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: email@example.com (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, February 02, 2008
Christian photographer sued for not covering same-sex ceremony
by John Jalsevac: New Mexico, Jan. 30, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The case of a Christian photographer who refused to photograph a same-sex "commitment ceremony", was heard before the New Mexico Human Rights Division on Monday. A same-sex couple asked Elaine Huguenin, co-owner with her husband of Elane Photography, to photograph a "commitment ceremony" that the two women wanted to hold. Huguenin declined because her Christian beliefs are in conflict with the message communicated by the ceremony. The same-sex couple filed a complaint with the New Mexico Human Rights Division, which is now trying Elane Photography under state antidiscrimination laws for sexual orientation discrimination.
. . . this current case is demonstrative of a "tremendous threat" facing those with traditional views on marriage and family. "I think that this is a tremendous threat to First Amendment rights. Those who are advocating for same-sex marriage and for rights based upon sexual orientation keep arguing, 'We are not going to apply these against churches. We are going to protect people's right of conscience. We are all about diversity and pluralism.'" But, in practice, says Lorence, "Business owners with traditional views or church owners with traditional definitions of marriage are now vulnerable for lawsuits under hese nondiscrimination laws. There are 20 states that have these laws where they ban sexual orientation iscrimination. Most of the major cities in the United States also have these kinds of ordinances. . . . [Read More] Tags:discrimination, lawsuit, New Mexico, Religious Freedom, sexual orientationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Mitt Romney won the Maine Republican presidential preference caucuses today with 52% with 68% of the towns holding caucuses reporting. John McCain 21%, Ron Paul 19%, Mike Huckabee 6% and Undecided 2%. The votes were nonbinding but this was the first step toward electing 21 Maine delegates to the Republican National Convention. However, Maine Republicans all remain unpledged when attending the Republican National Convention.
The people of Maine joined those from across the nation in casting their vote for conservative change in Washington. All across the state, men and women gathered to help chart the future course of our country. Tonight, they have made their voice known and have endorsed our conservative vision for a stronger America. Like many Americans, the people of Maine are tired of Washington promises made but broken.
The need for change in Washington is even more apparent today. With our economy facing uncertain times, we need a leader who actually understands how the economy works and how jobs are created. We also need a leader from outside of Washington who is ready to meet the long-term challenges facing our country. With a career spent working in the economy, creating jobs, turning around faltering institutions and imposing fiscal discipline, I am ready to bring conservative change to Washington. In this campaign, I am proud to have the support of the people of Maine.
Tags:Election 2008, Maine, Mitt Romney, presidential candidateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
We, the undersigned, do register our complete outrage with the City of Berkeley for the recent resolutions that criticized our Marines, as part of an effort to harass the Marine Recruiting Center and chase all vestiges of the United States military outside of the city of Berkeley, California.
We take particular umbrage with the instructions given to the City Manager of Berkeley to tell the United States Marines that they are, "uninvited and unwelcome intruders."
It is shameful for you to attack our military men and women who nobly and bravely serve this nation to protect our security and defend our freedoms and liberties. Those liberties include the right to Freedom of Speech, which you seem to believe should not be afforded to the members of the United States Marine Corps and service personnel in other branches of the Armed Forces.
I call upon you to immediately revoke the resolutions passed that defamed and insulted our U.S. Marines and issue a public apology to this nation, and in particular, the honorable and heroic men and women of the United States military. Sign HERE Tags:Berkeley, Marines, USMCTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
NewsBusted: Democrats attack, UN gets in showbiz, The Clinton's [Comedy]
Episode 136 of NewsBusted, a comedy webcast about the news
Some topics in this episode:
-- Obama accuses Clinton of saying anything to win
-- China shuts down 44,000 porn websites
-- Hillary Clinton has trouble taming Bill
-- The United Nations starts producing movies Tags:Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, China, comedy, Hillary Clinton, news, News Busters, political videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tony Perkins, FRC: In the nine months since ESPN blew the whistle on pro-abortion policies in the NCAA, the Division I Management Council has been forced to do some soul-searching. Last May, in its "Outside the Lines" report, ESPN interviewed seven athletes from Clemson University who became pregnant during their team's season. The pressure from the school was so intense that all seven had abortions simply to keep their sports scholarships intact. Athletic director Terry Don Phillips said the policy was not meant to encourage abortions but rather responsible sexual choices. Unfortunately, the problem is not an isolated one. At the University of Memphis, the girls were asked to sign a statement acknowledging that if they ever became pregnant, they would forfeit their funding. This month, the NCAA voted to protect students from making the choice between their children and their scholarships. By a 46-5 vote, the Council enacted a new rule, scheduled to go into effect on August 1, which treats pregnancy the same as it treats a "temporary disability"-- by allowing recovery time that does not endanger a student's eligibility. Thanks to this "maternity leave," fewer athletes will be coerced into choosing abortion. While we are grateful that there is a policy in place that promotes life, schools should turn their attention to the underlying problem, which is sexual activity. If we truly want to encourage healthy lifestyles on campus, it's time to get the ball rolling on programs that coach students to moral victory by saying no to sex outside of marriage. See also:NCAA Moves Toward Protecting Pregnant Athletes From Needing Abortions
by Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families: With "Super Tuesday" just a few days away, the McCain and Romney campaigns are moving at a frantic pace, trying to garner endorsements, raise money, buy last minute ads and figure out where to send the candidates for last-minute rallies and events.
Governor Romney picked up the endorsement today of respected pro-life former Senator Rick Santorum and of influential conservative talk-show host Laura Ingraham. But McCain clearly has the most momentum. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger endorsed him yesterday, as did Texas Gov. Rick Perry - both in delegate-rich states. Perhaps more significantly, members of Congress with solid conservative credentials are hopping on board, including both of Georgia's senators. McCain already had Jack Kemp and rising conservative star Senator John Thune of South Dakota with him. (Thune defeated Senate Democrat Leader Daschle in 2004.)
I reviewed the polling data in over 20 states that vote on Tuesday and have talked with dozens of key GOP officials in the last day, and it is clear that Senator McCain has opened up significant leads in over a dozen states. Even in the South he now leads in states like Georgia, largely because Huckabee, who can not under any reasonable scenario win the nomination, is staying in the race and draws enough votes from Romney to give Senator McCain the edge. Senator McCain has another big advantage working for him - a number of very large states have "winner-take-all" primaries. If a candidate wins a state by one vote, he receives all that state's delegates. This seems very unwise to me and to the disadvantage of conservatives. It should be changed for future races. But it is a fact now, and it is a great advantage for Senator McCain.
The Conservative Reaction: Needless to say, some conservative commentators and activists are apoplectic. Ann Coulter went as far as to say this week that she would vote for Hillary Clinton if McCain gets the nomination. Really, Ann? Just as I feared, other leaders are saying that they would stay home. This is suicidal, my friends. . . . If on Jan. 20, 2009 Hillary, Barack and Bill take charge of America, there is a 100% certainty that we will be defeated on every front - amnesty for illegals, pro-abortion justices, same-sex marriage, tax hikes, surrender in the war with the jihadists, socialized medicine, etc.
I believe any GOP nominee, including Senator McCain, can beat the liberals, but it will take every conservative vote-plus more.I urge our movement to reject political suicide and work with the final nominee to make him the best conservative possible, knowing that the alternative is the worst left- wing government imaginable. Tags:conservatives, Election 2008, Gary Bauer, John Mccain, Mitt Romney
Feb. 4, Last Day to File as AR Delegate to GOP National Convention
With the 2008 presidential primary season in full swing, the Republican National Convention is just around the corner. If you want to serve as a delegate representing Arkansas at the Republican National Convention, Monday, Feb. 4, is the last day to file as an Arkansas Republican delegate.
A.J. Kelly, Second District GOP Chairman, tells you how:
1. You must sign up and pay your filing fee ($125) no later than February 4 at Republican Party of Arkansas headquarters.
2. You must choose your candidate BEFORE the primary, when you sign up.
Your candidate must QUALIFY for a delegate by winning at least 10 percent of the vote.
3. Three delegates and three alternate delegates will be elected on May 3, 2008, at District Conventions.
4. All remaining delegates will be elected at the state committee meeting in June.
5. To be elected as a delegate, you need to garner sufficient support to win an election of your own at the district or state level (and your candidate must qualify to win delegates at those elections). The "2008 Arkansas Delegate Selection Process" is on the Republican Party of Arkansas website.Tags:Arkansas, delegates, GOP, Republican National Convention, RPATo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
On The Floor: The Senate adjourned for the weekend yesterday after holding only one roll call vote all week. Senate will reconvene at 2 PM on Monday. It will then resume consideration of the FISA reform bill (S. 2248). At 5:30 PM, there will be a cloture vote on the motion to proceed to the economic stimulus bill (H.R. 5140).
CQ Today reports that “Senate leaders reached agreement Thursday evening on which amendments to allow” on the FISA bill. The Senate will debate FISA for two days starting Monday and will take up a number of amendments, including at least three Democrat amendments concerning immunity for telecom companies that assisted the government with surveillance programs. Yesterday, ARRA News posted Bradley Blakeman, CEO of Freedom's Watch, call to action to "Help Protect America."With the lack of timely action on FISA, Blakeman asks the American voters to contact their senators to "tell them to give our law enforcement and intelligence agencies the tools they need to keep us safe."
From Senate & News Sources: Political posturing and campaigning have put off Senate action on an economic stimulus bill until next week. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was unapologetic, declaring that Democrats want “the stamp of the Democratic Party” on the stimulus bill. Reid seems to have a continual memory lapse and forgets the House is led by Democrats. He also continues to forget that he is NOT in the "Democratic" but the Democrat party. If Reid had to be on the ballot nationally for his position, he would be out of office -- now that would be democratic!
This presumptuous "stamp" of approval comes with a high price tag. According to the AP, the Senate Democrats have decided they want to add $32 billion to the bipartisan House-passed stimulus package and “attach a multibillion-dollar grab-bag of cherished items.” Democrats scrambled to add their favorite spending ideas to the bill this week, “jeopardizing efforts to speed” passage. Sen. Mitch McConnell criticizedthe Democrat delays in order to load up spending on the stimulus package, saying, “the temptation to add goodies proved too great. As soon as the bill hit the Senate, it started to look a lot like Christmas over here. McConnell reiterated that the best way to quickly get relief to Americans is to pass the House bill without weighing it down with “endless additional spending proposals.”
The Washington Post noted that another reason for the delay is Reid’s desire to have his party’s presidential candidates, Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Barack Obama (D-IL), around to vote for Democrat proposals on the stimulus. Note ARRA News editorial:Senators for President Failing Their Duties. Meanwhile,CongressDaily reports, “With the window fast closing to add favored initiatives to the economic stimulus measure, Democrats are increasingly touting a second package they say should deal with longer-term economic issues like infrastructure, housing and alternative energy production.” Tags:economic stimulus, FISA, 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!
by Nat Hentoff: What distinguishes us from all other nations is the range and depth of the First Amendment's expressive individual liberties against government control of what we say and think. Having researched and written about it for more than 50 years, I can attest that the most compelling readable account of its tumultuous and often imperiled history is the newly published "Freedom for the Thought That We Hate: A Biography of the First Amendment" by Anthony Lewis.
Part of the title comes from Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes' warning of the most powerful need of the First Amendment, especially in times of national danger and epidemics of speech-suppressing political correctness: "If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought – not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate."
I commend the title and the Lewis book to Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., who is still trying to get his expanded "hate speech" legislation to become law. It adds extra prison time not for the actual conviction of violent acts but for the "hateful" speech accompanying them as interpreted by police and prosecutors. Once our republic began, James Madison expected that no American would be punished for his "thoughts." But "hate crimes" laws – vigorously and incredibly supported by the American Civil Liberties Union – are what Madison feared. If these added penalties for thought crimes, also passed overwhelmingly by the House, get to the Oval Office, the president should veto the legislation. . . . [Read More]Tags:1st Amendment, free speech, hate speech, Nat HentoffTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Colorado Legislators Dump Touch Screen / Back to Paper
Guest article by Debbie Pelley, Arkansas Watch: According to CNN Lou Dobbs on Jan 24, 08, "Colorado legislators today agreed to dump touch screen voting and go back to paper for the election." Some say this decision will probably have far reaching influence on other states. In the newscast Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado was quoted as saying, "It ensures a paper trail. It minimizes the possibility of technology failures that have caused Election Day problems in the past in Colorado." John Bonifaz of Voteraction.org had this to say on the Lou Dobbs' program, "It's time to investigate these companies that have been marketing a defective product across the United States, to hold them accountable for doing that and . . . recoup millions of dollars of taxpayer money spent on this defective product."
It was noted on the program that "Florida will use paperless voting in its upcoming January 29th primary. Five other states, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, New Jersey and Tennessee will either use all paperless or mostly paperless touch screen voting on Super Tuesday February 5th." Dobbs closed this section with this quote: "And very responsible [the decision Colorado made.] The reality is, because no one thinks — we’re focusing on this, the issue is that these machines are not reliable to the degree they should be and with a paper trail, verified paper system. There is — at least you’re protecting the integrity of the system so you have a recount. People must understand, you can’t have a recount without that." . . . [Read More] Tags:Arkansas Watch, CNN, Colorado, Debbie Pelley, Lou Dobbs, voting fraud, voting machinesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Bradley A. Blakeman, Freedom's Watch: In the six and a half years since September 11, 2001, there has not been a single significant terrorist attack on U.S. soil. This is no accident or stroke of luck - it is because the United States government has the necessary resources and is fully committed to protecting American lives. Lawmakers worked together to pass necessary legislation like the Patriot Act and created the Department of Homeland Security. They worked together to update and revise laws to face new threats and challenges, providing our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the 21st century tools they need to keep us safe from further terrorist attacks.
But despite this bipartisan record and proven success, liberal special interests and the Democratic Congressional leadership are jeopardizing a significant and necessary component of our intelligence gathering capability. Last year, Congress passed the Protect America Act - an update to previously passed FISA legislation that allows the U.S. government to effectively monitor to terrorist communications. This legislation was set to expire on February 1st, yet the far-left is blocking reauthorization of this bill, and hampering our efforts to prevent further attack.
The ACLU, MoveOn.org, Sen. Harry Reid, Sen. Chris Dodd and others are fighting a provision that provides immunity to telecommunication companies facing multi-billion dollar lawsuits because they assisted law enforcement agencies in defending America following the September 11 attacks. Stripping immunity from the bill would not make American safer; it would only provide a financial windfall to trial lawyers. Interestingly, the same trial lawyers that stand to profit from this litigation contribute disproportionately to the liberal lawmakers now working to strip immunity. It's shameful that liberal politicians are attempting to use this critical legislation as an opportunity to reward contributors.
Sen. Ron Wyden also introduced an amendment that would require a warrant for any overseas surveillance for intelligence purposes. This ridiculous proposal would seriously hinder intelligence gathering and makes little sense. In fact, if the amendment were to pass, a warrant would be required to target a group planning a terrorist attack, but not a drug cartel in Colombia. Republicans and Democrats have agreed to a 15-day extension of this vital legislation after congressional leaders have been stalling this legislation for months. President Bush and conservatives in Congress don't believe that companies should be subject to lawsuits for voluntarily helping protect our country in these critical times and want to prevent liberal lawmakers from using this legislation to reward the trial lawyers - we agree.
I lost my nephew Senior Court Officer Tommy Jurgens on September 11, 2001. He was a first responder who gave his life saving others. I want to prevent another tragedy from occurring to our country because our government lacks the vital tools necessary to stop the terrorists. Contact your senators and tell them to give our law enforcement and intelligence agencies the tools they need to keep us safe. Tags:FISA, Freedoms WatchTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Dr. Patrick Briney, ARRA President:Mitt Romney received the endorsement by the conservative ARRA board of directors yesterday. The board was polled to determine whether to endorse a candidate, how to conduct such an endorsement, and then which candidate to endorse.
The Florida primary results, the delegate count, candidate attrition, and national polls show that the Republican primary has come down to a two man contest between Mitt Romney and John McCain. As of January 29, 2008, the delegate count for the remaining Republican candidatesis: John McCain 98, Mitt Romney 61, Mike Huckabee 26, and Ron Paul 8.
Fred Thompson received the endorsement of ARRA during their August endorsement convention. Duncan Hunter was the runner up choice of the conservative group. However, now that both candidates have bowed out of the race, ARRA directors unanimously recommend that conservatives vote for Romney in the Super Tuesday primaries.
One of the purposes of ARRA is to provide leadership in the Republican party, and as the ‘conservative conscience’ for the party, ARRA recommends the best conservative candidates to vote for coming into Republican primary elections. Conservatives throughout the nation have been in disarray due to a lack of a strong conservative leader in the Republican field. Candidates have been either strong in conservative principle and weak in leadership or strong in leadership but weak in conservative principles.
Perhaps the biggest concern for social and religious conservatives has been the issue of life and family values. But Romney gained monumental momentum from endorsements of the likes of John Wilke, a physician, and president of both the Life Issues Institute, and International Right to Life Federation. Wilke said of Romney, "Unlike other candidates who only speak to the importance of confronting the major social issues of the day, Governor Romney has a record of action defending life …. Every decision he made as Governor was on the side of life. I know he will be the strong pro-life President we need in the White House." Likewise, Jim Bopp, who has served as legal counsel for numerous pro-life organizations recently endorsed Romneypointing out that, "He vetoed the bill on embryonic stem cell research and some other efforts to liberalize the Massachusetts abortion law.”
The two man race for delegates in Arkansas will require that conservatives vote for Romney.Votes for Huckabee and Paul will serve only to reduce the votes needed by Romney to win over McCain. Tags:ARRA, Arkansas Republican Assembly, Election 2008, endorsement, Mitt Romney, Patrick Briney, presidential candidateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Voter who voted early in the Arkansas Preferential Presidential Primary found an unusual candidate option on their ballot. Others will see the option when they vote on Tuesday (Feb 5th). Regardless of political party (Democrat, Green or Republican) this candidate option appears on your ballot. Although this candidate option did not have to pay party filing fees, all political parties will have to consider the percentage of votes given to this option in their assignments of delegates to their party's national convention.
What is this candidate option? It is "uncommitted." Some of you may have seen the 1985 comedy film, Brewster's Millions starring Richard Pryor. The relevate point from the movie is that Brewster runs for Mayor of New York City while trowing his money at a protest campaign urging a vote for "None of the Above." Well, 23 years later, we have "Uncommitted" on the ballot.
Arkansas Law 7-8-201. Preferential elections required - Apportionment of delegates details:
(a)(1) Each political party in the state desiring to select delegates to attend a quadrennial national nominating convention of the party to select a nominee for the office of President of the United States shall hold a presidential preferential primary election in the state, and the delegates to the national party convention shall be apportioned to the presidential candidates whose names were on the ballot at the presidential preferential primary or to "uncommitted" in the proportion that the votes cast for each candidate or for "uncommitted" bear to the total votes cast at the election, rounded to the closest whole number.
On The Floor: Senate reconvenes at 11 AM today. Depending on negotiations, Majority Leader Harry Reid could choose to continue consideration of the FISA reform bill (S. 2248) or move to the Finance Committee’s version of the economic stimulus bill (H.R. 5140). Yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee passed a modified version of Sen. Max Baucus’ (D-MT) economic stimulus proposal by a vote of 14-7.
From Senate & News Sources: The Senate has now spent three days on the FISA bill without much to show for it. Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Kit Bond (R-MO) recorded a web video yesterday urging his Senate colleagues to “get serious about the need to pass this important legislation.” [Video at right -->]
As part of an effort to continue to bring greater transparency and confidence to the use of taxpayers’ money, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced the creation of a fiscal reform working group which will “review the earmark process for spending and revenue and recommend additional means for the Senate to bring greater transparency and fiscal responsibility to government spending.” The group is tasked with reporting its findings to the Republican Conference by March 15th. The group will be chaired by Sen. Dick Lugar (R-IN) and include Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Thad Cochran (R-MS), and Mike Crapo (R-ID).
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats have decided to, in the words of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “lard up the stimulus and revive provisions on which House Democrats compromised with the president.” Sen. McConnell criticized this approach to the economic stimulus bill, “The Baucus proposal has become yet another Christmas tree and will only grow and slow down when it reaches the Senate floor. We need to act now, and the way to do that is the bill that passed the House by an overwhelming, bipartisan margin.”Tags:economic stimulus, FISA, Kit Bond, Mitch McConnell, 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!
Conservatives on Mitt Romney at 2nd Reagan Library Debate
Jim Geraghty, National Review's The Campaign Spot: When Romney takes his shots at McCain, it's both strong and fair - he acknowledges that McCain has some areas in which he's a conservative, but he takes several fair shots - McCain Feingold; voting against the Bush tax cuts twice . . . I like that Romney says that the original version of the McCain-Kennedy immigration legislation wasn't so bad, and that it got worse as it moved through the process. It shows familiarity with the legislative details. . . . 'Let me help you with the facts, Senator.' Wow. Romney nails him for pointing out the study McCain is referring to in his answer about job creation and loss includes his predecessor, Jane Swift, who lost many jobs on her watch. . . . Where the heck has this Romney been? He just calmly and clearly took McCain to school.
John Tabin, The American Spectator: Romney corrects some of McCain's facts – McCain confused Romney's lieutenant governor with his predecessor, among other things. I think Romney won this exchange.
Bill Schneider, CNN's Political Ticker: Romney's response scores big points with conservatives – and with a lot of Americans who aren't conservative. . . . Romney is winning this big-time — McCain's wrong. We already have timetables for everything in Iraq, whether we stick to them or adjust them later on. . . . A couple of Romney's answers were quite good, particularly on the Iraq timetables issue. . . . Romney's giving a pretty interesting conservative explanation of a health care plan that otherwise makes conservatives nervous. As he explains, it forces people to pay their own way — which they get. . . . Romney's giving a full-throated rebuttal to McCain's charge that he proposed a timetable on Iraq withdrawal – and he's right.
Mark Hemmingway, National Review's The Corner: Not that I needed anyone to tell me the McCain-Lieberman cap-and-trade program is a bad idea, but Romney's dissection of it was clear and compelling. . . . I think I can say that Romney was the clear winner in the debate. . . . showed an admirable fighting spirit. . . . Romney kept his head about him and remained gracious even as a number of his charges against McCain stuck.
Ed Morrissey, Heading Right: Romney dominating near the close -this debate is owned by Mitt. . . . Romney's Playing Ball Control. He's answering in depth, and by doing so he gets more air time. He's using the format to his advantage. . . . Romney is getting the best of this exchange … Romney does a good job of keeping the tone even and factual while scolding McCain for getting the data incorrect. Ed Morrissey, Captain's Quarters' Blog: Mitt Romney won this debate. He looked crisp, sharp, had facts at his command, and exuded confidence.
Bull Dog Pundit, Ankle Biting Pundits: · We're 45 minutes in and I'm not going to go point by point, but I have to say that Romney is hitting the notes he needs to. . . . Purely on substance Romney hit it exactly right when he started talking about the need for entitlement reform. When he said we have to 'change the deal' on Social Security and Medicaid for people in their 40's I almost stood up and cheered. He also did a great job of pointing out John McCain's conservative apostasies.
Faust Wertz, Heading Right: Romney's answers are great . . . Clear, to the point but explaining what needs to be explained, and he looks comfortable.
Fox News' Frank Luntz: LUNTZ: "First off, who won the debate tonight? I always begin that way." VOTER: "Romney." LUNTZ: "Who says John McCain won the debate tonight raise your hands, 3, only 4 of you. Who says Mitt Romney, about half of you."
Kathryn Jean Lopez, National Review's The Corner Blog: He hit back and defending his honor and truth on Iraq. I don't think most Americans get "timetables was a buzzword." I think they get that neither of these guys are Harry Reid. The sum of it is oddly, unnecessarily, McCain came off badly during an Iraq round. . . . I think Romney came off effective and competent.
The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder: Applause from audience when Romney says Reagan would have found the dirty tricks reprehensible. . . . Romney gives a strong answer that weaves together his experience with his resume . . . notes that Abe Lincoln wasn't a military leader.
Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds: Good Point by Romney about how McCain shouldn't 'demean' people who start businesses. McCain has been doing that a lot, acting as if meeting a payroll is somehow less honorable than working for the government.
Tags:CNN Debate, Election 2008, Mitt Romney, presidential candidateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tonight at the CNN Debate, Sen. McCain said he would not vote for McCain-Kennedy Immigration (Amnesty) legislation if it came to the Senate floor again. QUESTION: "At his point, if your original proposal came to a vote on the Senate floor, would you vote for it?" MCCAIN: "It won't. It won't, that’s why we went thought the debate." QUESTION: "But it did…" MCCAIN: "No I would not because we know what the situation is today." (CNN, Republican Presidential Candidate Debate, 1/30/08)
However, recently Sen. McCain said as president he would sign the McCain-Kennedy Immigration bill (Amnesty) into law if passed the Senate while he was president: NBC'S TIM RUSSERT: "If the Senate passed your bill, S.1433, the McCain/Kennedy immigration bill, would you as President sign it? MCCAIN: "Yeah. But look, the lesson is, it isn't – one, it isn't going to come. It isn't going to come." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 1/27/08) Watch Videos:
Tags:amnesty, Election 2008, employing illegals, Flip-Flop, illegal aliens, illegal immigrants, John Mccain, McCain-Kennedy, videosTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
H/T California Yankee: Ralph Nader formed a 2008 Presidential Exploratory Committee this morning. Maybe this time Ralph won't have to sue the Democratic Party "contending officials conspired to keep him from taking votes away from the Democratic nominee." But, Nader will still have to put up with his volunteers being cursed, scolded, threatened and called "naïve" and "stupid" by Democrats who blamed Nader for ruining Al Gore's chances to win the White House in 2000. Tags:Election 2008, presidential candidate, Ralph NaderTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tony Perkins, FRC Action Update: In Gainesville, Florida, the city commission voted to expand upon their already pro-homosexual ordinances by giving special rights to people based upon "gender identity," which is a personal decision--not a biological reality. Proving yet again that safety and common sense are no match for political correctness, the city commission passed an outrageous ordinance that defines gender as "an inner sense of being a specific gender... with or without regard to the individual's sex at birth." Similar to what Montgomery County, Maryland passed, the proposal would outlaw "discrimination" on the basis of "gender identity" which affects everything from the Equal Employment Opportunity and Fair Housing rules to regulations governing the Access to Places of Public Accommodations. Under the law, men who regard themselves as women will be entitled to use the women's restroom as a biological female. Proponents call this "progress." I call it an open invitation to sexual predators who aren't confused about their gender but looking for any opportunity to victimize women and children. The mere violation of privacy is unacceptable. Over the protests of dozens of citizens--including Commissioner Ed Braddy--the city went forward with a dangerous trend of social engineering that will jeopardize the health, safety, and comfort of Gainesville residents. If you live in Gainesville (or even if you don't), let the City Commission know that you oppose this insanity by calling Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan at (352) 334-5015 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't think this can't happen in your city! See also:Commission votes to protect transgender rights Tags:Florida, FRC, Gainesville, gender-identity disorders, Homosexual Agenda, Tony PerkinsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Giuliani to Exit Presidential Race & Endorse McCain
The AP News is reporting that Rudy Giuliani told supporters Wednesday he's abandoning his bid for president and backing Republican rival and longtime friend John McCain. "I spoke with Rudy Giuliani this morning and he confirmed that he is dropping out of the race and will endorse Senator John McCain for president," New York Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno said in a statement.
Republican presidential candidates were scheduled to debate at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley on Wednesday night. "I haven't talked to him," McCain said as he boarded a campaign charter plane Wednesday morning. "I'm going to talk to him today when we meet." Separately, Giuliani said as he prepared to leave Florida for California Wednesday he was "not yet" ready to announce his intentions . . . [Read More] Tags:Election 2008, endorsement, John McCain, presidential candidate, Republican, Rudy GiulianiTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
On The Floor: Senate reconvened at 10 AM today. Senate Democrats blocked cloture on the Intelligence Committee’s bipartisan FISA revision and the House has recessed for the rest of the week, the House and Senate passed a 15 day extension of the current FISA law (H.R. 5104), Protect America Act,yesterday. Senate negotiations on the FISA bill (S. 2248) and amendments to it are expected to continue. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The most important thing for us to do right now is to get the bill out of the Senate. We’ve got plenty of time to do that. We’ve been dealing with this for six months.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing on the Justice Department beginning at 10 AM, with Attorney General Michael Mukasey testifying.
The House passed its version of the economic stimulus package yesterday, by a vote of 385-35. That bill is the result of a compromise between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Republican Leader John Boehner, and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. The Senate Finance Committee will mark up Sen. Max Baucus’ (D-MT) economic stimulus proposal at 2:30 PM today.
From Senate & News Sources: Addressing FISA,White House spokeswoman Jeanie Mamo said of the extension, “While we maintain that Congress has had sufficient time to conclude its work, we have indicated to congressional leaders that we will accommodate this request so that Congress can live up to its commitment to passing a bill that gives the intelligence community the tools they need to protect the nation. Congress should complete its work before departing for its next break.”
On the economic front: While the House quickly passed its compromise economic stimulus bill, Senate Democrats are dragging their feet, despite earlier calls from Democrats to pass it “without delay.” Several news outlets are reporting today that Senate Democrats, led by Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus, are jeopardizing the stimulus package by delaying it and attempting to load it up with new spending:
The Hill reports, “tinkering by [Senate] lawmakers threatens the legislation.”
The Politico writes, “Potentially crippling roadblocks in the Senate could mar Tuesday’s House passage of an economic stimulus package….”
The New York Times, “Senate Democrats forged ahead with their own, more expensive plan despite a rising chorus of warnings from the White House and Speaker Nancy Pelosi that they risk delaying much-needed help for the economy and could plunge the nation too far in debt.”
The Washington Post notes, “growing concern that the Senate would make changes that, at best, would force the package into House-Senate negotiations and, at worst, would court a presidential veto.”
Roll Call noted that Senate Democrats seem to be going out on a limb with the Baucus proposal, even as they squabble over who should get tax rebates. “Senate Democrats grew increasingly isolated in their push for an expanded stimulus package Tuesday, even as they faced an internal revolt over a proposal by Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to give tax rebates to millionaires and billionaires.”
If Democrats truly want to pass a package to aid economic growth and stimulate the economy, they should focus on speed, not spending.Tags:economic stimulus, FISA, 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!
McCain Squeezed Past Romney to Win Florida GOP Primary
John McCain won the Florida Republican Primary. Although he did not receive a majority and squeezed past Romney, under Florida Republican Party rule that the winner gets all the FL GOP delegates. McCain received 35.91% but all 57 delegates to the RNC Presidential Convention. The last minute endorsement by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist appears to have moved McCain to the winners circle. This places McCain on top of the leader board in delegate count.
Mitt Romney was second with 31.04% of the vote. Rudy Giuliani was third with 14.78% which was a disappointing number considering he invested all his efforts into the Florida primary. Mike Huckabee received 13.38%; Ron Paul 3.22%; Fred Thompson Who had withdrawn still received over 20,000 votes for 1.19%; Alan Keyes 0.21%; Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo who had both withdrawn both received 0.14%. Tags:Election 2008, Florida, John McCain, Mitt Romney, presidential candidates, presidential primary, Rudy GiulianiTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Family Council Action Committee (FCAC):FCAC has begun collecting signatures to put theArkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act on the November ballot. The Arkansas Adoption and Foster Care Act will prevent children in the adoption and foster care system from being placed with people who cohabit outside of legal marriage. If passed, this act will prevent homosexuals from advancing their agenda at the expense of our children.
In 2007, the Arkansas General Assembly struck down legislation that would prevent homosexual couples from adopting Arkansas children. In Arkansas, it is not only acceptable but legal for homosexual and cohabiting couples to adopt children. Decades of social science research have proven that children do best with a married mother and father, and Arkansas' children should not be part of a social experiment.
The Family Council Action Committee has until May 15 to gather 100,000 signatures to get this act on the ballot in November, and your help is needed. Please get involved today by signing and circulating a petition. You can request a petition from theFCAC Web site . FCAC also needs volunteer coordinators in most parts of the state. In order to gather the 100,000 signatures needed, volunteer coordinators need to be ready to go in every county. Click here to volunteer today.
Tags:adoption, Arkansas, Family Research Council, foster careTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
No special session on severance tax hike unless passage is certain
by John Lyon, Arkansas News Bureau: Gov. Mike Beebe said Monday he will not call a special session to consider raising the state's severance tax on natural gas unless he is certain there is enough support in the Legislature for an increase to pass. . . . Beebe said he does not yet have a specific proposal to show lawmakers, and he will not ask them for a commitment until he does.
Beebe began discussing . . . calling a special session after former gas company executive Sheffield Nelson filed a proposal Jan. 17 to raise the state's severance tax from the current rate of three-tenths of a cent per 1,000 cubic feet to 7% of the market value of the gas at the time of extraction. Under Nelson's proposal, 56% of the revenue from the tax increase would go to state highways, 20% to colleges and universities, 12% to county aid and 12% to municipal aid. If AG Dustin McDaniel approves the wording . . ., Nelson will have to collect 61,975 valid signatures of registered voters by July 7 to place it on the Nov. ballot.
Beebe has said he favors raising the tax but would rather do so through legislative action than an initiated act - although he is willing to take a proposal to voters if the Legislature doesn't pass an increase. Beebe favors spending all of the revenue on highways. . . . Beebe said he wants to make Arkansas' rate "comparable" to those charged by Oklahoma and Texas. Oklahoma charges 7% of market value and Texas charges 7.5% of market value.
Those states also have offered tax breaks to natural gas companies to encourage activity. Incoming Senate President Pro Tem Bob Johnson has said raising the tax could discourage development of the Fayetteville Shale play in Arkansas, which has seen a boom in drilling. . . . [Read More] See:Landowners Benefit From Royalties But AR Gov't Wants More Taxes From Gas WellsTags:Arkansas, increased taxes, Mike Beebe, natural gas, severance tax, Sheffield NelsonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: It is an interesting but also a disturbing situation that Senate Democrats have offered four of their current members as presidential candidates while at the same time risking National Security and crippling the economy.Two have withdrawn as a candidate. If one of these candidates were to become president, they would need the security tool of FISA to aid in fighting international terrorism and we hope they would want a strong economy. We noted that one withdrawn candidate, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) has gone to compare telecommunication employees to Nazi War Criminal. Thank goodness, Democrats dumped this candidate!
But a more critical question is where have Sen. Barak Obama (D-IL) and Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) been in leading to protect us with FISA and in assisting us by passing a critically needed economic stimulus package? They are absentee Democrat Senators who are on the campaign trail "verbally fighting it out" rather than doing their duties as Senators for which they were elected and paid very well by the public to perform. And yes, I agree, we cannot leave off this list of absentee Senators, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) who is running against former (not incumbent) governors and a mayor.
Being concerned for his constituents, former Sen. Bob Dole set an example by resigning as a Senator to run for President. You cannot serve as a U.S. Senator effectively representing the people who elected you or the county by skipping your work as a U.S. Senator and chasing the presidential nomination. Obviously, a senator is elected to represent their constituents and not to run as a presidential candidate. In prior years, with shorter campaign periods, maybe it was possible for presidential candidates to keep up with their Senate duties. However with the current protracted campaign periods created by both parties and the movement of primary dates by the states, candidates evidence that they are severely hampered in performing their Senatorial duties properly by being absent from their appointed post.
With 27 years in the Senate, maybe Sen. McCain still has some influence especially with his Democrat "friends." But Sen. Obama with 2 years and Sen. Clinton with 7 years (and 8 years giving White House parties) have yet to evidence that they have the "real individual" influence with their fellow senators. Since these three senators claim that they will be best person to lead our country as president and the person who can best work with the U.S. Congress, let them prove it now while they are Senators.Let them evidence their "alleged" influence to get their fellow Senators to immediately pass FISA and and an economic stimulus package. Tags:Bill Smith, editorial, Barack Obama, economic stimulus, Election 2008, FISA, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, presidential candidates, US SenateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
On The Floor: Senate reconvened at 10 AM today. Following an hour of morning business, the chamber will resume consideration of S. 2248, the FISA modification bill. Senate will recess between 12:30 and 2:15 PM for weekly policy lunches. Yesterday, the Senate failed to invoke cloture on the Intelligence Committee version of the FISA bill and also was unable to invoke cloture on a 30 day extension of the Protect America Act, the FISA revision passed in August. On Wednesday, the Finance Committee may consider the Senate’s version of an economic stimulus package.
From Senate & News Sources: With Friday’s expiration of the current FISA law rapidly approaching, it is troubling that the Senate has still not passed a permanent revision of the law. Complicating matters is the fact that the House is not in session until next week after today, leaving very little time to act. CQ Today reports, Republicans are prepared to support a short-term extension (likely 7 days) of the current FISA law, but not the longer extensions proposed by Democrats.
As FISA (American Security), work continues behind the scenes on an economic stimulus package. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told Fox News last night, “My preference would be for the Senate to simply take up the House package, pass it, and send it down to the president for his signature.” However, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus unveiled his own proposal yesterday. The Washington Post notes, “In his State of the Union address last night, Bush said that ‘the temptation will be to load up the bill’ and that ‘this would delay it or derail it, and neither option is acceptable.’” The news of Sen Baucus' proposal was not greeted with open arms in the House, either. The Post writes, “House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-NY) said last night that Baucus and the Senate were on ‘thin ice’ with the new plan.”
ARRA Editor Comments:The February 1st deadline for FISA has been known by the Senate since August and there has been ample time to work on FISA. As a Washington source said: "Unfortunately, Senate Democrats spent time during the fall holding more Iraq votes and proposing tax increases while allowing a filibuster from their side of the aisle to delay consideration of FISA into the new year." The US Congress is placing National Security at risk by not continuing FISA. In addition the insistence by Democrats that telecommunications companies and their employees should be liable for complying with requests/orders from the US Government to assist in monitoring potential communication to and from International terrorists is beyond any reason or logic except to make money for trial lawyers and to hurt patriotic Americans. Yesterday, Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chair Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) explained the issues with the FISA law to the ARRA News Serviceand other national bloggers in a conference call. Carter Wood at Shop News details Sen. bonds comments. Tags:economic stimulus, FISA, Protect America Act, 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!
Early voting for Super Tuesday presidential primary starts today
Early voting for Arkansans began today in the state's earliest ever presidential primary. In prior years, the presidential primary was held with the primary for state and county offices. Early voting is in advance of the statewide Preferential Presidential Primary on Feb. 5 Super Tuesday which is the date when 24 states will hold primaries or caucuses. Arkansas Secretary of State Charlie Daniels urged all registered Arkansans to vote early to avoid election day lines and possible bad weather. "We all know how unpredictable Arkansas weather can be, and it can be treacherous in the winter months," Daniels said. "I strongly encourage all Arkansans to take advantage of the convenience that early voting offers, especially during good weather."
Republicans candidates are former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani; former Gov. Mike Huckabee (AR); former Gov. Mitt Romney (MA); U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (TX); U.S. Sen. John McCain (AZ) and former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (TN). Thompson has dropped from the race.
Democrats candidates are U.S. Sen. Joe Biden (DE), U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (NY), U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd (CN) and U.S. Barack Obama (IL); former Alaska Rep. Mike Gravel and former Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH); former U.S. Sen. John Edwards (NC); and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. Biden, Dodd, Kucinich and Richardson all have dropped from the race.
Green Party candidates are former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney (GA); Kent Mesplay (CA); Kat Swift (TX); and Jared A. Ball (MD).
Tags:Arkansas, Democrats, Election 2008, elections, presidential candidates, presidential primary, RepublicansTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
U.S. Rep. John Boozman (R-AR) today issued the following statement on the President’s State of the Union Address:
On the State of the Union: I agree with the President that the Union is strong, but acknowledge that there is significant work we need to do to keep us so. The onus is now upon us to come together in an election year to put the needs of the American people ahead the needs of our respective parties.
On the Economy: Fundamentally, the economy is strong. However, we must take steps to bolster it. The economic stimulus package we are voting on Tuesday is an important bipartisan step to help working families and small business owners – who are the backbone of our economy. We should not delay, nor derail our bipartisan effort. I hope to work together with the Senate to see it passed.
On Fiscal Responsibility: We have made progress on curtailing wasteful earmarks, but we must do even more – especially when the American people are looking to us to be good stewards of their money. The earmark system is the most obvious symbol of a broken Washington, and why the American people hold us in such low regard. I applaud the President’s call to slash earmarks, but believe we can do even more to show that we are committed to fixing the problem instead of just talking about it. We should enact a moratorium on earmarks so that we can establish a system where we can put a stop to the bridges to nowhere and statues to ourselves, and guarantee a totally transparent process. It’s my sincere hope that Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic Majority will choose to join with Republicans by the end of this week in agreeing to our proposal so Congress can begin restoring trust between the American people and their elected leaders.
On Keeping our Nation Safe from Terrorism: For nearly six months, the Congress has done nothing ensure that we are able to gather intelligence on those who wish harm on America. On Friday, legislation which ensures that we can track terrorists will expire – weakening our nation’s security and putting our citizen’s in greater danger. We need to know what terrorists are saying, who they are saying it to, and when their plans are ready to go. The American people demand we keep them safe, and we should not shirk that responsibility.
On Caring for Veterans and Military Families: I applaud the President’s call to expand support for military families and take care of our veterans. As you know, this is an issue very personal to me as a member of the Veterans committee. Expanding benefits to include child care and hiring preferences for spouses are much needed steps to do our best by the men and women who give of themselves, and their families, for our nation. Veterans issues are not Republican issues, nor are they Democratic issues. They are American issues which must be addressed. The best way to do this is the full implementation of the Wounded Warriors plan put forth by the Dole-Shalala Commission, and the quick – bipartisan – passage of the President’s recommendations for veterans and military families.
On Bipartisanship During an Election Year: I appreciate the tone of the President’s remarks tonight: reaching out to Democrats and Republicans in order to get the people’s work done. We can work together here in Washington. It will take presidential leadership, as well as congressional leadership, to get it done. We must act for the American people this year, and not act in the interests of those who will become our parties’ nominees for the Presidency. The bipartisan manner we are taking to stimulate the economy is a good template for how we can proceed on protecting America from terrorism, improving our schools and providing tax relief.
On No Child Left Behind: It is important that we be able to continue the strides we have made in improving our schools in Arkansas, and around the country, by fixing No Child Left Behind. I offered two such fixes in July because our educators have shown us one-size-does-not-fit-all. We need greater flexibility for schools and states. We must allow teachers to respond to real-world situations so our testing is valid and beneficial to children, schools and parents. This can be accomplished by coming together and fixing what we know is wrong.
Tags:2008, Arkansas, John Boozman, President George Bush, Representative, State of the UnionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tony Perkins, Washington Update: Colorado's House Majority Leader, Alice Madden (D), is unwittingly providing a lesson in political gamesmanship to the religious community and everyone should take note. Last year the Colorado legislature enacted a state version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which forces businesses to forfeit their religious convictions in matters of firing, hiring, and promotion regardless of a person's faith, age, gender, or sexual orientation. In a classic move to abate opposition from the religious community, they exempted religious organizations like Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army that provide social services. Madden, who supported the exemption last year, has now introduced H.B. 1080, a bill that would put religious charities under these onerous requirements and clearly violate the religious tenets of many of them. This is just another example of the growing tendency to use religious exemptions to lull Christian groups into a false security only to pull those exemptions out from under them later on. The area's religious organizations are understandably upset at the leadership's about-face on the law and intend to do all they can to stop it. As Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver wrote, "Catholic Charities has no interest at all in generic do-goodism... When it can no longer have the freedom it needs to be 'Catholic,' it will end its services." That would be devastating news to the disadvantaged families in the area who for the last 33 years have relied on the generosity of such religious charities. In my opinion, Madden has to be pretty desperate to make a political point if she's willing to let people go hungry and homeless to do it. Not only does her bill show a callous disregard for the poor, but it also treads on dangerous constitutional grounds. It implicitly discriminates against religious groups and churches. Colorado's assembly should be ashamed of any attempt to sideline charities that perform valuable community services. Join us in calling on Rep. Madden to reconsider H.B. 1080 by emailing her at email@example.com. Tags:Colorado, ENDA, homosexual activism, Tony PerkinsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
President Bush used his Saturday radio address to push for enactment of S. 2248, the FISA Amendments, to extend the federal authority to monitor overseas communications for intelligence purposes. He argued:
Congress is now considering a bipartisan bill that will allow our professionals to maintain the vital flow of intelligence on terrorist threats. It would protect the freedoms of Americans, while making sure we do not extend those same protections to terrorists overseas. It would provide liability protection to companies now facing billion-dollar lawsuits because they are believed to have assisted in efforts to defend our Nation following the 9/11 attacks.
The provisions granting retroactive immunity to the telecom companies have provoked ugliness on the left, rhetorical excesses that have now come to the Senate floor. On Friday Wednesday, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) said the following:
And so this is not a question of ‘everybody did it,’ that argument that children bring to their parents, from time to time, or that we were ordered on high – the ‘Nuremberg defense’: ‘It was those in higher positions who said we ought to do this.’ That was the defense given in 1945 at the Nuremberg trials, by the 21 defendants who claimed they were only obeying orders…given by Hitler.In this profoundly offensive analogy, U.S. companies that assisted in the legal surveillance of terrorists who had murdered 3,000 Americans and others are the moral equivalent of Nazi war criminals.
The Senator should know better. He often draws attention to the Nuremberg trials; his father – Sen. Thomas Dodd – was the No. 2 prosecutor there. A book excerpting his father’s correspondence was published last year, “Letters from Nuremberg.” Dodd’s presidential campaign website-- now in the business of retiring debt -- continues to promote the book with the slogan, “Restoring America’s Standing in the World.”
The Senate continues debate on the bill Monday with a cloture vote set for 4 p.m. Let's see if Senator Dodd modifies his comments, which as they now stand insult the many thousands of people who work for the telecommunications companies and diminish the atrocities of WWII.
UPDATE/CLARIFICATION Senator Dodd has made the Nuremberg argument twice, once on Wednesday, Jan. 23, and again on Friday, Jan. 25. The Wednesday remarks -- available here -- are the ones in the YouTube video.
Tags:Carter Wood, Christopher Dodd, FISA, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, NurembergTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
With Fred Thompson no longer in the race Elizabeth Cheney has shifted her support to a new Republican presidential candidate as the 41-year-old daughter of the Vice President has signed on to the Mitt Romney campaign as a senior foreign policy adviser. Cheney, the eldest daughter of Dick Cheney, had originally endorsed Fred Thompson but the former Tennessee senator dropped out of the race last week.
"I am proud to support Governor Romney. Throughout this campaign, he has distinguished himself as a leader who can guide our country with a clear vision for overcoming the threats we face today. Dedicated to the success of our missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Governor Romney is the only candidate who has outlined a comprehensive strategy for defeating the global Jihadist threat. I look forward to working with Governor Romney, because he is the leader our country needs," said Liz Cheney.
Making today's announcement, Governor Romney said, "Liz Cheney brings to our campaign years of experience helping to formulate America's foreign policy and to advance democracy and reform in the Middle East. She understands that to defeat this global Jihadist threat we have to help Muslim nations reject the violent extreme. I am honored that she will be joining our team." Background On Liz Cheney Cheney's husband, Philip Perry, has served as general council to the Department of Homeland Security. Tags:Election 2008, Liz Cheney, Mitt RomneyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
At 9 PM today, the House and Senate will hold a joint session for President Bush to deliver his final State of the Union address.
On The Floor: Senate reconvenes at 2 PM today. Following an hour of business, they will resume consideration of S. 2248, the FISA modification bill. At 4:30, senators will vote on a cloture motion on the Rockefeller-Bond substitute amendment (the Intelligence Committee bill) supported by the White House. Some Democrats have indicated they want to be able to offer more amendments and might vote against cloture. If cloture is not invoked, there will be a cloture vote on an amendment introduced by Reid to extend the current FISA law for 30 days.
From Senate & News Sources: With the current FISA revisions expiring on Friday, the Senate faces a cloture vote on the bipartisan Intelligence Committee bill this afternoon. If cloture is invoked, the Senate could pass the bill and send it quickly along to the House.
Unfortunately, Democrats are signaling that they want to drag the process out further and instead pass a 30 day extension to the current law. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has filed cloture on a 30-day extension amendment to the FISA bill and the House is expected to vote on a 30-day extension today. President Bush opposes a short-term extension, given that Congress has had months to fix the issues with FISA. The bill has already been to the floor of the Senate, but was delayed thanks to a filibuster led by Sens. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Russ Feingold (D-WI).
Meanwhile, most the Hill is focused on the economic stimulus package. The House could vote on its agreement as early as tomorrow. In the Senate, some Democrats have expressed their desire to add spending or other provisions to any stimulus package. The AP reports on administration reaction to the possibility of Senate amendments: "I don't think the Senate is going to want to derail that deal," Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said. "And I don't think the American people are going to have much patience for anything that would slow down the process." Tags:economic stimulus, FISA, State of Union, 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!
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