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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Chertoff: Tougher ID Rules for Borders
GOPUSA: New border-crossing rules that take effect in two weeks will mean longer lines and stiffer demands for ID, including for returning Americans, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Thursday. A driver's license won't be good enough to get Americans past a checkpoint at the Canadian or Mexican border, Chertoff said. That will be a surprise to many people who routinely cross the border with Canada, but Chertoff bristled at criticism that such extra security would be inconvenient. More than 800,000 people enter the U.S. through land and sea ports each day. ''It's time to grow up and recognize that if we're serious about this threat, we've got to take reasonable, measured but nevertheless determined steps to getting better security,'' he said in an interview . . . The biggest effect of the change will be at the Canadian border since it applies to both Canadians and Americans. Non-Americans coming in through Mexico already need extra documentation. . . . [Read More] Tags:border control, Canada, GOPUSA, ID, Mexico, Michael ChertoffTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
McCain Wins South Carolina Primary; Huckabee Close Second
John McCain won after a close battle in the South Carolina primary: John McCain 33.22%; Mike Huckabee 29.83%; Fred Thompson 15.76%; Mitt Romney 15.14%; Ron Paul 3.69%; Rudy Giuliani 2.07% and Duncan Hunter 0.24%,. Giuliani and Hunter did not compete in South Carolina and Mitt Romney and Ron Paul focused in Nevada. Also, five other candidates competed but all received less than .03%. The primary was an "open primary" which means voters could cross over and vote in the Republican Primary. The democrat primary will be held on Jan. 26th.
Over 36% of the Republican in South Carolina did not vote for the top two candidates. John McCain had strong support from the numerous military bases in the state. With over 50% of the Republican voters in South Carolina being identified as evangelical, Mike Huckabee campaign failed to pull enough evangelical votes to win.
South Carolina has 24 delegates to the 2008 Republican National Convention. They have been awarded as follows: McCain 18 delegates and Huckabee 6 delegates. Tags:McCain wins South Carolina, delegates, GOP, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, primary, Republican, South CarolinaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
With 34 delegates on the table over the 24 delegates in South Carolina, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul focused on Nevada. Mitt Romney won the Nevada Republican Caucus with 51.11%; Ron Paul 13.73%; John McCain 12.75%; Mike Huckabee 8.82%; Fred Thompson 7.94%; Rudy Giuliani 4.31% and Duncan Hunter 2.01%
However, the true measure is success was in the delegates and Romney won big time. With soft reporting completed: Romney 17 delegates; Paul 4 delegates; McCain 4 delegates; Huckabee 3 delegates; Thompson 3 delegates and 3 delegates not determined. Again these are soft computations of delegates and may be adjusted by the NV GOP. Tags:Arkansas Republican Caucus, delegates, GOP, Mitt Romney, Nevada, presidential candidates, Ron PaulTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
READS: Monica Lewinsky's X-Boyfriend's Wife for President What do yout think: Realism or Humor? Leave comment! Tags:bumper sticker, Hillary Clinton, Monica Lewinski, political humorTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Patrick J. Buchanan, The Daily Reckoning:Since it began to give credit ratings to nations in 1917, Moody’s has rated the United States triple-A. U.S. Treasury bonds have been seen as the most secure investment on earth. . . . Last week, Moody’s warned that if the United States fails to rein in the soaring cost of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the nation’s credit rating will be down-graded within a decade.
Our political parties seem oblivious. . . . promising to expand the U.S. military and maintain all of our worldwide commitments to defend and subsidize scores of nations. . . . entitlement costs drowning the federal budget in red ink, are proposing a new entitlement – universal health coverage for the near 50 million who do not have it – another magnet for illegal aliens. Moody’s is telling America it needs a time of austerity, while the U.S. government is behaving like the governments we used to bail out.
California has already hit the wall. With an economy as large as a G-8 nation, the Golden State is looking at a $14 billion deficit in 2009 and a $3 billion shortfall in 2008. . . . With the dollar sinking, oil surging to $100 a barrel, the Dow having its worst January in memory, foreclosures mounting, credit card debt going rotten, and consumers and businesses unable or unwilling to borrow, we appear headed into recession. If so, tax revenue will fall and spending on unemployment will surge. The price of the stimulus packages both parties are preparing will further add to the deficit and further imperil the U.S. credit rating. This all comes in the year that the first of the baby boomers, born in 1946, reach early retirement and eligibility for Social Security.
To stave off recession, the Fed appears anxious to slash interest rates another half-point, if not more. That will further weaken the dollar and raise the costs of the imports to which we have become addicted. . . . As we save nothing, we must borrow both to pay for the imported oil and foreign manufactures upon which we have become dependent. We are thus in the position of having to borrow from Europe to defend Europe, of having to borrow from China and Japan to defend Chinese and Japanese access to Gulf oil, and of having to borrow from Arab emirs, sultans and monarchs to make Iraq safe for democracy. We borrow from the nations we defend so that we may continue to defend them. . . . the chickens of globalism are coming home to roost.
We let Europe to get away with imposing value-added taxes averaging 15 percent on our exports to them, while they rebate that value-added tax on their exports to us. Thus, the euro has almost doubled in value against the dollar in the Bush years, as NATO Europe begins to bail out on Iraq and Afghanistan. We sat still as Japan protected her markets and dumped high quality goods into ours and China undervalued its currency to suck jobs, technology and factories out of the United States. Now, China and Japan have $2 trillion in cash reserves. The Arabs have an equal amount of petrodollars. Both are headed here to spend their depreciating dollars snapping up U.S. assets – banks, ports, highways, defense contractors.
America, to pay her bills, has begun to sell herself to the world. Its balance sheet gutted by the subprime mortgage crisis, Citicorp got a $7.5 billion injection from Abu Dhabi and is now fishing for $1 billion from Kuwait and $9 billion from China. Beijing has put $5 billion into Morgan Stanley and bought heavily into Barclays Bank. Merrill-Lynch, ravaged by subprime mortgage losses, sold part of itself to Singapore for $7.5 billion and is seeking another $3 billion to $4 billion from the Arabs. Swiss-based UBS, taking a near $15 billion write-down in subprime mortgages, has gotten an infusion of $10 billion from Singapore. Bain Capital is partnering with China’s Huawei Technologies in a buyout of 3Com, the U.S. company that provides the technology that protects Pentagon computers from Chinese hackers. This self-indulgent generation has borrowed itself into unpayable debt. Now the folks from whom we borrowed to buy all that oil and all those cars, electronics and clothes are coming to buy the country we inherited. We are prodigal sons, and the day of reckoning approaches. . . . [Read More]Tags:credit rating, economy, Pat Buchanan, State of Emergency, US DebtTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tony Perkins, FRC: With fears of an economic downturn spreading, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke sought to reassure the nation yesterday. . . Rather than being reassured, the stock market dropped 306 points. By asking Congress to pass legislation to stimulate the economy temporarily, Bernanke seems to underestimate what Congress can really do. Congress does not do the "quick fix" well - it usually ends up as a disaster for taxpayers. While the Fed directs the economy through its monetary polices, the Congress' role is better suited in setting long-term economic policy.
Despite what Mr. Bernanke says, one step towards that goal is making President Bush's 2001 tax cuts permanent. Unfortunately, a White House spokesman indicated that even the President is taking tax cut permanency off the table as a potential stimulus. This is a colossal mistake that will likely halt any further discussions of tax cuts this year. Currently families and investors (which are increasingly one and the same) are facing an unsure future with a number of those tax cuts, including marriage penalty relief and child tax credit, set to expire - resulting in what will be the largest tax increase in American history. Quick fixes like tax rebates or simply throwing money at social welfare programs don't stimulate the economy - people are smarter then that. Tax rebates treat the America people like teenagers heading out on a Friday night; "here's $50 for a burger, movie and enough gas to get you there and back."
We don't elect our leaders to make quick fixes during a political year but to make hard decisions that reward savings and foster growth. Maybe this will provide more incentive to families to repossess Congress by supporting morally and fiscally responsible candidates. Tags:economy, FRC, income tax, Tony PerkinsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Paul R. La Monica, CNN Money: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress Thursday that legislators should enact a fiscal stimulus package in order to help beleaguered consumers as recession fears grow. . . . To be useful, a fiscal stimulus package should be implemented quickly and structured so that its effects on aggregate spending are felt as much as possible within the next twelve months or so," Bernanke said. . . . Bernanke said that current losses from the subprime mortgage mess were probably about $100 billion but cautioned that this figure could wind up being higher.
Former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers told lawmakers on Tuesday that Congress should consider a stimulus package of up to $150 billion. He proposed an immediate injection of $50 billion to $75 billion through a combination of tax cuts and increased spending on unemployment benefits and other programs. He also advocated that another $50 billion to $75 billion be set aside in case economic conditions weaken further.
During Thursday's hearing, Bernanke said he thought a fiscal stimulus package of up to $150 billion, would be "reasonable." A spokesman for President Bush said Thursday that the White House also supports a short-term stimulus package. Bernanke cautioned though that any stimulus "should be explicitly temporary" in order "to avoid unwanted stimulus beyond the near-term horizon and, importantly, to preclude an increase in the federal government's structural budget deficit." The Fed chairman said that extending some of the tax cuts engineered by Bush in 2001 and 2003, which are set to expire in 2010, could have a positive impact on the stock market today. He singled out the cut on dividend taxes as particularly key to stimulating the economy. Tags:Ben Bernanke, economy, Larry SummersTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Thompson Responds: The Constitution is Not a “Living, Breathing Document”
by Fred Thompson: This morning I heard that one of the other candidates commented that the Constitution is a “living, breathing document.” Frankly, I assumed this came from Senator Clinton or Senator Obama. It is identical to what Al Gore said when he was running for President in 2000, when he said he would look for judges “who understand that our Constitution is a living, breathing document, that it was intended by our founders to be interpreted in the light of the constantly evolving experience of the American people.”
Imagine my surprise when I learned that this statement actually came from my opponent, Governor Huckabee, in an interview with CNN this morning. Now I know Governor Huckabee was talking about amending the Constitution, but I don’t think he understood that he was using code words that support judicial activism. He does not appear to understand that reliance on the notion that the Constitution is a living, breathing document is precisely the kind of wrong-headed thinking about the Constitution that gave us Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion across our nation, and Lawrence v. Texas, which decriminalized sodomy.
I do not believe the Constitution is a living, breathing document. I am committed to appointing strict constructionist judges to the bench if I am elected President, strict constructionists who believe the Constitution has a fixed meaning that can be applied to cases that come before the courts today. They do NOT believe the Constitution is a “living, breathing document,” whose meaning, constantly changing with the sifting sands of our culture, can be determined and applied by unelected judges.
I fear that this loose language about our Constitution calls into question Governor Huckabee’s appreciation and understanding of the issue of judicial activism and raises questions as to what kind of judges he would appoint were he to become President. Tags:Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidates, US ConstitutionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
HotAir: The comment came during an interview with CNN this morning. . . . Huckabee’s position doesn’t square up well with the Constitution’s amendment process — a process laid out precisely because it ought to be difficult to change the Constitution, but change is sometimes necessary, and it’s necessary because the Constitution isn’t a living, breathing document. If it were, as the proponents of that understanding tend to believe, you can find meanings in the penumbras of what’s actually written, meanings that might in fact be at odds with the plain understanding of the words themselves, without having to amend the document to find the new meaning therein.
Huckabee’s “living, breathing” statement hits at just under 4 minutes.
The “living, breathing document” argument regarding the Constitution comes not from conservative or constructionist thinking, but from the left. Make of all that what you will.
I firmly believe that the Constitution must be interpreted according to its original meaning, and flatly reject the notion of a “living Constitution.”
It goes on from there to detail what the “living Constitution” means and why he rejects it. So will his excuse be that he didn’t write that part of his own web site, or that he didn’t read it? Tags:constitution, Election 2008, HotAir, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Some people may have believed Fred Thompson was laid back and slow going. But the truth is that Fred Thompson has held his peace until recently concerning his opponents. Fred likes to study the issues before he speaks. But when he done thinking and evaluating the facts, you had better be ready to hear him sum up the truth. ABC News Reports: Fred Thompson gave his opinion about his opponents:
"We have some Johnny-come-lately's now that don't want to talk about their record and they're hoping there’s not enough time for anybody to even examine them.”
Thompson described … Huckabee as "very articulate, very witty, but does not like to answer questions about his record."
He called [Huckabee] “weak” on the issue of illegal immigration and again railed against his endorsement from the New Hampshire National Education Association, a teachers' union. “Is he proud of that endorsement?”
[Thompson] said he disagreed with McCain on tax cuts and immigration … “When I saw him join forces with Senator [Ted] Kennedy on that, I knew that he was wrong track and he was, and the American people said so,” Thompson said.
"[Romney] basically promised the federal government would come in and bail out Michigan … very conservative notion, don't you think?” Thompson asked facetiously.
"... Fred Thompson shines. His voting record in eight years in the Senate was sterling. He often stood alone for the principle of federalism—"states' rights," correctly understood—a principle particularly appreciated by South Carolinians who want Washington to leave them alone on matters of economics and regulation. He had a 100 percent pro-life record. He stood tall against wasteful spending and high taxes. He pushed hard for high ethical standards and for efficient government reform. He's the only candidate thoroughly trustworthy on judicial nominations. And he never wavered from a Reaganite position in favor of a strong defense and foreign policy. . . . One thing Fred Thompson has been right about all along is that these presidential campaigns start way too early. South Carolina can force the pundit class to slow things down in an intelligent way and let voters take a good, long time examining all the candidates, by keeping the solidly conservative Thompson alive in the race and keeping the entire outcome well up in the air. Iowans or Floridians might have other agendas, but Carolinians know the value of taking the time to get things right.”
Tags:Election 2008, Fred Thompson, GOP, presidential candidateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Gary Bauer: Recent headlines about "super bugs" and "flesh eating bacteria" are enough to give you nightmares! For a number of years, hospitals have been grappling with outbreaks of MRSA - a virulent form of drug-resistant staph bacteria that is extremely difficult to treat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently acknowledged that nearly 20,000 people a year are being killed by this "super bug." Lately, a number of school districts across the country have had confirmed outbreaks of MRSA, and this week an additional source was identified that has caused new concerns.
According to various press reports, homosexual men in San Francisco were 13 times more likely to be infected with MRSA than their heterosexual neighbors. The CDC has also reported that rates of other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis and rectal gonorrhea, are on the rise among the homosexual community. But this new MRSA outbreak among "gay men" has health officials terrified because it is a skin infection that can be transmitted by casual contact. According to one researcher at the University of California, "Once this reaches the general population, it will be truly unstoppable."
The unquestioning acceptance at every level of homosexuality and its accompanying behaviors may well present a clear risk to public health. But, like so many serious issues, our politically correct culture makes it difficult to debate and develop serious public policies. It took decades for the public to comprehend the risks of smoking. In my view, it is well beyond time for a frank discussion of the health risks associated with homosexual behavior, which should be part of any debate about "civil rights" or the redefinition of marriage and family in America. Tags:CDC, Centers for Disease Control, Gary Bauer, homosexuals, MRSA, political correctnessTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Jake & MJ Jacobsen, Blogs4Borders: In the last story we mentioned the fact that illegal aliens, by definition, do not have civil rights in this country. Are we crazy? Well, yes…we are…but not when it comes to this! Civil rights are for citizens, and citizens only.
Let’s see how the American Heritage Dictionary defines civil rights…
The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms & privileges guaranteed by the 13th & 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution & by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, & freedom from discrimination. Rights belong to an individual by virtue of citizenship. That means that if you’re a citizen of Poland, that’s where you need to go to find your civil rights. If you’re a citizen of Australia, you need to go down under to find yours. And if you’re a citizen of Mexico – you guessed it – you need to head south of the border, down Mexico way, for yours.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines civil rights as the nonpolitical rights of a citizen, and human rights as rights regarded as belonging fundamentally to all persons. This is a crucial distinction to make because observation tells us that there are people working very hard to erase that distinction. To what end, you may wonder? Consider this: replacing actual CIVIL rights with lowest common denominator HUMAN rights is a good 1st step toward devaluing – and eventually doing away with – the very entity that bestows civil rights: the sovereign nation.
It’s an open-borders ploy used by open-borders advocates. Do you recall Dirty Harry Reid, during last year’s desperate elite scramble for “comprehensive immigration reform,” referring to illegal aliens as “undocumented Americans?” Just last week, VA Governor Tim Kaine described those who support state laws to curb illegal immigration as being “hostile to new Americans.”
It’s a ploy used by the same people who somehow think it’s noble to greet a pregnant illegal alien with open arms and confer immediate citizenship on her child because Mom managed to waddle across the border in contravention of our laws.
It’s insulting to us, as citizens, and we can only imagine how insulting it is to those citizens who have, historically, had to fight for their civil rights in this country. The civil rights movement has been hijacked by our invaders as they march in our streets to demand the rights of citizens, even as they spit on our country, our laws, and us with the law-breaking nature of their very presence in our country.
When Elvira Arellano took a year of “sanctuary” in a church here in Chicago, she was likened to Rosa Parks. How ridiculous to compare a citizen who fought for civil rights she was denied to a 2-time illegal entrant felon who hid in a church for a year to flaunt our laws yet again!
The fact is, American citizenship, and the civil rights that accompany it, ARE valuable. And Americans will not stand by while our greatest national treasure – citizenship -- is devalued by those who come to steal the American Dream…or by those who would give it away.
Know your civil rights. Fight to keep them. And by all means use them…in the country where you are entitled to them: the country where you are a citizen.Tags:Blogs for Borders, Civil Rights, illegal aliens, illegal immigrationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
I caught an NPR interview with Mike Huckabee on Morning Edition. You can listen to the interview here. . . . Then the interview turned to South Carolina and the news that a pro-Huckabee group is using push-polling. Here's a partial transcript:
Huckabee: I personally wish that all of this was outlawed. I think that every candidates should speak for themselves, and that every thing that involves the candidate's name or another candidate's name should be authorized and approved by that candidate, otherwise it shouldn't be spoken. . . . The point is that candidates can't force these special interest 527 groups to stop. I wish we could.
Wait, so not only does Huckabee want to outlaw push-polling, he also wants to require that "every thing that involves another candidates name should be authorized and approved by that candidate"? So, if I want to run an ad calling you a liberal, Mr. Huckabee, I'd have to get your approval? Isn't that the very essence of censorship?
As I tell my students, the First Amendment was not passed because the Founding Fathers were particularly concerned about your right to download porn at incredible speeds. The First Amendment was passed to protect political speech. Criticizing candidates is the fundamental reason why we have a First Amendment in the first place, and a democracy cannot function without it. Huckabee isn't a conservative, he's a nightmare.
Tags:constitution, free speech, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
McCain & Huckabee "Talk Tought" on Immigration but Promises Don't Match the Records
by Bobby Eberle, GOPUSA: As the GOP candidates continue their push for the presidential nomination, the issues in focus have changed. In Michigan, it was the economy. Now that the candidates have moved to Nevada and South Carolina, immigration is playing a more important role. Talking about improving immigration laws and border security are vitally important. It's an issue Americans care deeply about, and it's one upon which the Republican field of candidates will be judged. Many are now talking tough, but talk is cheap, and what America needs is a president who will actually do something about the illegal immigration problem.
In South Carolina, the rhetoric is heated, and the candidates are making a bee-line to the right in order to attract conservative votes. However, I can only roll my eyes and shake my head when I hear candidates such as John McCain and Mike Huckabee talk tough on immigration. These two candidates have dismal records on the issue, and yet they are making "promises" left and right.Promises are one thing.... a record is something else. . . . [Read More] Tags:Election 2008, GOP, illegal aliens, immigration enforcement, immigration reform, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidates, South CarolinaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The House yesterday passed a reworked version of the fiscal 2008 Defense authorization bill, fixing a provision that would have allowed lawsuits to freeze Iraqi government assets in the US, potentially harming Iraqi reconstruction. The bill will now go to the Senate for a vote, possibly as early as next week. The Senate is still not in regular session. They are likely begin right away with FISA (although Sen. Majority Leader wants to clear an "Indian health" bill first).
The Washington Times has reported Analysts predict impotent 2nd session: . . . Aside from possible economic-stimulus efforts, most of the anticipated action by the Democrat-led Congress will revolve around unresolved measures from 2007, including Iraq war funding, health care reform, school-testing mandates and tax increases for oil companies. "The stars are in configuration for this to be the least productive [legislative session] during an eighth year of a [presidential] administration," said Stephen Hess of the Brookings Institution, a liberal Washington think tank. "Both parties are wanting to do things that are more about electioneering than about governing." Still, House members, who return tomorrow and senators, who convene next week, won't be shy about using their bully pulpit to tout election-year priorities, even if they never intend to back up their rhetoric with new legislation, political experts say. "Maybe we could call this session loud and unproductive," said Jennifer Duffy, an analyst with the Cook Political Report. "There is going to be lots of partisan posturing, but Congress is going to move at the speed of molasses."
In todays news there are several stories that note UN officials, including Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and envoy to Iraq Staffan de Mistura, and the IMFagreeing that things are improving in Iraq. Reuters reports that the IMF believes Iraq’s economy could see significant growth if security improvements continue and allow for higher oil production. With even UN officials and international agencies are lauding improvements in Iraq, Mort Kondracke notes that Democrats “insist on minimizing the success and advocating early timetables for full withdrawal of U.S. combat forces."
According to The Politico, “In recognition of hard political reality, the groups instead will lower their sights and push for legislation to prevent President Bush from entering into a long-term agreement with the Iraqi government that could keep significant numbers of troops in Iraq for years to come.” CQ Politics reports that Democrats, especially their presidential candidates, seem to be on board with this strategy, calling on the president to get Congress to agree to any deals on security commitments with Iraq.
On the domestic side, Roll Call reports today that Democrats have decided to temper expectations for 2008: “Sources in both the House and Senate said Democratic leaders now recognize that they have to revise how they communicate with the electorate given the difficulties they faced racking up accomplishments in the first year of the 110th Congress. Part of the plan involves making the case that the Congressional majority needs to grow the number of Democratic seats in Congress and elect a Democratic president in order to bring about change in Washington.” Tags:FISA, Iraq War, 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!
WorldNetDaily: A second state has approved a plan that would bypass the U.S. electoral college, giving the presidency to the winner of a national popular vote. The move came this weekend when New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine signed legislation that specifies the state's 15 electoral college votes would go to the winner of the popular vote. Maryland, with its 10 electoral college votes, earlier approved a similar plan. Both are contingent on enough other states approving the plan to provide absolute control over presidential elections. Another state plan also is headed for the desk of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich after lawmakers approved it just days ago. Opponents say the plan threatens the nation's republican form of government and would give unstoppable control over the White House to any coalition the major population centers would choose to create. It would allow New York City to outvote much of the Midwest; Los Angeles could determine the course of a national agenda for the Pacific Northwest. . . .[Read More]
by R. Lott Jr.: A lot of Americans who believe in the right to own guns were very disappointed this weekend. On Friday, the Bush administration's Justice Department entered into the fray over the District of Columbia's 1976 handgun ban by filing a brief to the Supreme Court that effectively supports the ban. The administration pays lip service to the notion that the Second Amendment protects gun ownership as an "individual right," but their brief leaves the term essentially meaningless.
Quotes by the two sides’ lawyers say it all. The District’s acting attorney general, Peter Nickles, happily noted that the Justice Department’s brief was a “somewhat surprising and very favorable development.” Alan Gura, the attorney who will be representing those challenging the ban before the Supreme Court, accused the Bush administration of “basically siding with the District of Columbia” and said that “This is definitely hostile to our position.” As the lead to an article in the Los Angeles Times said Sunday, “gun-control advocates never expected to get a boost from the Bush administration.” . . . [Read More]See also:Public "threatened" by private-firearms ownershipTags:2nd Amendment, DOJ, gun rights, Supreme Court, SCOTUS, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Charles Babington: The Republican presidential race is so unsettled that some party officials are openly talking of a scenario that seemed almost unthinkable until now: the first contested GOP convention in 60 years. . . . The GOP process could go "right up to the point that we don't have a clear candidate with enough electoral votes to win" the nomination when the conventions start, said Herbert Schoenbohm, Republican Party chairman for the Virgin Islands. That would be fine with Schoenbohm, who said he is "tired of the coronations and staged events" of recent conventions.
But a deadlocked convention could be a nightmare for the party. The Republicans' last multi-ballot convention was in 1948, when New York Gov. Thomas Dewey prevailed on the third ballot. He lost the general election to Democrat Harry S. Truman. The last contested Democratic convention was in 1952, when Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson won on the third ballot. He later lost two elections to Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower. . . .
Most convention delegates now are loyal to a given candidate, not to the party itself, he said. The Byzantine rules governing delegates' powers and obligations are nearly incomprehensible, he said. But in the end, it might not matter much. A deadlocked nominating process would be obvious when most primaries end by early May, Madonna said, four months before the party conventions take place. Then "there will be wheeling and dealing" among the candidates and their surrogates, he said, with possible deals including a vice presidential spot for a contender willing to step aside and resolve the question.
On Wednesday, several Republican officials said a protracted primary season might add excitement to a party that typically settles on a nominee early. . . . Rove told party officials Wednesday that the eventual GOP presidential nominee has "four big things to do" when the intraparty battle ends. The first, he said, is to "introduce themself to the American people," who pay far less attention to campaigns than most political aficionados realize. It was a splash of cold-water reality for party activists who don't know who their standard-bearer will be, nor when he will be chosen. . . . [Read More] Tags:Election 2008, GOP, Republican Convention, RNCTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Democrat House Senate Leaders: Do As I Say, Not As I Do
Yesterday the US House returned. There is a lot of discussion of a potential economic stimulus package. Articles in The New York Times and The Hill report that Democrat leaders are calling for a bipartisan approach to the economy. But those comments are hard to square with Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer’s attacks on President Bushon Saturday. The Senate will return to legislative session on January 22.
The Politico writes today, “As Congress opens the 2008 session, it’s hard to find Iraq anywhere on the official agenda.” It appears very few hearings on Iraq have been scheduled in the next month, and there are no Iraq votes on the horizon. It’s quite a contrast from last year at this time when the new Democrat-controlled Congress kicked off with numerous Iraq hearings and constant talk of votes to disapprove of the surge or force an early withdrawal.
While some Democrats in Congress seem to be uninterested in discussing Iraq, Jonathan Last notes in The Weekly Standard today that during last night’s presidential debate, “the three Democrats tried to out-do one another in their commitment to speedily withdrawing from Iraq.” Meanwhile, in their haste to pivot to the economy, Democrats seem to have dropped their commitment to pay-go on a stimulus package, according to House Way and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel.
In a letter to President Bush last week, Speaker Nancy Peolosi (D-CA) and Majority Leader Sen, Harry Reid (D-NV) appear to ask for bipartisanship on the economy: "We want to work with you and the Republican leadership of the Congress to immediately develop a legislative plan based upon these principles so it can be passed and implemented into law without delay." "We look forward to working together to develop a sound plan that injects demand into the economy, restores consumer confidence and purchasing power, and addresses the severe strains being felt by millions of our fellow Americans."
However, at the same time, The New York Times reported: ". . .a day after Democratic leaders urged Mr. Bush to cooperate on a stimulus plan, Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York used the weekly Democratic radio address to criticize the president’s economic policies." Democratic Radio Address: "They continue to take a do-nothing approach as our nation’s housing crisis escalates, failing to come to grips with the escalating home foreclosures and devastating loss in home equity caused by the subprime mortgage crisis. . . . And despite all of the warning signs of a recession, the Administration has ignored the need for a change in policy—leaving hardworking families on their own to sink or swim. . . . We will not be stymied as the Administration is by an attitude that says ‘do nothing.' . . . We ask President Bush to take off his ideological handcuffs . . ."
The democrat leadership is returning but with one of lowest ratings in history, they are trying to mask their previous partisan and failed leadership in both the House and Senate. They are returning with a "two faced," "do as I say, not as I do" approach. Not having been able to attain their liberal agenda as easy as they had intended, they now ask the Bush administration to "cooperate" while attacking the administration. Ignoring the "attack" issues, what do they expect when they ask for cooperation? Do they want the President to pressure the Senate and House Republicans, not veto poor bills, or what? Tags:Charles Schumer, Democrats, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, US House, US Senate
Huckabee & Arkansas Education -- Can You Solve This Riddle?
Extracted from a report by Debbie Pelley on Arkansas' Public Education:How does Arkansas' education get an 8th place national ranking in 2008, which is being touted by former Gov. Huckabee in national debates and by the media, in light of the following facts?
· The report itself indicates: Arkansas (AR) earned a D in K-12 on student achievement.
· Only nine states scored lower than AR on the ACT test in 2007 (i.e., ranked 41st out of 50 states). While AR dropped slightly in 07, the national average improved. (The ACT test is the culmination of K-12 instruction and is used by colleges to award scholarships.)
· The graduation rate dropped slightly more than 10% in 2005-2006 according to the last educational report in AR; the next report won't be available for a few more months.
· College Remediation Rate is 51.6% (46.6% in 1995); National Average is 33%.
· Only Nine States Scored Lower Than Arkansas in 8th Grade Math on NAEP Test (again AR 41st out of 50 states); only sixteen states scored lower than AR on the 4th Grade Reading NAEP Test, etc. in 2005 (34th out of 50 states). In 2007, Arkansas' scores were even lower. AR Dept of Education Director reported for 2007, "We have slipped a bit in terms of state rankings in all areas, save mathematics at the fourth grade."
· Only 28% of AR students pass test on Advanced Placement (AP) courses, while 59.4% pass nationwide.
· Test Scores on nationally normed tests are 11 Percentile Points lower in 2006 than in 1990 (a 22% decrease) (Later scores are not yet available).
· In 2006 in its latest State of State Standards, Fordham Foundation gave Arkansas an F on its Math Standards, F on U S. History Standards, an F on World History Standards, a D in Science and a C in English for an average grade of F.
· The National Report Card on Higher Ed. gave Arkansas a D+ in High School Preparation for College in its latest 2006 report.
· Educational Reforms Have Cost $1.4 BILLION since 2003 . . .
Arkansas earned a D in kindergarten through 12th grade on student achievement. . . .
What is going on --The answer to the riddle: Those states with the most government control get the highest ranking - this organization's report is a propaganda tool to encourage more government control. Achievement is only about one-sixth of the final grade or ranking (and part of that one-sixth has nothing to do with actual scores but rather with narrowing the poverty gap, etc.) The other aspects that make up the ranking are all things that are attained by government control and mandates by the state. . . . [Read More - with documented references and footnotes] Tags:abstinence education, Arkansas, Arkansas Department of Education, Debbie Pelley, Mike HuckabeeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Department of Homeland Security rolled out its final regulations Friday for the REAL ID program and delayed the deadlines for states to comply with the law. Critics, however, say the law cannot be implemented effectively and should be abandoned. "One of the biggest concerns we've had over the last several years and continue to have at the Department of Homeland Security is how we promote a secure form of identification across America," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
The REAL ID Act of 2005 mandated that by December 2009 states comply with a set of federal standards for driver's licenses and maintain a database that can be accessed by other states. The new timeline would delay full implementation until 2017. [Read More] Tags:driver license, Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, Real IDTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Fred Thompson Addresses South Carolina Voters [video]
Fred Thompson released the following ad yesterday in
South Carolina that addresses his "always" conservative record:
Tags:ad, Christian Conservative, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, presidential candidate, Republican, South Carolina, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Update 1/16/07: Native son Mitt Romney won the affection of Michigan poll-goers Tuesday, pulling out a victory against rival John McCain by appealing to the Republican base with a strong optimistic economic message. With 100% of the voting in, Romney 38.94%; McCain 29.68%; Mike Huckabee 16.10%; Ron Paul 6.27%; Fred Thompson 3.70% and Rudy Giuliani 2.85%, uncommitted 2%. [Note: Thompson & Giuliani did not campaign in Michigan]
Presently, the estimated number of Michigan GOP delegates awared is Romney1120 delegates, McCain97 delegates, Huckabee 3 delegatesand 7 unassigned. Note these are preliminary and may be revised by the Michigan Republican Party after all votes are in and certified. We will review and report any changes.
"Tonight proves you can’t tell an American there’s something they just can’t do because Americans can do whatever they set their hearts on, and tonight is a victory of optimism over Washington-style pessimism,” Romney said from Southfield, Mich. “The lobbyists and the politicians realize that America now understands that Washington is broken and we’re going to do something about it.” Tags:Election 2008, Michigan, Mitt Romney, presidential candidate, primaryTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Political Correctness With Islamists Will Destroy Us
by Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families: A disturbing new report released in Great Britain over the weekend ought to set off alarm bells in the United States, but I worry our politically correct culture isn't willing to face reality. An intelligence source at MI5 (the British equivalent to our CIA) believes as many as 1,500 white Britons have converted to Islam "for the purpose of funding, planning and carrying out surprise terror attacks inside the UK." One government official said that many of the converts had been targeted by radical Muslims while serving prison terms. Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship Ministries has been warning for years that Islamic recruitment is going on in our prisons. Is anyone listening?
My friends, we have to get past the growing mantra of liberal and Islamist groups, like CAIR, that insist Islam is not the problem. This report from Great Britain directly challenges that argument. These potential terrorists are not Baptists, Lutherans, Catholics or Jews. They are
Islamists. We have got to stop debating this issue as though there were no link between Islam and terrorism. In fact, we must be able to look at the reality and say clearly that there is a causal connection between Islam and violence. That is not the same as saying all Muslims are terrorists, but there is clearly a major problem when 1,500 Britons become potential terrorist suspects after having converted to Islam.
We know who attacked us on 9/11. We know who committed the atrocities in London, Madrid, Beslan and Bali. There is radicalization taking place in mosques throughout Europe; anti-Semitism and honor killings are on the rise; the riots in Paris and Denmark were perpetrated by Muslim youth. It would be utterly foolish to think that radicalization is not going on here. The question few dare to ask, however, is: What are we prepared to do to defend our values? Muslim jihadists have repeatedly told us that they love death more than we love life. Are they right? I don't think so, and I remain optimistic about our nation and its people.
Americans cherish freedom. We have overcome great adversities in our history, and I believe we are still capable of achieving new heights of greatness. May our courage rise with the danger; may our strength and resolve to oppose the evil of Islamofascism never fail. Tags:Gary Bauer, Islam, Islamist, political correctness
Part 1 of 2 Rush Limbaugh:
The Democrat Party Uncivil War
Part 2 of 2 Rush Limbaugh:
The Democrat Party Uncivil War
Tags:Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Barack Obama, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, Iraq War, John Edwards, Politics, presidential candidates, Rush LimbaughTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
London Times: A study that claimed 650,000 people were killed as a result of the invasion of Iraq was partly funded by the antiwar billionaire George Soros. Soros, 77, provided almost half the £50,000 ($46,000) cost of the research, which appeared in The Lancet, the medical journal. Its claim was 10 times higher than consensus estimates of the number of war dead
The study, published in 2006, was hailed by antiwar campaigners as evidence of the scale of the disaster caused by the invasion, but Downing Street and President George Bush challenged its methodology. New research published by The New England Journal of Medicine estimates that 151,000 people - less than a quarter of The Lancet estimate - have died since the invasion in 2003. . . . [Read More] Tags:George Soros, Iraq War, propagandaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly: When U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, showed television viewers the Christmas presents she wants to give us if she is elected president, her most important was universal pre-kindergarten, following closely after universal health care. Clinton was reminding us of her status as the grand dame of the ideology expressed in her favorite African slogan, "It takes a village to raise a child." Indeed, there seem to be many busybodies who believe the village, i.e., government functionaries, should make major decisions about the upbringing of children, including what they are taught and how they are medicated . . . [Read More] Tags:Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, liberalism, parenhood, Phyllis SchlaflyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
John McCain find Michigan Republicans reflects a "mixed bag: of responses:
by Pete Winn, Michigan Crowd Boos McCain on Illegal Immigration: Sen. John McCain of Arizona, winner of last Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, drew cheers and jeers from an audience of over 500 conservative activists in Michigan over the weekend. . . . McCain was alternately cheered and jeered by the vocal, pro-growth, "limit-the-government" activist crowd. He was cheered for his military service and for his pledges to maintain a strong defense, to cut taxes and to veto earmarks, but he was booed for his stances on immigration and the environment. . . .
by Julie Mack, McCain rally draws hundreds: Donna Webb is planning to vote in Tuesday's Republican presidential primary but hasn't committed to a candidate yet. She is hoping this morning's campaign rally for John McCain will make up her mind. "I'm learning toward McCain, but I want to hear what he has to say," the Richland resident said. Webb was among several hundred people waiting for the 10 a.m. rally to begin in the Kalamazoo Christian High School gym. Attendees ranged from diehard McCain supporters to the merely curious. Tags:GOP, John McCain, Michigan, primary, Election 2008, RepublicanTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
From Bill Kristol in The New York Times on how a certain candidate for the presidency (Hillary Clinton) who had to suspend disbelief to believe General David Petraeus is claiming some success for the improving situation in Iraq:
“Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.” Thus spoke Bill Clinton last Monday night, exasperated by Barack Obama’s claim that he — unlike Hillary Clinton — had been consistently right (or wrong, depending on your point of view) on the Iraq war. . . .
When President Bush announced the surge of troops in support of a new counterinsurgency strategy a year ago, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Democratic Congressional leaders predicted failure. Obama, for example, told Larry King that he didn’t believe additional U.S. troops would “make a significant dent in the sectarian violence that’s taking place there.” Then in April, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, asserted that “this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything.” In September, Clinton told Gen. David Petraeus that his claims of progress in Iraq required a “willing suspension of disbelief.”
The Democrats were wrong in their assessments of the surge. Attacks per week on American troops are now down about 60% from June. Civilian deaths are down approximately 75% from a year ago. . . . Do Obama and Clinton and Reid now acknowledge that they were wrong? Are they willing to say the surge worked? No. It’s apparently impermissible for leading Democrats to acknowledge — let alone celebrate — progress in Iraq. When asked recently whether she stood behind her “willing suspension of disbelief” insult to General Petraeus, Clinton said, “That’s right.” . . .
Yesterday, on “Meet the Press,” Hillary Clinton claimed that the Iraqis are changing their ways in part because of the Democratic candidates’ “commitment to begin withdrawing our troops in January of 2009.” So the Democratic Party, having proclaimed that the war is lost and having sought to withdraw U.S. troops, deserves credit for any progress that may have been achieved in Iraq. That is truly a fairy tale. And it is driven by a refusal to admit real success because that success has been achieved under the leadership of … George W. Bush. The horror!
Tags:Barack Obama, Democrats, Harry Reid, Hillary Clinton, Iraq War, Politics, President George Bush, troop surge, Bill KristolTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
New Your Times Editorial: The new earmark disclosure rules put into effect by Congress confirm the pre-eminence of Representative John Murtha at procuring eye-popping chunks of pork for contractors he helped put in business in Johnstown, Pa. The Pennsylvania Democrat, a power player on defense appropriations, exudes pride, not embarrassment, for delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in largesse to district beneficiaries. They, in turn, requite with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign donations.
Mr. Murtha led all House members this year, securing $162 million in district favors, according to the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense. . . . But the Murtha operation — which has become a model for other entrepreneurial lawmakers — is a gross example of quid pro quo Washington. Every one of the 26 beneficiaries of Mr. Murtha’s earmarks in last year’s defense budget made contributions to his campaign kitty, a total of $413,250 . . . [Read More] Tags:Congressional Pork, John Murtha, pork, pork-barrel spendersTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
For months, the House and Senate have been out of touch with Americans, and the introduction of a new domestic partner policy proves it. On December 19, shortly before the chambers recessed, members of both the House and Senate sponsored bills that would essentially invalidate the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Under the new legislation government employees and their same-sex partners would be eligible to receive federal health and insurance benefits. The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, introduced in the Senate as S. 2521 by Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-CN) and Gordon Smith (R-OR) and in the House as H.R. 4838 by Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Shays (R-CN), Harry Waxman (D-CA), and Tom Davis (R-Va.), would force taxpayers to subsidize a sexual lifestyle that a majority of them find morally objectionable.
If congressional leaders believe that a new era of acceptance has dawned, they need only to look to their own home states, where efforts to enshrine traditional marriage into law are energizing voters as never before. In November, four states are gearing up to join the 27 that have already amended their constitutions to protect marriage as God intended it--as the union of one man and one woman. Two others expect a vote as early as next year. The only ones in denial of America's legislative priorities happen to be the leaders setting them. Help us deliver the reality check that Congress so desperately needs. Contact your representatives! and ask them to vote "no" on H.R. 4838 and S. 2521. Tags:DOMA, domestic partners, gay agenda, gay marriage, marriage, marriage amendmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Pinkerton was lured to the Huckabee team by Ed Rollins, the campaign’s national chairman. Both men are Massachusetts natives. In 1982 and 1983, Pinkerton worked for Rollins when he was President Ronald Reagan’s director of political affairs.
Rollins sold the job to him as a chance to help “restore the Reagan coalition,” Pinkerton recalled.
“I thought, ‘I’m not going to turn THAT down,’" he said.
Restore the Reagan coalition? It seems like it wasn't all that long ago that Rollins was saying that the Reagan coalition was gone, and that he was OK with it.
“It’s gone,” said Ed Rollins, who once worked as President Reagan’s political director and recently became Mr. Huckabee’s national campaign chairman. “The breakup of what was the Reagan coalition — social conservatives, defense conservatives, antitax conservatives — it doesn’t mean a whole lot to people anymore.”
“It is a time for a whole new coalition — that is the key,” he said, adding that some part of the original triad might “go by the wayside.”
Does Pinkerton's statement represent a split within the campaign, or simply a new strategy. There were a lot of people angry with Rollins' comment; they may have decided to pay fealty to the heritage of the Republican party. After all, building a new coalition is hard and some folks might get angry about being left out. Tags:Ed Rollins, Election 2008, Mike Huckabee, Reagan Coalition, Republican, Ronald ReaganTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Michael Reagan: Nobody ever tried to build a house by starting with the roof and working down -- it can’t be done. You have to start from the bottom up. The same thing is true about building a political party. You have to start at the grass roots and work your way up to the national level, going from precincts, to counties, to states and all the way up to the national level. Without a large body of workers at the local level, a political party would be like an army with only generals and no privates. . . .
Ask yourself just how many of the current crop of Republican presidential candidates have spent the last four, six or eight years working out there in the states helping to elect Republican congressional candidates and local and state officials and in the process helping to rebuild the at the grass roots? How many have followed the example Richard Nixon set after his defeat in the 1960 presidential election and in his later campaign to win the California governorship? Instead of retiring to California and licking his wounds, he spent the next six years tirelessly crisscrossing the country working to elect Republican congressional and state and local candidates and as a result, by 1968 he had a vast network of GOP grass-roots organizations that helped elect him and other GOP candidates. That’s the kind of work you have to do to create a national political party, but it has been sadly lacking in recent years. It needs to go on not just in election years, but in between elections. It’s a full-time job. . . .
What this party is lacking right now is that sturdy grass-roots movement which is the mechanism that wins presidential and congressional elections. Here where I live in California, you’d have to put out an All-Points Bulletin to find the Republican Party at the grass roots. That’s why the Democrats all but own the state, lock, stock and barrel. When the Rockefeller-wing philosophy prevails, the GOP loses. When the Reagan wing is in control, we win. We don’t need kingmakers. We need workers. Until we get them we’ll be the minority party. Tags:GOP, Michael Reagan, Reagan Coalition, Republican Party, Ronald ReaganTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Election 2008, online polls, Politics, presidential candidates, primary, Real Clear Politics, Republican, John McCain, Mike HuckabeeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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