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 "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, 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] Follow @arra Contact: 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
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Blue Dogs Right on Federal Deficit Concern But Wrong on AMT
Eleven months after adopting stringent new rules aimed at reining in the federal deficit, the Senate last night shrugged off its pledge of fiscal rectitude and overwhelmingly approved a measure to spare millions of families from the growing reach of the alternative minimum tax without providing an offsetting tax increase.
The Senate's 88 to 5 vote blew a $50 billion hole in the Democrats' promise not to pass any spending or tax measure that would add to the deficit. The outcome brought a furious response from conservative "Blue Dog" Democrats in the House, who assailed the Senate and vowed to block passage of any tax measure that would add a cent to the federal debt.
"We run for reelection every two years. They run every six years," fumed Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR). "Don't try to tell me the Senate can't take a tough vote."
Despite the heavy toll the AMT exacts on some middle-class taxpayers, Congress has been loath to repeal it outright because that would leave a trillion-dollar hole in the federal budget over 10 years. Instead, successive Congresses have opted for one-year "patches" that hide the long-term cost.
While Rep. Mike Ross and other Blue Dogs are concerned about controlling the rising deficit, being democrats they often forget (or compromise) that the major aspect is controlling the rising deficit is cutting costs, especially their collegue's pork projects. With regard to the AMT, they appeared more willing penalize the middle class with the AMT or to find another tax rather than to cut spending. Consider the following by Spree, Wake up America:
The Senate acted responsibly, the House did what they do so often and passed something just to say they passed it, knowing it didn't stand a chance of becoming law.
Take a good look at this graph, the top %5 of wage earners pays 54.36% of all Federal income taxes, the top 10% of wage earners pay 65.84% of all Federal income taxes and the top 50% of wage earners pays 96.54% of all Federal income taxes. The top 50% of wage earners already pays for everything except 3.46%. Instead of treating those that already pay to run our country like their own piggy banks to reach into, the House needs to use the other methods available to them to "offset" the monies that will be lost by the Senates bill.
Edward Morrisey explain just a few of the common sense solutions that Congress and the Senate keep ignoring: "Think about the scale for a moment. All it takes to save the taxpayers from a bigger bill or larger debt from a fix of the AMT is a reduction in spending of less than 2%. Four hundred and thirty-five Representatives apparently can’t figure this out, and neither can 100 Senators. Does anyone doubt that the federal budget has 1.67% fat, duplicative programs, inefficiencies, or flat-out waste? Why not get rid of that before looking for a tax to replace a tax?"
Senate Democratic leaders claims that they have done all they could to preserve their highly touted, pay-as-you-go -- or "paygo" -- rule, which says that any new entitlement spending or tax cuts would have to be offset by tax increases or spending cuts. They are always willing to use the "tax increase" option but they continue to ignore that the same "fix" could be done by reducing spending or even foregoing some of their much talked about "pork" aka earmarks. The pay-go is a good idea on paper but unless the House and the Senate are willing to reduce spending, it is an idea that cannot withstand the test of time.
Tags:AMT, Blue Dogs, Excessive spending, increased taxes, Mike RossTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Friday, Ted Kennedy's pro-gay legislation was dropped from the Defense Authorization bill because at the conference committee level it was determined that there were not enough votes in the House for his Senate version to pass. By pulling the proposal before members could even vote on it, Democrats demonstrated just how little real support the legislation enjoyed--even among the party faithful. One Democratic aide told reporters that "hate crimes" had nowhere near the backing it needed to pass; "We're about 40 votes short, not four or six."
We still must remain vigilant to stop Ted Kennedy's anti-family agenda. Next week Kennedy could add this legislation onto the Health and Human Services (HHS Authorization), or to any bill dealing with employment or law enforcement. The battle is far from over and now is not the time to declare victory. See Also: Congress Drops Hate Crimes Bill Tags:Hate Crimes Act, homosexual activism, Ted KennedyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Senator Sam Brownback introduced legislation this week to move the inscription, "In God We Trust" from the edge of the new one dollar coins to the front of them. Brownback said, "Since the colonial beginnings of the United States, citizens of this nation have officially acknowledged their dependence on God. It is important that our national motto, 'In God We Trust,' is prominently displayed on all of our currency." Brownback earlier this week met with officials from the United States Treasury to discuss moving the national motto from the side of one dollar coins to the face. Presidential one dollar coins are the only U.S. coins currently being issued by the National Mint that have inscriptions along the edge. Contact your senators about S-2417 Tags:God, gold coins, Sam BrownbackTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The American Conservative Union: Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an energy bill, H.R. 6, that included a $21 billion tax on domestic energy producers. The Senate is now considering the same bill that could have disastrous implications for consumers. If agreed to by the Senate, would:
RAISE ENERGY PRICES, INCLUDING HOME HEATING OIL & GASOLINE: Taxes on energy production actually work against energy security and increase imports, as domestically produced energy becomes more expensive than imported supplies. Policies that act as disincentives for oil and natural gas production will ultimately hurt businesses and consumers by driving supply down and prices up.
DECREASE DOMESTIC ENERGY PRODUCTION: Increasing taxes on U.S. companies will effectively ensure that they will have less money available to reinvest in exploration, new technology and refining improvements that will help to meet more of our present and future energy needs with domestic energy supplies.
GRANT A SUBSIDY TO FOREIGN ENERGY PRODUCERS: If Congress places additional taxes on domestically-produced energy, the net effect will be the creation of a subsidy for foreign competitors. Congress should be taking steps to help make American businesses more viable in the world market – not less.
If Speaker Pelosi's energy bill passes in the Senate, consumers will pay the price with higher energy prices!Contact your senators! Tags:energy bill, Nancy Pelosi, US House, US SenateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Yesterday, ARRA reported on Mitt Romney's Faith on America speech in which he shared his views on religious liberty, our country's grand tradition of religious tolerance, and how faith would inform his Presidency. The 20 minute speech is now available on YouTube and is presented below:
Mitt Romney "Faith in America" Part 1
Mitt Romney "Faith in America" Part 2
Tags:Election 2008, Faith, Mitt Romney, presidential candidate, Republican, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Voter Registration Dates for Presidential Primary Elections
The Family Research Councilhas provided a list of all 50 states and the District of Columbia with their voter registration deadlines and primary election date. As the Unites States inches closer to selecting its nominees for president, please take a few moments to make sure you're registered to vote. The next two months are vitally important for our nation. In the primaries, we have an opportunity to cast our vote for a candidate who best reflects the values voter ideal. There are currently 16 major-party candidates who have participated in the debates and been consistently interviewed and polled. Your vote will be used as a barometer by the party leaders to determine the level of sway each issue holds in selecting the final nominee. To participate in the primaries, you must be registered to vote. Don't let the opportunity to vote your values pass. Visit theFRC Action's list of deadlines and primary dates. Tags:Election 2008, Family Research Council, FRC, primary, voter registration, votingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
From Senate & News Sources: After almost a year, it appears that Congressional Democrats are finally figuring out that partisan votes and procedures have not gotten them anywhere and that compromises with Republicans can provide a way forward.The AP writes today that Democrats appear to “concede their majority status is not enough to overcome Republican resistance on taxes, spending, Iraq and a host of other issues.” Importantly, the compromises being hinted at in several news stories today would revise proposed legislation in a more conservative direction than would otherwise have been the case.
Last night, after Democrats finally agreed to drop a proposed $80 billion tax hike, the Senatevoted overwhelmingly to pass a one-year patch to the alternative minimum tax, to prevent over 20 million taxpayers from being affected by the AMT. The onus is now on the House to follow suit and bypass Democrats’ insistence on coupling any tax cut with tax increases elsewhere.
An agreement was also reached on the farm bill last night, to allow each side of the aisle to have 20 amendments to the bill. It appears Senate Republicans will now be allowed to offer tax amendments to the bill, which includes the first tax increase in a farm bill since 1933.
Conferees agreed yesterday to strip hate crimes legislation from the fiscal 2008 Defense authorization bill. The unrelated language extending federal hate crimes definitions to include sexual orientation had been added by Senate Democrats to the bill in September, delaying completion of the bill, as both Congressional Republicans and the White House opposed the measure.
The AP reports today, “Democrats controlling Congress sent the most explicit signals yet on Thursday that they are resigned to providing additional funding for the war in Iraq before Congress adjourns for the year.” Despite this concession, House Democrats may offer only $30 billion in funding that could only go to operations in Afghanistan. Republicans, of course, are working to ensure funding for troops in Iraq as well.
The Senate this morning rejected, by a vote of 53-42, a cloture motion on the motion to concur with the House amendment to the Democrats’ energy package (H.R. 6). After the vote, the Senate resumed consideration of the farm bill (H.R. 2419). An agreement to allow Republican amendments has finally been worked out, though it’s unclear why Democrats could not have offered a similar deal last month.
Yesterday the Senate rejected the House-passed AMT patch, which included over $80 billion in tax increases over 10 years, 46-48. Later in the day, the Senate voted 88-5 to pass a clean AMT patch. Tags:hate crimes legislation, 2008, Defense authorization bill, AMT Patch, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
MRC Study: As Surge Succeeds and Casualty Rates Fall, ABC, CBS and NBC Lose Interest In Iraq Warby Rich Noyes, Media Research Center: Back in Sept., when General David Petraeus reported that the surge in U.S. troops had improved the security situation in Iraq, the big three broadcast networks were openly skeptical.
“Insurgent attacks are down from 170 in Jan. to 120 in Aug.,” ABC’s Terry McCarthy noted on the Sept. 9 World News Sunday, the day before Petraeus testified before Congress. “But that is still four attacks a day, on average. Iraq remains a very violent place. . . . Life in central Iraq is still deadly dangerous.” “Victory is not at hand, not even in sight,” CBS’s David Martin similarly contended on the next night’s Evening News. On the NBC Nightly News, reporter Jim Maceda found it “palpably quiet” in an area of Iraq once controlled by Sunni insurgents, but “this is really an exception....That civil war as, again, as you get out of the capital of Baghdad, it is truly brewing. So this is really just a partial success for this surge so far.”
That was three months ago. Now, all three networks have become more optimistic in their on-ground reporting from the war zone, admitting that the surge in troops and new counterinsurgency tactics have reduced the violence. But as the news from the war front improves, a MRC study finds ABC, CBS and NBC are less likely to tell viewers about it. MRC researchers examined all 354 Iraq war stories that aired on the big three evening newscasts from Sept. 1 through Nov. 30, including weekends. That figure includes 234 field reports, plus 120 short headline items read by the news anchor.
■ Vanishing War. Back in September, as reporters voiced skepticism of General Petraeus’ progress report, the networks aired a total of 178 Iraq stories, or just under two per network per night. About one-fourth of those stories (42) were filed from Iraq itself, with most of the rest originating in Washington. In Oct., TV’s war news fell by about 40%, to 108 stories, with the number of reports filed from Iraq itself falling to just 20, or less than one-fifth of all Iraq stories. By Nov., the networks aired a mere 68 stories, with only 11 (16%) actually from the war zone itself.
■ Pessimistic CBS. Of the three evening newscasts, ABC’s World News was the first to take serious note of the improving situation (back on Oct. 1), and has offered the most stories (9 field reports, 7 from Iraq) detailing the progress. “Not only is there a huge increase in Iraqi citizens groups who are coming forward to help the Americans, but overall levels of violence have gone way down,” Terry McCarthy enthused on Nov. 22. In a Thanksgiving week interview with President Bush, anchor Charles Gibson was congratulatory: “You took a lot of doubting and rather skeptical questions about the surge. I'll give you a chance to crow. Do you want to say I told you so?”
On NBC, reporter Tom Aspell filed five stories about progress, generally balancing good news with bad. “Refugees coming back to Baghdad are going to see a lot of changes. There are more people in the streets, shops are open and traffic everywhere,” Aspell noted Nov. 27. “But it is still a dangerous city.” For its part, the CBS Evening News has offered only three stories documenting the recent progress, just one from their reporter in Iraq, Lara Logan, on Nov. 21. Five weeks earlier, Logan announced on NBC’s Tonight Show that the war was going “extremely badly, from my point of view.” Reality, she claimed, was “much worse than the picture, the image we even have of Iraq.” Tags:Iraq War, media bias, Media Research Center, MRCTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
ARRA Editor:Hat tip to KeepArkansasLegal blog for pointing us to another article about Huckabee and illegal aliens. While the information is well known to conservative Arkansans who opposed Huckabee's massive socialist open checkbook policy for illegal immigrants, it is interesting that an article comes from a liberal news source not friendly to conservatives and often seen as a Democrat mouth piece. The article from the "left side" identifies Huckabee's willingness to use other peoples money (taxes) to support "illegal aliens." If Huckabee and Clinton are the final final presidential candidates, Mexico and illegals will be shouting "I Like Mike" because Huckabee has proven that he is their "best friend."
by Ernest Dumas, Arkansas Times: Mike Huckabee's star may fall as precipitously as it rose in the presidential stakes, but it is time to ask if something mysterious but important is happening in the electorate or if his rise is only evidence of a field of fatally vulnerable candidates. . . . The same polls showing him gaining say that Republicans think he would be less likely than others to win.
On the other hand, maybe the conservatives who see him as the truest ideologue just do not know him. His standard stump talk, which you can catch often on C-SPAN, does carry a litany of conservative dogmatisms: lower taxes, smaller government, abortion, gay marriage, and even tough immigration controls. Huckabee's immigration stance is at once the most emblematic of his liberal impulses and politically the most paradoxical because immigration is the dominant GOP issue. The campaign of Sen. John McCain, the early front-runner, imploded over his steadfast support of the administration's humane immigration bill, but Huckabee makes McCain look like a nativist.
Romney tried to nail Huckabee in the last debate for passing a law giving children of illegal immigrants state-paid college scholarships and in-state tuition rates. Huckabee defended it eloquently, pointing out first that it did not become law — the House of Representatives passed it easily but Republicans blocked it in the Senate — and that he wanted to live in a country that did not punish children for the sins of their parents. (He also said the youngsters would have to have applied for citizenship to get a scholarship, which was not true. The bill said youngsters would have to give the college a statement that they intended to seek legal status some day.)
That bill was not an isolated instance. The highlight of his last two years in office was his running war with Republican lawmakers and the “Shiite wing” of his party — his (Huckabee's) words — over what he called their bigotry and fearmongering over immigration. He bitterly fought (with Democrat help) a Republican bill restricting government services to U.S. citizens, calling it race baiting and demagoguery, and when the bill failed he condemned a plan to put the same proposal on the ballot and doubted the “Christian values” of the sponsor.
“What this has done is inflamed a whole lot of people's emotions, making them think we've got to rush in and pass some laws to stop some terrible thing going on that isn't going on,” he said. But it was going on. At Huckabee's behest, the state became one of only seven states that used Medicaid money to cover prenatal care for immigrant women because Hispanic women had an unusually high prenatal birth-defect risk.
Over the objections of conservative nativists he worked to get a Mexican consulate in Little Rock to help immigrants with labor problems and getting papers. He condemned federal agents for raiding an Arkadelphia plant and instantly deporting Mexican workers and splitting their families. When a key administration official sent an email with some derogatory doggerel about Hispanic immigrants Huckabee dumped him with the admonition “racial stereotyping by state leaders is simply not funny and must be consequenced.”
In a remarkable talk to the Political Animals Club he said God had given America “a second chance” to do the right thing by treating Hispanics better than it had treated blacks for much of its history. "One of our greatest challenges is making sure we don't commit the same mistakes with our growing Hispanic population that we did with African-Americans 150 years ago and beyond,” he said. “I feel the Lord, frankly, has given us a second chance to do better than we did before. I hope we will do that.” . . . [Read More]
Huckabee on Immigration (Note: the final section: he is not against "amnesty
but admits most Americans are against Amnesty.)
Tags:Election 2008, illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidate, Republican, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Immigration Issue Reveals Arrogance Of The 'Ruling Class'
by Christopher G. Adamo, GOPUSA: Intermixed with Hillary Clinton's many disparate stances on illegal immigration are the occasional, very revealing statements that say far more about her character in general than about her transient and flexible beliefs. In one recent statement, she expressed her surprise at the vehemence of real America in its opposition to the massive invasion of illegals. . . . she postulated that the reason is, of course, the worsening economy under President Bush, which has made Americans, when looking for jobs, feel competitive pressure from those who breached the border. . . . two things are glaringly evident. First, she will not hesitate to offer a completely bogus and irrelevant analysis of any situation in hopes of gaining a political point or two. And secondly, she outwardly rejects and thus disparages the real reasons offered by those who are displaying their anger over this issue. . . . Most Americans love their country, revere its heritage, and hope to pass its blessings of bounty and liberty on to their children and their children's children. They have no intention of sitting idly by while their nation is "Balkanized," and increasingly takes on the attributes of the third world in its everyday life. They are outraged by every incident reflective of a "banana republic" in the workings of its local, state and federal governments. . . . [Read More] Tags:Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, illegal immigrationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Will Pryor's Christmas Be White? Democrat inaction may lead to thousands of "Pink Christmases"
NRSC Press:The Cost of Democrats is adding up and this year, it may lead to thousands of Army civilians and contractors having a "pink Christmas." According to a senior Army officer quoted in a story on Military.com, "installation operations and quality of life programs for soldiers and their families would be affected worldwide if the Army doesn't receive additional funding from Congress soon ..." (Military.com, 11/30/07)The necessary additional funding is being held up by Mark Pryor and Democrats in Congress who continue to insist upon adding troop withdrawal timetables to the emergency spending legislation for the military. The President has said he will veto any legislation that contains a withdrawal timetable and Democrats refuse to budge.
According to the Military.com article, "about 200,000 Army civilians and contractors worldwide could be furloughed or temporarily laid off if the funding isn't provided..." (Military.com, 11/30/07) As a result, thousands of Americans might have to explain to their families why they are getting a pink slip rather than Christmas presents this year. "Mark Pryor and Senate Democrats are so concerned with appeasing extremist organizations such as Code Pink and MoveOn.org that they are willing to turn their backs on our troops and the civilians and contractors that provide them with support," NRSC Communications Director Rebecca Fisher said. "How does Mark Pryor plan on explaining to voters in Arkansas that since Democrats have put thousands of Americans out of work, they might not be having Christmas?" Tags:Democrats, Mark Pryor, military funding
Today, Governor Romney addressed the American people in a speech titled "Faith in America." He shared his views on religious liberty, our country's grand tradition of religious tolerance and how faith would inform his Presidency. Here are a few excerpts:
"When I place my hand on the Bible and take the oath of office, that oath becomes my highest promise to God. If I am fortunate to become your president, I will serve no one religion, no one group, no one cause, and no one interest. A President must serve only the common cause of the people of the United States. . . . There are some who would have a presidential candidate describe and explain his church's distinctive doctrines. To do so would enable the very religious test the founders prohibited in the Constitution. No candidate should become the spokesman for his faith. For if he becomes President he will need the prayers of the people of all faiths. . . .
"The diversity of our cultural expression, and the vibrancy of our religious dialogue, has kept America in the forefront of civilized nations even as others regard religious freedom as something to be destroyed. . . . "In such a world, we can be deeply thankful that we live in a land where reason and religion are friends and allies in the cause of liberty, joined against the evils and dangers of the day. And you can be certain of this: Any believer in religious freedom, any person who has knelt in prayer to the Almighty, has a friend and ally in me. And so it is for hundreds of millions of our countrymen: we do not insist on a single strain of religion - rather, we welcome our nation's symphony of faith."
From Senate & News Sources: Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona has been elected Republican Whip and Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee has been elected GOP Conference Chair.
This morning, Senators will be voting on a cloture motion on the House-passed alternative minimum tax package. Unfortunately, this bill contains over $80 billion in permanent tax hikes in exchange for a one-year AMT fix. Further, thanks to House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel, the bill also features a tax break which would “allow state lawmakers to write off their state-provided per diem payments,” according to The Washington Post.
As a matter of principle, Senate Republicans oppose tax increases and reject the idea taxes must be raised to prevent a tax increase on over 20 million taxpayers. Cloture is therefore not expected to be invoked. Republicans are committed to fixing the AMT issue and have tried at least five times this year to do so, though each attempt was blocked by Democrats. When Republicans held the Senate majority, the AMT was never taken care of later than June, in order to give the IRS ample time to adjust. Democrats’ tardiness on fixing the AMT threatens to “throw filing season into chaos,” as The New York Times writes today.
On The Floor: Senate reconvened at 10:30 AM today. After an hour of debate, the Senate will hold a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to the House-passed alternative minimum tax bill (H.R. 3996). The House bill includes $82.5 billion in tax hikes in exchange for a one-year patch of the AMT. Yesterday, Sen. Reid again filed cloture on the farm bill (H.R. 2419), which could bring a vote on Friday. (Reid technically filed cloture on the Harkin substitute amendment, which is the basis for debate on the farm bill.) It’s unlikely cloture will be invoked, since an agreement on amendments still hasn’t been reached. Reid has also threatened to keep the Senate in session on Saturday for a cloture vote on Democrats’ energy package. After today’s vote, action is expected to shift off the floor as negotiations continue on energy legislation, the farm bill, troop funding, and an omnibus spending package. Tags:AMT, Jon Kyl, Lamar Alexander, military funding, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Tom Tancredo for Presidentcampaign has released the following TV Campaign ad. Rep. Tancredo has always been for securing the borders and preventing the crimes being committed against U.S. Citizens. Some liberals are calling this ad over the top. What do you think?
Tom Tancredo Presidential Campaign AD
Tags:ad, campaign ad, consequences, Election 2008, presidential candidates, Tom Tancredo, TVTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gay Ex-Ambassador Criticizes Rice Over Partner's Rights
Glenn Kessler, Washington Post reported on Michael E. Guest resignation as ambassador to Romania. Tony Perkins, Family Research Council provided an excellent synopsis of the situation and comments on the issue: As Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice is used to dealing with civil unrest overseas. This month, however, it's an internal conflict in her department that's received the most attention. After 26 years service in the Foreign Service, Michael Guest, the U.S. ambassador to Romania, resigned in protest of the State Department's policy on homosexual and cohabiting partners. Frustrated that his boyfriend wasn't granted the same privileges as married spouses, Guest met with the Secretary personally and asked her to reconsider the rules. Despite the political pressure in a department that employs roughly 350 homosexuals, Rice refused. Acquiescing would not only violate the government's Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) but create an unwise precedent of forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for lifestyles that many consider morally reprehensible. Among the complaints, Guest says that same-sex partners don't have access to perks such as government medical care, anti-terrorism training, foreign language training, diplomatic passports or visas, and special emergency evacuation privileges. Secretary Rice is right to refuse to compromise. As Pat Kennedy, the undersecretary for management, stated, "The Secretary and State Department do not discriminate in hiring or promotions. We are committed to giving our personnel the support they need to get their jobs done." Rightly so; that commitment should not extend to ensuring the comfort of employees' "significant others." FRC praises Secretary Rice for maintaining the same decorum in her Department that she epitomizes abroad. Join us in applauding Condi for refusing to surrender on this policy matter and in encouraging other government officials to lead by the same example. Tags:Condoleezza Rice, DOMA, homosexual activism, Michael Guest, State Department, FRC, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Repeal day occurs every year on December 5th and marks the end of prohibition in 1933. While the ARRA supports traditional family values and is not advocating drinking, we do advocate for the government to focus on the issues necessary to protect us from our enemies and not to protect us from ourselves. Secure the borders! Combat terrorism! Stop congressional thievery via pork programs! Let government operate best - closest to the people! Stop "Castro / Chavez" like tenures in office for congressional representatives and senators! While we remember this this day, we should remember that the fight against government tyranny is never truly over.
Jason Talley, Bureaucrash's Crasher-in-Chief said this about repeal day: "Repeal day isn't just about the right to drink. We’re using this day to remind people that anytime the government acts, it denies citizens a choice. From smoking to recent attempts to ban bottled water in San Francisco , we believe that individuals, not the government, should decide what is best for themselves."Bureucrash created the following video and is an outreach of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
In Celebration of Repeal Day
Tags:Economics, Freedom, government, nanny state, prohibition, repeal day, totalitarianism, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Daniel W. Reilly, Politicol: Looking to retire after 27 years on the House Armed Services Committee, including two as chairman, Rep. Duncan Hunter isn’t eager to talk about the “L-word.” “I don’t care about leaving a legacy,” the California Republican said in an interview. “‘You do the best you can for the country every day’ — that’s my motto.”
The committee’s top Republican, Hunter is retiring at the end of his 14th term, deciding to focus on his bid for the Republican presidential nomination rather than mounting a reelection campaign to the House. Yet his legacy may very well live on with his son, Duncan D. Hunter, a Marine who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan and is now running to succeed him.
by Red S. Tater, Red Stater: Only One Candidate Is Truly Pro-Life - Duncan Hunter. . . . Duncan Hunter wrote a bill called the Life at Conception Act, that would define life at conception ensuring that the 14th amendment applies to unborn children in defending life. [Read about the bill] He has a 100% rating from the National Right to Life, and in all 26 years of experience in Congress he has never changed his mind.
Duncan Hunter Right To Life 2007
Tags:Duncan Hunter, Election 2008, presidential candidate, pro-life, RepublicanTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Cheney Returns to Arkansas to Duck Hunt Skips White House Holiday Ball
by Mary Ann Akers, The Washinton Post: Missing from Monday night's black-tie White House holiday ball for all three branches of government was one very prominent official of the executive branch: Vice President Dick Cheney. . . . It turns out Cheney was off enjoying his favorite pastime: hunting.Asked why Cheney skipped the White House bash, the vice president's spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, told us he was in Arkansas. Doing what? "He was hunting," she said. . . . Cheney went duck hunting in Arkansas just last month when he served as guest of honor at a fundraiser for the Republican Party of Arkansas. (No casualties were reported.) Unlike the free photos with President and Mrs. Bush at the White House Christmas party, it cost $1,000 per person to have a photo taken with Cheney at the Arkansas GOP event. . . . [Read More]Tags:Arkansas, Dick Cheney, hunting, vice presidentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
From Senate & News Sources: After waiting almost the entire year, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is ready to address the alternative minimum tax. Unfortunately, it’s the House bill that includes over $80 billion in tax hikes to offset the one-year AMT fix. Republicans do not believe it is necessary to permanently raise other taxes to prevent Americans from being affected by an ill-conceived tax that was never meant to be collected anyway. Reid filed cloture on the motion to proceed to the House AMT bill last night, claiming the move was necessary due to Republican resistance to Democrats’ AMT plans. But Republicans have repeatedly offered AMT relief this year, and Democrats have voted against it every time. Democrats’ dithering on AMT relief will likely delay $75 million in tax refunds next year.
The Washington Post reports today that some Democrats on the Hill are thinking of tying troop funding for Iraq to the Iraqi government’s ability to meet political benchmarks, instead of withdrawal requirements. Of course, the best thing to do would still be to just pass a clean bill to get our troops the money they need to fight the war and avoid forcing the Pentagon to furlough civilian employees.
In other news, The Washington Post and National Review Online have editorials today discussing the latest National Intelligence Estimate on Iran and noting some implications of its conclusions that haven’t been getting much media attention.
On The Floor: The Senate reconvenes at noon today. Senate will consider the motion to proceed to the House-passed alternative minimum tax bill (H.R. 3996). The House bill includes $82.5 billion in tax hikes.
Yesterday, the Senate voted 77-18 to pass the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement (H.R. 3688). There is still no schedule for the balance of the week. Possible bills that could come up: FISA reform (S. 2248), the farm bill (H.R. 2419), energy legislation (H.R. 6/H.R. 3221), and Iraq funding coupled with withdrawal requirements (H.R. 4156).
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is currently holding a markup of its latest bill on climate change (S. 2191). The hearing can be seen live on CSPAN2 until the Senate reconvenes. Tags:AMT fix, National Intelligence Estimate, Iran, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Festival of Lights began at sundown last night,ARRA extends best wishes to Arkansas' Jewish Community as they commemorate Hanukkah this year.
Hanukkah or Chanukah is the annual festival of the Jewish people, celebrated on eight successive days. It begins on the 25th day of Kislev, the third month of the Jewish calendar, corresponding, approximately, to December in the Gregorian calendar. This year, Hanukkah is being celebrated December 4-12, 2007. The celebration is also known as the Festival of Lights, Feast of Dedication and Feast of the Maccabees.
Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Temple of Jerusalem by Judas Maccabee in 165 bc. Rededication was necessary because Antiochus IV Epiphanes, king of Syria and overlord of Palestine, had profaned (defiled) the temple. In 168 bc, the temple was dedicated to the worship of the pagan god Zeus Olympius by order of Antiochus, who forbade the practice of Judaism. An altar to Zeus was set up on the high altar. When Judas Maccabee recaptured Jerusalem three years later, he had the temple purged and a new altar put up in place of the desecrated one. The temple was then rededicated to God with festivities that lasted eight days. According to tradition, only a one-day supply of nondesecrated olive oil could be found for the rededication, but that small quantity burned miraculously for eight days. Jews commemorate this event by lighting candles for the eight nights of Hanukkah. The principal source for the story of Hanukkah is the Talmud.
The main feature of present-day Hanukkah celebrations is the lighting of candles, one the first night, two the second, and so on until eight candles have been lit in a special candelabrum called a menorah. A Hanukkah menorah has eight branches and a holder for an extra candle that is used to light the others. (A seven-branched menorah that also has its origins in biblical times is now a symbol for the state of Israel.) A blessing is said each night as the Hanukkah candles are lit. Hanukkah is a festive family occasion, with special foods and songs. Children generally receive small gifts or money, known as Hanukkah gelt (money), each evening after the candles are lit. Foods fried in oil, such as latkes (potato pancakes) and doughnuts, commemorate the miracle of the oil. Sweet foods also are popular, and children may receive chocolate coins in place of Hanukkah gelt. Songs also play a part in the festivities and remind the family of the events commemorated. Happy Hanukkah! Tags:Festival of Lights, Hanukkah, Jewish celebration, 2007To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Michael Kunzelman, GOPUSA: Federal prosecutors appear to have ''overreacted'' in their pursuit of a case against two Border Patrol agents convicted of shooting a fleeing drug suspect and hiding evidence, one of three judges considering an appeal said Monday.
Jose Alonso Compean is serving 12 years in prison and Ignacio Ramos 11 years for assault, obstruction of justice and civil rights violations in the wounding of Osvaldo Aldrete Davila on the border near El Paso, Texas, in 2005. The agents want the convictions thrown out; they claim the shooting was a case of self-defense but acknowledge not reporting the incident.
If the agents had reported the shooting as required, ''this prosecution never would have occurred, in all likelihood,'' said Judge E. Grady Jolly, part of the three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hearing the case. Noting the severity of the charges and the lengthy sentences prosecutors sought, Jolly said, ''It does seem to me like the government overreacted here.''
Conservative lawmakers and other critics have called the prosecution unjustified and the sentences extreme. They note that Aldrete was given immunity from prosecution for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs the day he was shot, and that jurors weren't allowed to hear allegations that he smuggled marijuana into the United States several months after the shooting. Aldrete was arrested last month following an October indictment on various drug charges.
Another member of the 5th Circuit panel, Judge Patrick Higginbotham, said evidence that Aldrete made multiple attempts to smuggle drugs across the border ''strikes me as very relevant.'' The judges didn't indicate when they will rule on the appeals . . . [Read More]Tags:5th Circuit Court of Appeals, border guards, Ignacio Ramos, Jose CompeanTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Lincoln for college aid for illegal immigrants' Children; Huckabee maybe
by Jason Wiest, The Morning News: Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) voiced support for providing some children of illegal immigrants with college aid Monday, a day after Republican presidential contender Mike Huckabee said he was not sure he would support such a program at the federal level.
When Huckabee was Arkansas governor, he supported legislation in 2005 that would have granted in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants. The measure, an early version of which also would have made undocumented immigrants eligible for state scholarships, passed the state House but fell short in the Senate. Huckabee, who is surging in polls in advance of Iowa's first-in-the-nation Jan. 3 political caucuses and has come fire from GOP opponents because of his stance on immigration, on Sunday was noncommittal on federal legislation that would make the children of illegal immigrants eligible for federal student aid such as Pell grants and subsidized federal student loans."I'm not sure I would support that. . . .
Lincoln said Monday she still thinks such a program is a good idea."They've been in our school systems; we've made a huge investment," Lincoln said. "I think it's really important to make sure that we continue that investment (for students who do well) in a way that both encourages their legality and the hopes of them becoming a citizen because they are the ones who are going to contribute the most."Lincoln, who supported the so-called DREAM ACT to help the children of illegal immigrants enter college, said the children did not come into the country on their own accord, a point Huckabee made during last week's GOP presidential debate and again during his television appearance Sunday. . . .
"What about the children of Arkansans who are citizens?," said Rep. Jon Woods, R-Springdale, who has helped sponsor legislative hearings on illegal immigration in the state. "We have thousands and thousands who are denied scholarships annually, and they're citizens." Tags:Blanche Lincoln, illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, Mike Huckabee, student loans, tuition
Dr. Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Tonight I proudly promote one of our link partners who is does yeoman's work in the struggle against liberalism - Political Vindication!
You may watch Fox News and O'Riley or maybe listen to Glen Beck on the "other station" or maybe even have the option of listening to Rush, Reagan and others on a local talk radio station. But you still feel there must be something more, something out there that you are missing. You could be right! Time to drop in and listen to Political Vindication Radio. It is online ever Tuesday evenings from 6 to 8 PM Pacific Standard time. After a a couple shows you will be finding ways to schedule your time to prevent missing the next show.
The dynamic duo that will will liven up your evening are Frank and Shane. For 99% of the time the show would even pass FCC standards but being a live passionate radio show, on occasion a few extreme words of frustration may. In addition, to being a listener, you can be an interactive participant! There is an online radio chat room and you may call the show. They have multiple call in lines and no moronic call screeners keeping you from visiting with Shane, Frank or the current guest. This evening they had Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project talk about the hot issue of illegal immigration and what it’s like to stand tall in hostile territory (meaning giving non-liberal speeches on liberal university campuses).
To enjoy a radio show that will help keep you in the "right" mind, listen to the Political Vindication Radio. Visit the Political Vindicationwebsite for a list of upcoming shows and to find items of interest shared by Frank or Shane. Tags:conservative, online radio, political vindication, Republican, talk radio, traditional valuesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The definition is broadened to include sexual orientation among the protected classes, elevating sexual attraction to the status of race and creed. Those who can be found culpable have also been expanded to include not only those who commit the crime but those who may have unknowingly "inspired" those actions. For example, a pastor can be considered legally culpable if he preaches against the homosexual agenda and a member of his congregation subsequently commits a crime against a homosexual. Thus, the act against the homosexual is considered a crime, as it should be, but so also is the thought against the agenda or conduct.
Liberals have deviously inserted this provision in the Defense Appropriations bill. If conservative negotiators are unsuccessful in excising this provision from the bill then President Bush will be forced to do one of two things. First, he could veto the bill, which would then cause delays in funding our troops in Iraq. Second he could sign the bill to ensure the troops receive their funds, but have the unfortunate outcome of granting the new hate crimes provision the force of law.Given the urgency and importance of these issues please help the House and Senate negotiators by calling members and urging them to remove this provision. Tell them it should be removed because the provision is not germane to the national defense of this country. Most importantly, tell them that the provision should be removed because it runs counter to our country's bedrock principles of free speech and thought. Call committee members below or click here to send them an email. SENATORS ON THE CONFERENCE WHO VOTED FOR HATE CRIMES: Carl Levin, Chairman (D-MI): 202-224-6221 Ted Kennedy (D-MA): 202-224-4543 Robert Byrd (D-WV): 202-224-3954 Joe Lieberman (I-CT): 202-224-4041 Jack Reed (D-RI): 202-224-4642 Daniel Akaka (D-HI): 202-224-6361 Bill Nelson (D-FL): 202-224-5274 Ben Nelson (D-NE): 202-224 -6551 Evan Bayh (D-IN): 202-224-5623 Hillary Clinton (D-NY): 202-224-4451 Mark Pryor (D-AR): 202-224-2353 Jim Webb (D-VA): 202-224-4024 Claire McCaskill (D-MO): 202-224-6154 John Warner (R-VA): 202-224-2023 Susan Collins (R-ME): 202-224-2523 REPRESENTATIVES ON THE CONFERENCE WHO VOTED FOR HATE CRIMES: Chairman: Ike Skelton (D-MO): 202-225-2876 Solomon Ortiz (D-TX): 202-225-7742 Neil Abercrombie (D-HI): 202-225-2726 Ellen Tauscher (D-CA): 202-225-1880 Susan Davis (D-CA): 202-225-2040 Adam Smith (D-WA): 202-225-8901 Rick Larsen (D-WA): 202-225-2265 Vic Snyder (D-AR) 202-225 -2506 John Spratt (D-SC): 202-225-5501 Robert Andrews (D-NJ): 202-225-6501 Jim Cooper (D-TN): 202-225-4311 Loretta Sanchez (D-CA): 202-225-2965 Silvestre Reyes (D-TX): 202-225-4831 Mark Udall (D-CO): 202-225-2161 Jim Marshall (D-GA): 202-225-6531 Jim Saxton (R-NJ): 202-225-4765 Tags:Defense appropriations, Family Research Council, FRC, Hate Crime Bill, US CongressTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
From Senate & News Sources: Despite all that Congress needs to do before the end of the year, Democrats used their first day back from recess yesterday to propose spending even more time on the same priorities that have left us with so little done: “changing course in Iraq” and partisan investigations. Roll Call reported yesterday that both House and Senate Democrats are interested in wasting even more time on subpoenas over their partisan obsession with the dismissal of U.S. attorneys which is both old and irrelevant - we have a new Attorney General!
Meanwhile, Democrats continue to hold troop funding hostage to their unacceptable withdrawal requirements. Roll Call reports today, “when he was asked Monday whether there was any chance this year that Democrats would pass an Iraq bridge fund with no strings attached, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid responded, ‘I don’t think so.’ He also rejected the notion of trading ‘clean’ Iraq funding for domestic spending.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in his remarks from the Senate floor yesterday, “Frankly, I’m baffled by the Congressional Democrats’ position in the whole troop-funding debate. Earlier in the year they said that sending more troops to Iraq would lead to failure, then they approved the funds anyway. Now they say things are going well, and they want to cut off the funds that are needed to finish the job. So they funded the war when they thought it would fail, and now they want to defund it when they think it’s succeeding. Does this make any sense?”
On the domestic front, Democrats continue their backroom negotiations on energy legislation. CQ Today reported that many lawmakers are particularly concerned about the inclusion of renewable energy mandates in the package.
On The Floor: The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today. Senate will resume consideration of the U.S.-Peru Free Trade Agreement (H.R. 3688). The Senate will recess for weekly policy lunches between 12:30 and 2:15 PM today. At 2:15, Senators will vote on passage of the Peru free trade agreement.
As yet, there is no formal schedule for the balance of the week. Democrats had been hoping to take up FISA reform legislation (S. 2248) at the beginning of the week, but the Intelligence and Judiciary committees have produced competing bills, and have so far been unable to agree among themselves on a way to move forward.
Other possible action this week: the farm bill (H.R. 2419); the Democrats’ energy package (H.R. 6/H.R. 3221); possible is another vote on Iraq funding. If that happens, it could be on the $50 billion bridge funding bill that passed the House prior to Thanksgiving (H.R. 4156) and included withdrawal requirements and the Webb amendment, which would lock the DoD into a rigid troop deployment policy. Tags:energy, FISA, military funding, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
ARRA Comment: Carter Wood has detailed an excellent insights on comments by Sen Kit Bond (R-Mo), member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, concerning the threat to national security created by Democrats. In summary, after having a previously agreed to by-partisain FISA bill voted out of both the the Sen. Intelligence Committee with coordination with the Sen. Judiciary Committee, the Democrats majority in the Senate Judiciary Committee unilaterally without consultation stripped out immunity provision. The immunity provision provided protection for private telecommunication carriers when ordered or directed by the Federal Government to assist them in intelligence gathering. Sen Bond said, "We can't have effective intelligence gathering if we can't grant immunity protection to carriers for Government actions. Why should industry cooperate with the government if it opens them to lawsuits." Note: people would still be able to sue the Federal Government but lawyers for our enemies and other law suit groups should not be able to sue the companies when those businesses complied with the orders of the Federal Government. And then such suits should be handled subject to protection of national security within State's Secrets privilege and the security classifications within a special Federal court like the Surveillance Intelligence Court and not in District courts. In addition to the FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, four other law enforcement associations (FBI NEIA, Nat'l Sheriffs Assoc, Nat'l Trooper Coalition, & International Assoc. of Chief of Police) have asked for FISA to be continued with immunity in place for businesses. Editor's Conlusion: Foreign terrorists, suspected terrorists or suspected friends of terrorists should not have the same rights as US Citizens. American citizens or businesses should have total immunity from lawsuits for assisting both Federal, State and local government when such actions are requested by those agencies in addressing foreign terrorists.
----------- by Carter Wood, Shop Floor: Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO) called in from Missouri to talk to several bloggers this afternoon, bringing attention to the Senate's pending consideration (maybe this week) of S. 2248, the FISA Amendments Act, i.e. the reworking of laws governing the collection of foreign intelligence. The current law, an extension passed in August, expires on February 1.
In this effort to bring intelligence law up to date, the big sticking point has become immunity for the telecommunications companies. About 40 lawsuits have been filed against the carriers that cooperated with the federal government's requests to help monitor possible foreign terrorist activities in the wake of the murderous September 11, 2001, attacks.
In short, privacy groups and cash-hungry trial lawyers have teamed up on litigation that can only discourage private citizens from cooperating in the government's efforts to capture the people who would kill and maim us. Suppose it could be A LOT of cash.
Senator Bond: We can’t have an effective intelligence system for electronic collection unless we have protection and cooperation of carriers. And in addition, we have lots of challenges in cyber-security that’s going to require close cooperation with the carriers. If we leave them exposed to attacks by trial lawyers for wildly exorbitant claims, which in my view have absolutely no basis in fact, then how can they justify to their shareholders cooperating with the government?
I have read the opinions of the Department of Justice, the Attorney General, the orders, those are, I believe, lawful on their face. They’re lawful orders of the government. And it is absolutely irresponsible to refuse to give protection to American companies or other carriers who have cooperated with us, and leave them exposed to random lawsuits to collect attorneys fees and to gather fodder for those who believe that terrorists abroad should get constitutional protections and the privacy rights of American citizens.
When you tell that to somebody back here in Missouri, they look at me in disbelief, and I said, “Yes, that’s what this is all about.
The Senate Intelligence Committee passed out a bipartisan version of the bill that provides retroactive and prospective immunity for the telecoms. (Here's the committee's report.) The Senate Judiciary Committee stripped out the immunity (as did the full House in passing its own bill, H.R. 3733).
This is a disastrous course of action. As a nation, we were supposed to have awakened after 9/11 to the real threats that our civilization enemies represented. Citizens would stand vigilant, aiding those in government in preventing new and deadly attacks. Has our resolve slipped? Has the country changed so much in the six years since? Strip immunity from the intelligence surveillance bills, and the answer will be, sadly, yes. Tags:Carter Wood, Christopher Bond, FISA, Kit Bond, telecom immunity
ARRA Comment: Al Franken has been a big joke which was okay for a comedian and before he considered running for office. Hat Tip to Captain's Quarters for the following: The Norm Coleman campaign takes Al Franken seriously, at least seriously enough to do their homework on the former comedian, author, and talk-radio host. If Franken wins the nomination from Michael Cerisi to challenge Coleman in the general election, he will not find Coleman unprepared. The campaign has already readied its first ad, and this one -- on Franken's attempts to triangulate on Iraq -- will leave a big mark:
Tags:Al Franken, Iraq War, military funding, Norm Coleman, troop surgeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
ARRA Summary of comments today by U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell:‘Senate Democrats have more to do in these last few weeks than they have done all year. It’s time to stop the political show. It’s time to focus, for once, on the fundamentals.’ U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell: “We’re now in the final days of the session, and Congressional Democrats have left an enormous amount of work undone.” Congress is already two months into Fiscal 2008, and the leadership has 11 unfinished spending bills out of 12.
Democrats have delayed troop funding and are now saying things are going well, and they want to cut off the funds that are needed to finish the job. Democrat action could force forcing the Pentagon to pink slips for more than 200,000 employees as a way of getting around the threat of no funding.”
The Protect America Act that monitors terrorists overseas expires on Feb. 1. Judiciary Committee Democrats voted for a revised version that weakens it. Under this new version, U.S. commanders could be blocked from gathering critical intelligence on foreign targets. “We need to stop foreign terrorists who want to kill innocent Americans - not be paralyzed into inaction over their search and seizure rights. Republicans support the bipartisan, common-sense Senate Intelligence Committee bill that allows commanders greater freedoms in the field and recognizes that telecom companies shouldn’t be sued for doing their patriotic duty as required by the Federal Government intelligence officials to protect American lives.”
Democrats haven’t fixed a problem in the tax code that they’ve known about all year. Millions of middle-class Americans are about to receive the AMT tax hike. In Oct., Treasury Secretary Paulson warned Congress if they didn’t act by early Nov., 25 million households would get a major tax hike and if not by the middle of this month, 50 million would face delays in getting their refunds. Even if Congress acts today, millions of tax returns will still be delayed.
Senate Democrats need to act on executive nominations, including nominees to head the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Agriculture.
Regarding Judiciary Committee circuit court nominations, there has been one hearing on one circuit court nomination since the summer recess, and only five hearings for five circuit court nominees all year. During a comparable period in President Clinton’s last Congress, the Republican controlled Senate held hearings on 10 of Clinton’s circuit court nominees including five after the August recess.
We need to pass the bills that keep the government functioning.
We need to stop taxes from being raised on the middle class.
We need to strengthen the laws that help us catch terrorists before they strike.
We need to fund our troops in the field.
‘It’s now December, and Senate Democrats have more to do in these last few weeks than they have done all year. It’s time to stop the political show. It’s time to focus, for once, on the fundamentals.” Tags:AMT, Democrats, federal funding, FISA, judicial appointments, Mitch McConnell, support troops, US Congress, US SenateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
ARRA reported last weekthat the Virgina State Board of Elections approved a Virginia Republican Party request for people wishing to vote in the state's presidential primary. Well the Republican leaders in Virginia after complaints by values voters groups abandoned plans requiring voters to sign a loyalty pledge to the Republican presidential candidate before the Feb. 12 primary. Political Gatewayidentified that The Washington Post reported: "We have heard the voice of the people," said Virginia's GOP party chairman, John H. Hager. "It's a new day, and our job has to be to build the party. We welcome new people into the party. We want as many people as possible participating if they share our principles and values."[Prior report] Tags:GOP, oath, primary, Republican, VirginiaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill To Protect Children from Broadcast Indecency Held Up in Senate
Action Alert by American Family Association: The Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act (S.1780) was passed unanimously by the Senate Commerce Committee earlier this year and was intended to affirm the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) authority to fine television and radio stations for airing a single word or image that might be considered indecent. This authority was recently challenged by two judges in New York City and without S.1780 the FCC's "fines-increases" may be nullified.
Not only have networks steadfastly refused to abide by federal laws prohibiting the broadcast of indecent material during times of day when children are likely to be watching television, they are actively working to overturn those laws even now in federal court on the absurd grounds that it should have the "right" to air the "F-word" and "S-word" during prime time. Without S.1780, television programming will become an open sewer for virtually all hours of the day.
The consensus is that S.1780 will pass if it gets to the full Senate for a vote. However, it is currently stalled in committee and will die unless you act today. There are only three weeks remaining in the current years legislative session. Strangely the co-sponsors, Senators Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Daniel Inouye (D-HI), are dragging their feet. Urgent Action Needed: Please call Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI) at 202-224-3934 and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) at 202-224-3004 and politely ask them to protect children from indecent programming by allowing a full Senate vote on S.1780 before they adjourn for Christmas in a couple of weeks. Tags:FCC, Federal Communications Commission, Protect Children, Broadcast IndecencyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Arkansans Get Your Tax Credit for Political Contributions
Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Fellow Arkansas, let Arkansas help you with your political contribution! Arkansas taxpayers can receive a $50 credit, or $100 if you file jointly, on your state income taxes for money contributions to recognized political organizations and candidates in the state of Arkansas.
(a) Pursuant to regulations to be adopted by the Department of Finance and Administration, a credit against individual Arkansas income taxes shall be allowed for money contributions made by the taxpayer in a taxable year to one (1) or more of the following:
(1) A candidate seeking nomination or election to a public office at an election or to the candidate's campaign committee;
(2) A small donor political action committee.
(3) An approved political action committee, or
(4) An organized political party.
(b) The credit allowed by subsection (a) of this section shall be the aggregate contributions, not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00) on an individual tax return, or the aggregate contributions, not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) on a joint return.
(c) Credits for contributions qualifying under this section and made prior to April 15 in a calendar year may be applied to the return filed for the previous taxable year. [Arkansas Legal Reference]
Again, it's a great way to reduce your tax liability while showing support for Republican political organizations and candidates in the state. To take advantage of the tax credit, it is easier to remember to give within the calender year. However, contribution prior to April 15 in a calendar year may be applied to the return filed for the previous taxable year. Note, the tax credit does NOT apply to contributions to candidates for the US President, US Representatives or US Senators or to any other entities or persons outside of Arkansas which includes the National political parties and national political action committees. The goal is Arkansas money for Arkansas candidates.
With this great opportunity, everyone can contribute more because Arkansas will cover via the "tax credit" 100% of your first individual political contribution of $50 or $100 per married couple per year given within Arkansas. That means you can give more because you will get back the amount identified previously. Who said Arkansas isn't progressive? Not sure where to contribute? Watch your newspapers for announcements by Republican candidates. Check with your local Republican County Committee to learn who is running as a candidate. Consider giving directly to the Republican Party of Arkansas, your local Republican County Committee, or Republican Women's or Men's Club. Be careful that the organization that you are giving to is an official part of the Republican Party of Arkansas and has a PAC that can give money to candidates. Put Arkansas Tax dollars to work. If you don't, other will! Tags:Arkansas, Arkansas Federation of Republican Women, GOP, political tax credit, taxesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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