, can break even at much lower prices. That's because exploration companies have become familiar with the geology and fine-tuned drilling techniques to specific areas.
Productivity gains have allowed drillers to extract more oil for each rig it has in operation. For example, in North Dakota's prolific Bakken formation, an average rig is producing over 530 barrels per day from a new well in October. Less than two years ago, that figure sat at around 300 barrels per day. Extracting more barrels from the same operation improves the economics of drilling, which means shale producers are not as vulnerable to lower prices as they used to be.
Another factor that could insulate U.S. oil production is that companies also factor in sunk costs. That is, if they have already poured in millions of dollars into purchasing land leases and securing permits, throwing in a little extra money to drill the prospect is probably the rational thing to do even at current prices. It is only projects in their infancy that may not be economically feasible.
This should delay the drop in rig count, and delay the drop in overall U.S. oil production. As the Wall Street Journal notes, given these assumptions, U.S. oil production in the Eagle Ford, Bakken, and Permian could actually break even at just $60 per barrel.
Much rides on the decision making of officials in Saudi Arabia. Although exact calculations vary, the world's only swing producer needs oil prices between $83 and $93 per barrel for its budget to break even. But that may not be as important of a metric as it appears. Saudi Arabia has an enormous stash of foreign exchange, and could run deficits for quite a while without too many problems. With average costs of oil production from wells in the Middle East sitting at only $25 per barrel, the Saudis can clearly wait out U.S. shale if they really want to.
But it may actually be Canada's oil sands that end up being the first victim, the Wall Street Journal reports. Mining, processing, and pumping heavy oil sands from remote positions in Canada are much more costly than conventional oil and even shale oil in the U.S. While short-term operating costs are only around $40 per barrel, new projects need prices well above $90 per barrel to be in the money.
Rig counts are starting to drop, but due to the long lead time for most oil projects, it could be a while before production begins to decline in a significant way. What happens next will be largely determined by the outcome of the next OPEC meeting in Vienna on Nov. 27, where all eyes will be on Saudi Arabia.
------------------------ James Stafford is Editor of OilPrice.com contributes articles to the ARRA News Service. Nick Cunningham is a Washington DC-based writer on energy and environmental issues. You can follow him on twitter at @nickcunningham1 Tags:oil prices, oil rigs, production, oil prices hurting Shale Operations, shale operations, Nick Cunningham, OilPrice.comTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Court Rules Contracted-Out Red Light Speeding Tickets In Florida Are Illegal
SMILE: A Florida driver who challenged his red-light camera ticket won’t have to pay the fine.
by Marianela Toledo: Miami, FL — Big changes could be coming to cities with red-light cameras after a Florida District Court of Appeals judge said it’s illegal for camera operators to issue citations to drivers.
“In Florida, only law enforcement officers and traffic enforcement officers have the legal authority to issue citations for traffic infractions, which means only law enforcement officers and traffic enforcement officers are entitled to determine who gets prosecuted for a red light violation,” the ruling read.
The program works like this: Cameras installed at traffic signals snap photos and are examined by the camera’s owner — not law enforcement — to determine whether a violation occurred. A citation is sent to the alleged violator. The driver has 60 days to appeal the ticket before it’s converted into a fine, just like any other citation issued by law enforcement officers.
“The private company is the one who sends the citations in the name of the city,” said Miami lawyer Victor Yurre. “Now it will have to be the city that does it.”
The case was brought to court in 2011 by Eric Arem, who received a subpoena issued directly by American Traffic Solutions, the private company hired by the City of Hollywood in Broward County to administer the red-light camera program.
Initially the court ruled against the driver, but the decision was reversed on appeal.
The ruling has implications statewide. American Traffic Solutions provides similar services to 63 municipalities in the state, according to its website.
Could this new ruling cancel existing and previous fines? Yurre said the cities could either cancel the fines issued by private companies, or the city themselves could reissue the citations and enforce payment.
Florida Watchdog contacted Hollywood to see if it will appeal the judge’s ruling, but officials didn’t respond to email or return phone calls.
This isn’t the first time red-light cameras have been the center of controversy.
In June, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Florida cities didn’t have the authority to use red-light cameras to ticket motorists before 2010 after the Legislature enacted the law. The case involved the cities of Orlando and Aventura.
Red-light cameras have been criticized as nothing more than a revenue generator. Tickets can run between $158 and $300. The fines are divided between the private contractor, city, county and state. If a driver decides to fight the ticket, the cost can spiral upward to include court costs and fees if the driver is found guilty.
Some anti-camera advocates say red-light cameras cause more accidents than they prevent, especially rear-end collisions as drivers slam on the brakes to avoid a ticket.
--------------- Marianela Toledo is a reporter for Watchdog.org, a national network of investigative reporters covering waste, fraud and abuse in government. Watchdog.org is a project of the nonprofit Franklin Center for Government & Public Integrity. Tags:red-light cameras, speeding tickets, Florida, illegal, Florida Supreme Court, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
New Poll Finds Americans Concerned About Proposed EPA Power Plant Regulations
Strongest Opposition Voiced in Hardest-Hit States
WASHINGTON – Polling data released by the Partnership for a Better Energy Future finds that voters in Arkansas and nationwide have major concerns about the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations and are unwilling to pay even a dollar more for energy in exchange for these new rules.
Findings from a national survey of 1,340 likely voters and a statewide survey of 754 likely voters in Arkansas conducted earlier this month by Paragon Insights include the following:
A majority believe the United States cannot afford new costs and potential job losses resulting from the EPA regulations.
More than half of those polled say they are not willing to pay a single dollar more in their energy bill to accommodate the new EPA regulations.
47 percent of Arkansas voters are less likely to cast their vote for a candidate that supports EPA’s Clean Power Plan, versus just 17 percent who say they are more likely to vote for candidates that support the rule.
A majority of voters in Arkansas —56 percent—oppose the regulations. Opposition to the rule is strongest in states that stand to be hit hardest by the rule’s expected energy price increases and job loss impacts.
Middle-class voters and seniors are among the top opponents of the rule. The poll also finds that public opposition is led by concerns about job loss, possible energy rationing and increased electricity rates, especially for the middle class.
“The data released today make it abundantly clear that regulators in Washington are completely out of touch with what the rest of America wants,” said National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons. “The EPA’s plan to regulate carbon emissions from new and existing power plants could drastically increase energy prices for households and businesses alike. A self-inflicted wound like this threatens the comeback underway in the manufacturing sector and makes it harder for manufacturers to compete, expand and create jobs.”
“EPA’s push to implement one of the most complicated and costliest rules in history is creating real concerns across the country that should not be ignored,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy President and CEO Karen Harbert. “This poll affirms what we’re hearing from states, businesses and families that will be forced to comply. The EPA should heed these concerns and abandon its current approach, which will bring negative consequences for our entire economy with very little environmental benefit in return.”
The data comes on the heels of an economic analysis released last week by NERA Economic Consulting, which found that compliance with the EPA’s plan to regulate emissions from existing power plants would cost more than $366 billion and would drive electricity rates upward by 20 percent in Arkansas.
The EPA will continue to receive public comments regarding the proposed regulation through December 1. With so much at stake, the Partnership for a Better Energy Future, along with its 175 members, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, American Farm Bureau Federation and National Mining Association, will continue to educate the public nationally and in key states like Arkansas through the close of the comment period and beyond as the issuance of a final rule approaches.
---------- The Partnership for a Better Energy Future is a coalition of national groups representing businesses and consumers representing nearly every segment of the U.S. economy, unified in our support for responsible energy regulations. It aims to educate and mobilize the broader business community and elected and public officials to address widespread concerns with forthcoming greenhouse gas rules. Tags:poll, EPA regulations, power plant regulations, EPA, increased electricity rates, 20% increase, electricity rates, war on coal, public comment period, Partnership for a Better Energy Future To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Wastebook 2014: What Washington Doesn't Want You To Read.
Voodoo Dolls, Gambling Monkeys, Zombies in Love and Paid Vacations for Misbehaving Bureaucrats Top List of the Most Outlandish Government Spending in Wastebook 2014
by Sen. Tom Coburn, M.D.: Gambling monkeys, dancing zombies and mountain lions on treadmills are just a few projects exposed in Wastebook 2014 – highlighting $25 billion in Washington’s worst spending of the year.
Wastebook 2014 — the report Washington doesn’t want you to read — reveals the 100 most outlandish government expenditures this year, costing taxpayers billions of dollars.
“With no one watching over the vast bureaucracy, the problem is not just what Washington isn’t doing, but what it is doing.” Dr. Coburn said. “Only someone with too much of someone else’s money and not enough accountability for how it was being spent could come up some of these projects.”
“I have learned from these experiences that Washington will never change itself. But even if the politicians won’t stop stupid spending, taxpayers always have the last word.”
Congress actually forced federal agencies to waste billions of dollars for purely parochial, political purposes.
For example, lawmakers attached a rider to a larger bill requiring NASA to build a $350 million launch pad tower, which was mothballed as soon as it was completed because the rockets it was designed to test were scrapped years ago. Similarly, when USDA attempted to close an unneeded sheep research station costing nearly $2 million every year to operate, politicians in the region stepped in to keep it open.
Examples of wasteful spending highlighted in “Wastebook 2014” include:
Coast guard party patrols – $100,000
Watching grass grow – $10,000
State department tweets @ terrorists – $3 million
Swedish massages for rabbits – $387,000
Paid vacations for bureaucrats gone wild – $20 million
Mountain lions on a treadmill – $856,000
Synchronized swimming for sea monkeys – $50,000
Pentagon to destroy $16 billion in unused ammunition -- $1 billion
Scientists hope monkey gambling unlocks secrets of free will –$171,000
Rich and famous rent out their luxury pads tax free – $10 million
Tags:Senator, Tom Boburn, Wastebook 2014, video, wasteful spending, spending, big governmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Tags:Under the Bus, Democrat, President Obama, political cartoon, AF BrancoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
At the Legal Reform Summit put on by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, Christie warned that while “everyone wants a fair system” where people are “able to sue for appropriate causes and injuries,” trial lawyers have turned the justice system into “cottage industry unto itself."
The New Jersey governor explained that this creates a poor business environment, puts businesses in a defensive posture, and keeps them from creating jobs and investing in their companies, as Andrew Ramonas of Corporate Counsel reports:"Companies would have a lot more income to be able to pay to their folks in their businesses if they didn't have to worry about putting away the billions and tens of millions of dollars they have to put away for legal fees and legal settlements in the system that we have today," he said.
The U.S. legal system shouldn't help "a narrow group of people in this country who either have not been truly injured" or have injuries that incentivize class actions as a way to generate revenue, not as "a true redress of grievances," Christie said.
"Everybody in this country wants to have a fair legal system, which gives people the ability to be able to sue for appropriate causes and injuries," he said. "What we don't need is for that tort system to become an industry unto itself. And in America, that's what's happening."------------ Sean Hackbarth is a policy advocate and blogger at U.S Chamber of Commerce. He twitters at @seanhackbarth and is a contributing author at the ARRA News Service. Tags:Chris Christi, Justice System, Industry unto itself, U.S. Chamber Institute, Legal Reform, Sean Hackbarth, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
After supporting marriage as the union of a man and a woman until just before the elections of 2012, Obama announced back then that he supported democratic efforts to redefine marriage—but he didn’t think judges should redefine marriage. Now, just before the elections of 2014, Obama has announced that he thinks there’s a constitutional requirement to redefine marriage to include same-sex relationships.
“Ultimately, I think the Equal Protection Clause does guarantee same-sex marriage in all 50 states,” Obama told the New Yorker.
This is a case study in how liberals “evolve” on policy. First they embrace a policy change. If they can’t convince a majority of Americans to vote for their preferred policy, they discover that the Constitution requires their preferred policy. So, according to the Obama of today, the Obama of early 2012 held an unconstitutional view of marriage. Or, perhaps, it wasn’t unconstitutional back then but it is now.
But this isn't how the Constitution works.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, explained earlier this month what the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment means in the marriage context:
It is beyond dispute that when the 14th Amendment was adopted 146 years ago, as a necessary post-Civil War era reform, it was not imagined to also mandate same-sex marriage…. [It is a] preposterous assumption that the People of the United States somehow silently redefined marriage in 1868 when they ratified the 14th Amendment.
Nothing in the text, logic, structure, or original understanding of the 14th Amendment or any other constitutional provision authorizes judges to redefine marriage for the Nation. It is for the elected representatives of the People to make the laws of marriage, acting on the basis of their own constitutional authority, and protecting it, if necessary, from usurpation by the courts.Indeed, during the Supreme Court oral arguments over California’s Proposition 8—a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman—this same point came up. Justice Antonin Scalia asked Ted Olson, the lawyer arguing Proposition 8 was unconstitutional, a simple question: “When do you think it became unconstitutional? Has it always been unconstitutional?”
Scalia had proffered some possible dates: “1791? 1868, when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted? Sometimes–some time after Baker, where we said it didn’t even raise a substantial Federal question? When–when–when did the law become this?”
Finally, Scalia asked, “50 years ago, it was okay?” And Olson responded: “I–I can’t answer that question.” And Scalia then pounced: “I can’t either. That’s the problem. That’s exactly the problem.”
I’m not sure that it’s right to view this as excluding a particular group. When the institution of marriage developed historically, people didn’t get around and say let’s have this institution, but let’s keep out homosexuals. The institution developed to serve purposes that, by their nature, didn’t include homosexual couples.As former Attorney General Ed Meese and I argued last month in The Washington Post, in a system of limited constitutional self-government, the people and their elected representatives should be making decisions about marriage policy. While there are reasonable arguments on both sides of this debate, there is nothing in the Constitution that requires the redefinition of marriage — unlike, for example, the case of interracial marriage. Judges should not insert their own policy preferences about marriage and declare them to be required by the Constitution.
Citizens are, of course, free to redefine marriage policy to include same-sex relationships, but so too should citizens be free to retain in law the historic definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman—as citizens in a majority of states have done.
Nothing less than the future of our society and the course of constitutional government in the United States are at stake. And as Obama’s latest evolution shows, we’re not only redefining marriage, we’re redefining our Constitution—making it a living, breathing, evolving document.
-------------- Ryan T. Anderson researches and writes about marriage and religious liberty as the William E. Simon Fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He also focuses on justice and moral principles in economic thought, health care and education, and has expertise in bioethics and natural law theory. Tags:President Obama. evolves, state marriage laws, marriage, gay marriage, law and culture, Ryan T. AndersonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: One man has died of Ebola in the U.S. and he came here from Liberia. Two of the nurses that tended him are in intensive care and likely to survive. A third was thought to be infected, but wasn’t. That news has been sufficient to keep most Americans calm as the media has done its best to exploit Ebola-related news.
The public absorbed the facts and came to their own conclusion.
An October 8 Pew Research survey found that “Most are confident in Government’s ability to prevent major Ebola outbreak in U.S.” That reflects the way we have all been conditioned to look to the federal government to solve our problems, but the public mood had not changed by October 20 when a Rasmussen Reports analysis of a survey concluded that “Americans are keeping their cool about Ebola, but some acknowledge that they have changed travel plans because of the outbreak of the deadly virus in the United States.”
Wrong. There has been no “outbreak.” One dead Liberian and two nurses is not an outbreak.
Fully 66% of the Rasmussen respondents said that Ebola is a serious public health problem, including 29% who deemed it very serious, but few believe it is an active public health threat here in the U.S.
All this was occurring as spokesmen for the Centers of Disease Control tried to both warn and reassure Americans, managing only to evoke a measure of derision. President Obama also sought to reassure Americans, but fewer and fewer believe anything he has to say these days.
Then he appointed an “Ebola czar” who had no medical or healthcare background whatever to qualify for the job. Add in Obama’s failure to institute a travel ban and the likelihood is that Democratic candidates will pay a price for this on Nov 4.
I suspect the President’s advisors are telling him the Ebola problem has been a blessing because the media will not be reporting any of the stories that could harm Democratic candidates. Starting with the fact that the nation’s voters are evenly divided between a liberal or conservative point of view that means that independent voters will be the deciding factor and they are independent because they pay more attention to events and the news.
One of the stories that are being held back from the news is the outcome of the U.S. Army investigation of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl who was traded by Obama for five top Taliban leaders to secure his release. Members of his unit unanimously say he deserted them and, if that is the Army’s conclusion, it makes the swap look dubious, if not treasonable.
The news after the midterm elections will be filled with reports of employers cutting healthcare insurance to both full and part-time employees. Wal-Mart has already announced this for its part-timers. There is already news of the fact the ObamaCare, the Affordable Patient Care Act, is proving to be very expensive for those who signed up. This includes news about its higher deductibles and premiums.
Robert E. Moffit, a senior fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Health Policy Studies, recently reported that “Thanks to ObamaCare, Health Costs Soared this Year”, noting that “On November 15, open enrollment in the ObamaCare exchanges begins again.” Among the lessons learned from Year One of ObamaCare is that “Health costs jumped—big time.” Compared with employer-based coverage, the average deductible of a little over $1,000, doubled to more than $2,000.
Obama promised that the typical family premium cost would be lowered by $2,500, but it has actually increased and ObamaCare actually reduced competition in most health-insurance markets. We do not know how many Americans are actually insured. Despite predictions of millions who would be insured, the administration “now concedes that there are 700,000 fewer persons in the exchanges.”
The claim was that ObamaCare would reduce U.S. health spending, but a recent Health and Human Services report—delayed as long as possible—found that its Accountable Care Organization element has increased costs. States are dropping out of ObamaCare exchanges as a result.
The Obama administration has been very quiet about his intension to by-pass Congress to impose an amnesty program for the eleven million or more illegal aliens in the US. Most polls demonstrate widespread opposition to amnesty. Obama is expected to try to institute one anyway.
Lastly, unless the Islamic State shows up at the gates of Baghdad and takes control, there is likely to be little news from an Iraq that exists now in name only.
The results of Obama’s six years in office have been a disaster in many ways and the outcome of the midterm elections will have a dramatic effect on Obama’s ability to continue his destruction of the U.S. economy and other policies.
Essentially, a majority of Americans, including many of his former supporters, have concluded that there is no Ebola crisis and that Obama’s time in office has been the very opposite of what he promised. The change they want is to see an end to Obama’s term in office. A start in that direction is the November 4 midterm elections.
----------------- Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column, Warning Signs". He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service. Tags:Ebola, no Ebola panic, media hysteria, Obama administration, agenda, Alan Caruba, Warning Signs, cartoon, Obama Voters AnonymousTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Never Ending Obamacare Story: Premium Increases | To Escape Health Law’s Penalties Companies Cutting Health Coverage And Hours
Editorial Cartoon by William Warren
While liberals crow about Obamacare and try to declare any debate over it over, barely a day goes by without another story detailing the adverse effects of this unpopular law on Americans.
Once again, despite Democrats’ repeated promises that the law would lower premiums, news comes of rates going up. The AP reports, “North Carolina's largest health insurer says rates will rise by more than 13 percent on average next year for buyers of individual Affordable Care Act policies. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina discussed the prices Wednesday. . . . Aside from ACA plans, the insurer is maintaining pre-existing plans that don't conform to the Affordable Care Act's requirements but customers wanted to keep. Rates for those plans will rise by an average of 13 to 19 percent, depending on when they were sold.”
Meanwhile, businesses are responding to the poorly conceived incentives created by Obamacare, resulting in people losing their existing insurance plans, just as Republicans warned they would. The Wall Street Journal writes, “With companies set to face fines next year for not complying with the new mandate to offer health insurance, some are pursuing strategies like enrolling employees in Medicaid to avoid penalties and hold down costs. The health law’s penalties, which can amount to about $2,000 per employee, were supposed to start this year, but the Obama administration delayed them until 2015, when they take effect for firms that employ at least 100 people. Now, as employers race to find ways to cover their full-time workers while holding a lid on costs, insurance brokers and benefits administrators are pitching a variety of options, sometimes exploiting wrinkles in the law.
“The Medicaid option is drawing particular interest from companies with low-wage workers, brokers say. If an employee qualifies for Medicaid, which is jointly funded by the federal government and the states, the employer pays no penalty for that coverage. . . .
“Locals 8 Restaurant Group LLC, with about 1,000 workers, already offers health coverage, and next year plans to dial back some employees’ premium contributions. That is because an employer can owe penalties if its coverage doesn’t meet the law’s standard for affordability. . . . But the company, which is based in Hartford, Conn., hopes to reduce its costs by offering eligible employees a chance to enroll in Medicaid . . . . The government program . . . saves money for Locals 8, said Chief Executive Al Gamble. ‘The burden gets shifted to Medicaid,’ he said. . . .
‘We’ve got to be careful about not fooling ourselves into thinking everybody wins,’ said Matt Salo, executive director of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. ‘The cost to the taxpayer does go up significantly.’”
The WSJ adds, “Another idea gaining ground with employers is offering bare-bones, or ‘skinny,’ health plans that cover preventive care but exclude major benefits like hospital coverage. . . . Making such plans available allows employers to avoid the approximately $2,000-per-employee penalty for not offering coverage to at least 70% of their full-timers. . . .
“Ruiz Protective Service Inc., a 400-employee firm that provides security services and polygraph tests, plans to start a skinny plan in January. The company can’t afford the about $2,000-per-worker penalty or traditional insurance, according to owner Hector Ruiz, who said the new plan ‘will satisfy the law and not put us out of business.’ . . .
“Some employers are mixing strategies to hold down costs. Garden Fresh Restaurant Corp., parent of the 128-unit Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation restaurant chains, has been hiring part-time workers as full-timers have left. The law doesn’t require companies to offer coverage to part-timers working less than 30 hours a week. Next year, Garden Fresh plans to offer full-timers a high-deductible plan that meets all of the law’s requirements. To limit enrollment it won’t cover spouses or domestic partners who have coverage available through their own employers.
“‘We’ve been able to mitigate quite a bit of the costs,’ said CEO John Morberg. Garden Fresh expects only about 20% of previously ineligible front-line restaurant workers to sign up for coverage. ‘If it exceeds that, we’ll have to go to the menu board to raise prices,’ Mr. Morberg said.”
So while health insurance premiums continue to go up (including on Obamacare plans), the regulations, mandates, and fines imposed on employers by Democrats’ health care law are causing businesses to dump employees onto Medicaid, offer plans with sharply reduced coverage, drop coverage for spouses, and cut working hours.
Tags:Never Ending Story, Obamacare, problems, Premium increases, penalties, Business, laying off workers, cutting hours, editorial cartoon, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Phil Kerpen, American Commitment: They are all telling the same lie on the campaign trail, CLAIMING they want to fix Obamacare. But the Senate adjourned without doing ANYTHING about Obamacare. If Democrats are still in control next year, it will be the same story.Democrat held U.S. Senate seats up for election; these candidates with opposition need to be defeated!
Alaska: Mark Begich
Arkansas: Mark Pryor
Colorado: Mark Udall
Delaware: Chris Coons
Hawaii: Brian Schatz
Illinois: Richard Durbin
Iowa: Open Seat: Democrat Candidate: Bruce Braley
Louisiana: Mary Landrieu
Massachusetts: Ed Markey
Michigan: Open Seat: Democrat Candidate: Gary Peters
Minnesota: Al Franken
Montana: Open Seat: Democrat Candidate: Amanda Curtis
New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen
New Jersey: Cory Booker
New Mexico: Tom Udall
North Carolina: Kay Hagan
Oregon: Jeff Merkley
Rhode Island: Jack Reed
South Dakota: Open Seat: Democrat Candidate: Rick Weiland
Virginia: Mark Warner
West Virginia: Open Seat: Democrat Candidate: Natalie Tennant We made this video to explain:
Tags:Senate Democrats, lies, campaign trail, Obamacare, will never fix, blocked all House bills, not voting, ad, American CommitmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!
Sen. Woods (R-Springdale) and State Rep. Warwick Sabin (D-Little Rock) authored a 22-page, 7,000-word constitutional amendment on this November's ballot. They say Issue 3 is about ethics and transparency.
Woods and Sabin threw together various ethics provisions and then stuck in a gutting of term limits. Their ballot title reads it is "establishing term limits" -- without bothering to inform voters that it doubles how long legislators can stay in the Senate and more than doubles the House limit -- to a whopping 16 years!
This week, Arkansas Term Limits debuted TV ads alerting the public to the scam, charging that legislators have "pursued a campaign of silence . . . letting the deceptive ballot title do their work," so that "when Arkansas voters go to the polls there will be no mention of the doubling of term[s]."
The unrepentant Sen. Woods says that it is "misleading" to call his Issue 3 deceptive. Meanwhile, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazettereports that, after asking if Woods's ballot language wasn't indeed deceptive: "Woods said he doesn't know."
The senator's response to the Arkansas GOP Convention's unanimous resolution against Issue 3? "You just have a couple of nuts that got together on a Saturday that were out of touch with Arkansans and passed a silly resolution that in no way reflects the point of view of all Republicans in Arkansas."
Perhaps Democratic politicians are smarter. Democratic co-author Sabin is nowhere to be found in news coverage of Issue 3, likely hiding under his bed.
81 percent of Americans believe that Obama lies to them at least “now and then” on “important matters.” The Obama Administration has again and again offered Ebola assertions and assurances that Reality has subsequently demonstrated were…wanting.
Conversely, the Internet has been since just about its inception a government-free zone. And has a result become an ever-expanding free speech-free market Xanadu.
The Administration has been the Chicken Little of the World Wide Web. Running around decrying a “problem” that does not exist – and demanding a Huge Government “solution.”
The fake “problem?” Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may – one day, someday, maybe – block you from websites. Only they haven’t. And they won’t. Because they are in the customer service business – but won’t be for long if they refuse to serve their customers what they want.
But fret not, the government tells us. They will wield just some – and not all – of their massive new powers. They will practice “forbearance.” “(F)orbearance” refers to a special magic power that Congress gave the FCC…which gives the FCC the power to say “you know that specific provision of law that Congress passed? We decide it really doesn’t make sense for us to enforce it in some particular case, so we will “forbear” (hence the term ‘forbearance’) from enforcing it.”Sure. Because we can take the government at its word – right?
How about, then, they not take over the Web?
------------- Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and he contributes to ARRA News Service. Follow him on TwitterFacebook. Tags:U.S. Government, Ebola, FCC, Internet, Seton Motley, Less Government, Editorial Cartoon, AF BrancoTo 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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