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 or by 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, March 08, 2008
Phyllis Schlafly Condemns International Women's Day
International Women's Day (IWD) is a "global day connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential." Back in 1911, the very first IWD was celebrated in order to campaign for such noble ideals as women's right to work, to vote, and to hold public office. However, Phyllis Schlafly, author of Feminist Fantasies, identifies that today, IWD serves to advance radical feminism in the form of promoting pro-abortion and pro-gay rights legislation, ratification of ERA, affirmative action for women, Title IX, government babysitting services, and government wage control, commonly camouflaged as "pay equity" or "comparable worth." The supporting organizations are not women's groups, but feminist groups, including Feminist Peace Network, Aurora Women's Network, UNESCO, and the United Nations Development Fund for Women, also known as UNIFEM. Even media groups, such as CNN, the BBC, and Aljazeera TV have signed on as sponsors.
Today, there were over 450 rallies and "events" in 44 different countries. Following are comments by Eagle Forum Founder Phyllis Schlafly concerning IWD:
The United States Government has no business supporting IWD. The radical feminists know that they can't complain about American women because we are the most fortunate class of people who ever lived, so they search the globe for oppression in other countries using taxpayer dollars.
The U.S. is joined by a crowd of sponsoring feminist groups who hide behind the guise of being the 'voice of women,' but instead promote such policies and ideals decried by the vast majority of American women, such as taxpayer-funded abortions. These supporting organizations are the very ones who lobby for ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, or CEDAW, which is basically a UN-imposed version of the Equal Rights Amendment. The U.S. Senate has yet to ratify this disastrous treaty ever since Jimmy Carter signed it in 1980, and rightly so.
Today's feminists and CEDAW advocates view 'progress' as government-run day care, greater access to abortion, the elimination of 'Mother's Day' because it promotes an 'negative cultural stereotype,' decriminalization of prostitution in China, and government-mandated workplace benefits that men do not enjoy, just to name a few. Their goal is not equality, but preferential treatment. The radical feminists want to remake our laws in order to eradicate everything that is masculine from our culture and create a gender-neutral society. The United States should seriously reconsider lending its stamp of approval to future IWDs." The United States Government has no business supporting IWD.
Tags:Eagle Forum, International Women's Day, IWD, Phyllis SchlaflyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Warner Todd Huston, Publius' Forum: Children’s Court Commissioner Marilyn Mackel of Simi Valley, California is against our actions in Iraq. With that said, this activist judge felt she had the right to prevent a foster child under her jurisdiction from joining the Marines. This refusal is an obscene abuse of power based solely on her hatred for the U.S. military. And she’s done this before.
The L.A. Daily News gives us the outrageous story of young Shawn Sage, a foster child, who appeared before judge Mackel to ask for permission to sign with the Marines for an early enlistment. Sage is 17 and would have been eligible for a $10,000 signing bonus upon signing. The young man has long dreamed of joining the Marines and is shocked that this judge denied him permission to join.
“The judge said she didn’t support the Iraq war for any reason why we’re over there,” said Marine recruiter Sgt. Guillermo Medrano of the Simi Valley USMC recruiting office.
“She just said all recruiters were the same - that they `all tap dance and tell me what I want to hear.’ She said she didn’t want him to fight in it.”
According to the L.A. Daily News, Makel also denied another young foster child who wanted to join the Navy because she feels that all military recruiters are liars and just want “another warm body.” . . . [Read More]Tags:Activist Judges, California, leftist, military, news, recruitersTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell military policy for homosexuals.
Address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. (see Note 1)
Promote Sex education programs on condoms.
Lift the federal ban on needle exchange.
Confront the stigma – too often tied to homophobia that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.
Promote distribution of condoms by local government.
Give same-sex couples the same rights and obligations as married couples in our immigration system (Would allow unmarried "permanent partners" of U.S. citizens to obtain permanent resident status in the same manner as spouses.)
Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AR) reiterated Friday that he will not run against Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR). The filing period began March 3, the day before Huckabee withdrew from the presidential race, and ends Monday. In an interview with The Hill, Huckabee said he is still “decompressing” from his presidential campaign, and reaffirmed past statements that indicated he had no interest in challenging Pryor or serving in the Senate. . . . [Read More]
Tony Perkins, Family Research Council: What started out as a simple child welfare case in California has resulted in the most sweeping rejection of homeschooling in state history. By a 3-0 decision, a panel of appellate court judges sent families reeling with the verdict that parents don't have a constitutional right to homeschool their children without obtaining state teaching credentials. The ruling, which completely blindsided social conservatives, turned an isolated family incident into a broad indictment of the entire homeschooling community. The court was asked to consider whether homeschooling was facilitating the opportunity for a set of parents to physically and emotionally mistreat their children. Based on that one specific incident, the panel used the opportunity not just to resolve the situation at hand but to potentially ban homeschooling across the state. According to the opinion, the court based its judgment on a California statute which says that children ages six to 18 must attend a full-time day school (public or private) or "be instructed by a tutor holding state credentials for the child's grade level." Since the ruling was released, Justice H. Walter Croskey has become the focus of national outrage for suggesting that parents who fail to comply with California's statute should be criminally prosecuted.
Although the ruling will likely be overturned, its implications alarm me as a homeschooling parent. This court is threatening to usurp a fundamental right of parents based on an interpretation of a 40-year-old statute that has never been construed as a threat to homeschooling. The panel is also creating a foothold for other courts and politicians to discredit school choice. This case could become a rallying cry to crack down on homeschooling everywhere. We could start to see these challenges to school choice erupt in courts across the 19 states that don't have homeschooling laws on the books. Whether they do so because of their religious and moral beliefs or because of the dismal performance of local schools, parents should be the ultimate authority on what learning environment is best for their children. As long as safeguards are in place to ensure that students are keeping pace with the national standards and test scores, homeschooling should continue to be a viable option for all parents. The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) began working to achieve just that by launching an aggressive petition drive yesterday to overturn the ruling. Under California law, if enough residents believe the opinion was wrongly decided, they can urge the state Supreme Court to "depublish" the opinion. Go to HSLDA.ORGto join the fight! Additional Resources Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) Tags:California, Family Research Council, FRC, home school, Home School Legal Defense Association, HSLDA, judicial activism, parents, Tony PerkinsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Public Servcie Announcement: Approximately 20 million citizens who relied exclusively on non-taxable income (Social Security, SSI, VA disability or survivor compensation,) of at least $ 3,000 in 2007 are eligible for an economic stimulus rebate. However, qualifying persons must file a 2007 tax return (IRS Form 1040A) to receive the payment. The return must be filed no later than October 15, 2008. Those with only non-taxable income of at least $3,000 will receive $300 ($600 for couples).
As early as May, the IRS will be sending the stimulus payments to some 130 million households. People with taxable wages, investment income, or retirement income in 2007 will receive rebates of up to $600 for individuals ($1,200 for couples). Full payments will go only to single people with less than $75,000 in adjusted gross income ($150,000 for couples). Rebates will be gradually reduced for those with higher incomes, and people making over $87,000 ($174,000 for couples) won't get any rebate. Anyone qualifying for a rebate will receive an additional $300 for each dependent child under age 17 residing in the household 31 December 31, 2007. Additional IRS guidance Tags:economic stimulus, IRS, rebateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Bob Parks, Outside the Wire: I must admit to almost laughing every time I hear Democrats repeat the slogan, “Count every vote.” It should be a given, but now that they’ve thrown the proverbial monkey wrench into their own machinery, it’s kind of amusing to watch.
Remember back in 2000? The Democrats accused Republicans of stealing the presidential elections for not wanting repeated recounts using ballots that were deteriorating by the touch. Let’s not forget, those same Democrats so poorly designed those “butterfly” ballots, that voters ended up becoming “confused” and cast for the wrong candidates. What was humorous was the fact that the same ballot was presented to elementary schoolers as an experiment, and they had no trouble at all voting for whom they wanted.
Allegations flew, numerous investigations were made, and the stolen election conspiracy was deemed false, although the accusation is still repeated to this day. Also curious is how few people mention that voting problems almost always seem to happen in Democrat districts, under Democrat handling. How a Republican could just walk in and successfully perform some kind of mischief is beyond me.
But the slogan remains, “Count every vote.” Last year in an effort to achieve some electoral relevance, Michigan and Florida decided to change the dates of their primaries, against the protestations of Howard Dean and the party brains. As punishment, those two states were stripped of their delegates, and the candidates declined to campaign there. Well almost all the candidates . . . [Read More]Tags:Bob Parks, delegates, Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Outside the Wire, vote, voting, 2008To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Voting for Hillary – So Easy a Cavewoman Could Do It - Again
by Renee E. Taylor: Are American voting women as stupid and shallow as the mainstream media will have them portrayed – clamoring to vote for Hillary Clinton simply because “she’s a woman”? Why don’t her frightening policies, which many describe as Socialist, and her apparently insatiable ambition for the office (enough to raise suspicions of character issues, especially when she was moved to the only emotion we’ve ever seen from her when she believed she would lose New Hampshire) affect the votes of these women?
We are told the typical Hillary supporter is a well educated, “liberated” woman, even though we saw that Hillary won in NH because of heavy support from older and underclass women. The Hillary voter is portrayed as “compassionate” and enlightened, yet if such enlightenment leads to a vote for someone merely because of her gender, well, I’d hate to see how unenlightened citizens would vote. . . . [Read More] Tags:INSERT TAGSTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Michael Reagan, GOPUSA: It's inevitable that a lot of people are taking credit for the outcome of the Texas and Ohio primaries. In reality, the outcome was more or less the result of "Saturday Night Live." Think about it. They were the ones who sicced the media on Barack Obama by spoofing them for treating him with soft kid gloves.
The skit was so effective that Mrs. Clinton was able to use it during the debate the following week, where she suggested that perhaps Obama needed a pillow. The effect of Hillary's sarcasm and the earlier SNL skit was to spur the media to take a closer look at Obama, whom they had all but elevated to sainthood over the past year. So they began to look below the surface. Lo and behold, out popped Tony Rezco and what has become known as "Naftagate," . . .
Once the media stopped worshiping at the Obama altar and was forced to take a close look at him, however, he lost his immunity and was shown to be a mere human like the rest of us. hatever new disclosures about Obama emerge in the coming months -- and you can be sure there will be some because the Clinton attack machine never runs on idle -- he can be expected to react as he did last week: angry and resentful that his treatment at the media's hands was a case of lèse-majesté.
As last week proved, he was not garbed in regal splendor but instead was stark naked. The would-be emperor had no clothes. . . . [Read More]Mike Reagan, the elder son of the late President Ronald Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally as part of the Radio America Network.
Tags:Barack Obama, Democrat, Election 2008, emperor, Michael Reagan, no clothes, Politics, presidential candidateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
On The Floor: The Senate reconvened at 10 AM today and began a period of morning business. No votes are scheduled for today or Monday. Yesterday, the Senate passed its version of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) overhaul bill (H.R. 4040). Yesterday, the Senate Budget Committee passed the Democrats’ fiscal 2009 budget on a 12-10 party line vote. The Senate will likely spend all of next week on the budget, with debate on the bill set to begin on Tuesday. The annual “vote-a-rama” on a series of amendments to the budget could come Thursday night.
From Senate & News Sources: As we near three weeks of working with diminished intelligence capacity, Politico reports today that House Democrats are preparing to modify the Senate-passed FISA bill and send it back to the Senate some time next week. The Politico story also suggests that Democrats could try to change provisions concerning liability protections for telecom companies.
While the House continues to stall on passing a FISA modernization bill that addresses problems the Director of National Intelligence first identified almost a year ago, Air Force General Gene Renuart, commander of U.S. Northern Command, warned (according to AP) that “Al-Qaida terrorists may be plotting more urgently to attack the United States to maintain their credibility and ability to recruit followers.” Sen. McConnell warned this morning that the continued failure of the House to act on a FISA bill that will be signed by the president is “dangerous” and “quite irresponsible.”
A majority of the House supports the bill and the president has indicated he would sign it. In an editorial today, theSan Antonio Express News writes, “A FISA fix stripped of immunity is an effort by some Democrats to appease strident liberal groups that want to punish telecom companies for acting in the national interest.” The Express News goes on to call such attempts “a mistake.” On the Senate floor this morning, Sen. Mitch McConnell said, “The Senate’s solid, bipartisan action followed months of hard work between the two parties on a bill that met three basic criteria: it allowed intelligence professionals to gather information from terrorists overseas; it protected companies that stepped forward in a time of urgent national need to cooperate in the hunt for terrorists; and it was guaranteed to be signed by the President. If the House Democrat Leadership acts responsibly, it will follow the same three criteria by sending a good bill to the White House before the end of next week. The most efficient path to success is to take up the Senate-passed bill, which a majority of House members support.”
Meanwhile, CongressDaily reports the Senate Budget Committee passed the Democrats’ fiscal 2009 budget proposal on a party line vote last night after rejecting a number of Republican amendments. In an editorial today, The Wall Street Journal criticizes the Budget Committee Chairman, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND), for the shell game of Paygo in the budget and points out “the real purpose of paygo -- to make spending easier but tax-cutting harder. . . . the Bush tax cuts, which are scheduled to expire at the end of 2010, are not part of the revenue baseline, so extending the capital gains and dividend tax cuts requires budget cuts or tax increases of $215 billion. Paygo thus virtually guarantees a gigantic tax increase in 2011.” Further, “Mr. Conrad’s budget adds $18 billion of new domestic spending while it rejects every penny of the $91 billion in Medicare savings over five years that President Bush proposed earlier this year."Tags:consumer protection, FISA, US Budget, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C., Air Force General Gene Renuart, U.S. Northern Command, potential terrorist attacksTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Scott Whitlock, News Busters:Despite the fact that John McCain officially clinched the GOP nomination on Tuesday, the three network morning shows on Wednesday devoted almost a full hour of air time to covering the Democratic presidential race and barely nine minutes for the Republicans.
Additionally, the Arizona Senator did not appear on NBC's Today show, ABC's Good Morning America or the CBS Early Show. Democratic Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, however, showed up on all three programs. The network morning shows featured the Democratic presidential candidates for a grand total of 59 minutes and 12 seconds. McCain and his remaining rival, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, received a mere nine minutes and ten seconds of coverage.
In addition to lack of coverage, all three programs featured early stories on Clinton and Obama first and buried McCain coverage at the end of the 7am hour or later. Good Morning America didn't get to McCain until 7:30. The Early Show waited until the 8am hour to focus on the Senator. On Good Morning America, while not interviewing McCain, co-host Diane Sawyer found time to pose particularly frivolous questions to Obama. She twice asked whether the Senator would like to go back on Saturday Night Live and closed the segment by gushing: "On a personal note, because it is always a family campaign as well, what did Mrs. Obama say to you last night?"
All three morning shows had similar ratios of coverage, but Today was the most lopsided in favor of the Democrats. A breakdown of the totals follows: Good Morning America featured the Democrats for 16 minutes and 45 seconds and the Republicans for three minutes and one second. The Early Show offered 19 minutes and 40 seconds to Obama and Clinton and only three minutes and 36 seconds to GOP contenders. Finally, the Today show delivered 22 minutes and 47 to the Democrats and a scant two minutes and 33 seconds for McCain and Huckabee.Tags:ABC, Good Morning America, ABC News, Barack Obama, CBS, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, John Mccain, media bias, Media Research Center, NBC, News Busters, presidential candidatesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families: After a series of embarrassing statements, one political columnist recently noted that the Clinton campaign has sent husband Bill, Hillary's former "campaigner-in-chief," to a "secure, undisclosed location until the election is over." Perhaps Barack Obama might want to consider something similar for his wife, Michelle.
While Barack's rhetoric has been largely positive and uplifting (if empty and devoid of substance), Michelle's has been downright mean. In fact, that is precisely how she has described life in America. Here is how the New Yorker magazine described Michelle Obama's stump speech: "Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we're a divided country, we're a country that is 'just downright mean,' we are 'guided by fear,' we're a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents."
According to Michelle Obama, "We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day. Folks are just jammed up, and it's gotten worse over my lifetime." But wait, she's not done. "The life that I'm talking about that most people are living has gotten progressively worse since I was a little girl. . So if you want to pretend like there was some point over the last couple of decades when your lives were easy, I want to meet you!"
Let's see, if we turn back the clock a "couple of decades," before life in America was so miserable under George W. Bush, the Republican Congress and Ronald Reagan, I guess Michelle Obama wants to take us back to the 1970s - to the "glory days" of the Carter malaise! If Michelle Obama really does believe life in America is getting progressively worse and our country is "downright mean," I suppose that explains why she has never before found a reason to be proud of America.
But, while Michelle Obama is bashing American life, she and her husband are actually doing quite well. Thanks to their friendship with Tony Rezko, the Obama's moved into a $1.6 million mansion just a few years ago. Since her husband got elected to the United States Senate, Michelle Obama's salary increased from $120,000 a year to over $300,000 a year. And in 2005, Michelle and Barack's combined income was almost $1.7 million.
Folks, I'm not trying to downplay the very real problems that many Americans do face. But the Obama's are living proof that the American Dream is real and still achievable. They have done quite well in this "downright mean" country. And while it is true that many Americans tell pollsters that the country is "headed in the wrong direction," I believe much of that anxiety is due to America's growing virtue deficit and the coarsening of our culture, which is getting progressively worse. Somehow, I don't think that is what Michelle Obama was complaining about. Sadly, on those values issues, her husband offers no hope, and the change he proposes would only accelerate America's moral decline.
------------- Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. Tags:Michele Obama, hypocrisy, liberal, Michelle Obama, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working FamiliesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by PL Booth, The Blue Eye: It amazes me so few adults nor a majority of children comprehend that any intervention by Government into our daily lives and activities is a reduction of liberty. Certainly, some intervention in the forms of law enforcement preventing or obstructing our injuring or murdering each other on a grand scale can be tolerated. Almost everything else governments do constitute removing some of our civil liberties in one form or another.
Governmental control of all our lives in every way possible is the ultimate goal of Socialism. The failed system of the former Soviet Union and present Cuban government has kept those peoples in virtual poverty for most of a century while the Democratic and Republican forms of governments in the West have brought incredible prosperity to their peoples. However, both the current Democratic Candidates for President are socialists who would willfully denigrate our liberties but who are successfully selling themselves as champions of the people. . . .
It's a problem of socialism where one person is forced to take care of another. There is no moral argument that justifies using the coercive powers of government to force one person to bear the expense of taking care of another despite the ranting of our political Socialists. If a person is too resolute in his refusal to bear another's expenses, what is the justification for imposing fines, imprisonment or death? . . .
The ultimate question here is what sort of relationship do we want between government and its citizens? Will we run our lives or will we allow government to do so which is socialism run rampant. And that, of course, is what both Clinton and Obama are championing, Socialism, government responsibility and control for everything you do, from the cradle to the grave. . . . [Full Article]Tags:Democrats, liberty, PL Booth, presidential candidates, 2008 election socialism
In a video to his supporters, U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) tells them that : "Elections are short-term efforts. Revolutions are long-term projects." Rather than saying that he is quitting or dropping out of the Presidential Race, Paul calls for the winding down" of his presidential campaign and reformatting his support base to continue the "revolution." Paul plugs his upcoming book "The Revolution: A Manifesto." Paul says, "We are still in the early stages of bringing about the changes that this revolution is all about. Let us hope that we can one day look back and say that this campaign was a significant first step that signaled a change in direction for our country. Our job now is to plan for the next phase."
Ron Paul did do well in home state of Texas in the Presidential Primary. He received 5% of the vote and no delegates. However, in the Republican primary for the 14th Texas congressional district, Rep. Ron Paul won re-election with over 70% of the vote. Since Democrats did not run a candidate, Rep. Ron Paul will continue as the U.S. Representative of his district.
Dr. Ron Paul Winding Down Presidential Campaign & Reformatting his followers' "Revolution!"
Tags:Election 2008, presidential candidate, presidential primary, Representative, Ron Paul, Texas, US CongressTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Homosexual sponsored "Day of Silence" in Public Schools
American Family Association: Friday, April 25, several thousand schools across the nation will be observing "Day of Silence (DOS)." DOS is a nationwide push to promote the homosexual lifestyle in public schools. AFA is joining other family-oriented groups in urging parents to keep their children at home that day if their local school is participating in the DOS project. By remaining silent, the intent of the pro-homosexual students is to disrupt the classes while promoting the homosexual lifestyle.
DOS is sponsored by an activist homosexual group, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN). DOS leads the students to believe that every person who identifies as a homosexual, bisexual or cross-dresser is a victim of ongoing, unrelenting harassment and hate. Students are taught that homosexuality is a worthy lifestyle, homosexuality has few or no risks, and individuals are born homosexual and cannot change. Those who oppose such teaching are characterized as ignorant and hateful bigots. ... [Read More for Frequently Asked Questions & Recommended AFA Actions for Parents]
ARRA Editor Comment: pressuring students within school to advocate positions is an abuse of students. Imagine the outcry if "straight" students - the statistical majority - we to decide to participate in a day of silence or to wear the same shirt at school to advocate the heterosexual lifestyle. But of major concern over any group of students expressing a position is the action of school officials (teachers, counselors, administrators or board members ) advocating and supporting these positions and thereby pressuring other students to accept these lifestyles or positions. Tags:AFA, American Family Association, homosexual activism, liberalism, Public SchoolsTo 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 9:30 AM. Following an hour of morning business, the Senate resumed consideration of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) overhaul bill (S. 2663). Roll call votes are expected throughout the day. The Senate Budget Committee continued its markup of the Democrats’ fiscal 2009 budget proposal at 9:30 this morning. The House Budget Committee passed the House Democrats’ budget last night on a 22-16 party line vote.
From Senate & News Sources: As the Democrats’ budget proposals for the next year are being considered in the House and Senate Budget Committees, Americans are getting a better picture of what those plans entail. The Democrats’ budget proposals reveal that they do NOT intend to live up to their previous statements to avoid raising taxes, to reform entitlements, and to inhibit the growth of spending.
The Washington Post reports today that “House Democrats want to use a parliamentary maneuver to push a $70 billion tax increase through a reluctant Senate . . . .” Once again, it appears Democrats in the House want to raise taxes to “pay for” a one-year fix to the alternative minimum tax, although those are revenues no one expects to be collected. The new development this year is that house Democrats are apparently interested in using the reconciliation process to pass their $70 billion tax increase, which can bypass filibusters in the Senate. The Senate rejected a similar AMT proposal in December.
The Post noted Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND) saying that a tax increase in conjunction with an AMT fix is “not the will of the United States Senate.” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell welcomed this acknowledgement and called for passing an AMT fix sooner rather than later, considering that “[l]ast year, a Democrat-led standoff over passing an AMT patch threatened to delay tax returns for 50 million taxpayers totaling about $75 billion in refunds.”
While House Democrats contemplate a tax hike, according toPolitico, they’ve decided to shelve plans to address FISA for the remainder of the week. Saturday will mark three weeks since the Protect America Act (PAA) expired, meaning our intelligence community has been operating with diminished intelligence gathering capabilities for almost 21 days now. Recall that Democrats in the House were pushing for a 21-day extension of the PAA before it expired. That extension would have expired this week with Democrats still failing to act. The House Democrat leadership’s failure to pass this critical legislation continues to put Americans at greater risk. They should pass the Senate’s bipartisan FISA bill immediately. Tags:Consumer Product Safety Commission, CSPC, FISA, Democrat budget, 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!
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee concluded his 2008 bid for the Republican nomination for President last night, calling upon his supporters to embrace the candidacy of U.S. Senator John McCain (AZ). Today, he shared his thoughts in an email with his faithful supporters:
Dear Faithful Friends, Last night was a tough one for all of us. While Janet and I stood on the stage, we felt as if we were surrounded by a much larger family than our immediate family. We have been surrounded throughout the process by a large and growing family of faithful friends whose efforts in the campaign have humbled and amazed us day after day. I regularly wept or choked back tears just reading comments on the blog when I realized the sacrifices that so many have made for the campaign.
We had held out hope that we would win enough delegates to keep the contest going, but had vowed that if Senator McCain actually got the 1191 delegates, we would accept the will of the voters. In the end, the relentless hammering of the media that we "couldn't win" influenced enough voters and while we campaigned long and hard in the final states, it simply wasn't enough. I congratulate Senator McCain and will do what I can to assist him and influence him to take strong stands for issues that we conservatives cherish.
I don't see the long journey having reached its destination, but merely taking a detour. As my Marine friend Clebe McLary says, "I didn't lose--it's just that the game ended before I got finished playing." In the immediate days ahead, we will be transitioning from campaign mode. For 14 months, there have been a lot of things put on hold in our lives. We have to join the many incredible people on our staff to figure out "what's next?" But this much I can tell you---we want to stay in touch and start now building a platform to continue addressing issues that brought us together in the first place.
Throughout my life, I've found that there are sometimes three possible answers to our prayers--"Yes," "No," or "Not Now." I would like to think our prayers were answered with a "Not Now." We will keep our website up and as we transition,w ill want to create a way to keep in touch and continue the battle for our families, our freedom, and our future. We will also focus on assisting conservative Senate and House candidates, in places where we know our investment of time and energy can make a real difference. You can expect us to be active online as we do this and to regularly solicit your opinions and support. Too many big issues are at stake for us to sit on the sidelines.
In the immediate time, we have to make sure that we pay all the bills of the campaign and end in the black, help our staff find ways to earn a living, and make sure that we don't lose the momentum of the past 14 months, but instead follow the plan:
REFLECT, REST, RENEW, and RE-BOOT! I really welcome your input and thoughts during these coming days. Pray for us as we seek wisdom as to what steps we take now. Despite what some have thought, we really didn't have a "an B' in the wings--we always thought we'd be in this until the inauguration in January of 2009!
God has been so good to us! We can never fully express our gratitude for all you have done and how you have touched and blessed our lives. I truly hope I didn't let you down. I promise to you that I gave it all I had to the last minute and left it "all on the field." What is more amazing is how you were willing to be "poured out" to the point of empty in order to be with us all the way. I stand amazed by it all and overwhelmed with gratitude. We will dust off, pick ourselves up off the canvas, and answer the bell for the next round, whatever that may be. We love you all, and trust that the journey has just begun! With tired bodies and grateful hearts,
Mike and Janet HuckabeeTags:Arkansas, Governor, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: Four children including two brothers were killed, and 12 others were hospitalized with injuries, in Minnesota last week when a van reportedly ignored a stop sign and barreled into a school bus. The driver of the van, who did not speak English or have a valid driver's license, was charged with homicide. Authorities described the driver as an illegal alien using a phony name. She had pled guilty in 2006 for driving without a license.
For years, courts and lawyers have intimidated towns from protecting themselves against the invasion of illegal aliens. . . . But in August, Newark, New Jersey, no stranger to violence, was shaken by the brutal murder of several college-bound teenagers who were harmlessly enjoying music at a playground. The victims were black, and the perpetrator was an illegal alien from Peru who had been previously charged with raping a five-year-old girl but released despite his obvious illegal presence in this country.
Another imported crime is driving too fast the wrong way on highways, with the headlights turned off, in order to escape detection while smuggling drugs or people. Several deadly crashes resulting from this practice have been reported. The American people's outrage at law violations by illegal aliens was heard loud and clear by the Senate when it defeated the amnesty bill last year. Now, even judges may be getting the message.
In Dec. 2007, a federal judge in Oklahoma upheld an Oklahoma law requiring state contractors to determine and verify the immigration status of new hires. Judge James H. Payne threw out a legal challenge to the law. Less than two months later, in January 2008, federal Judge E. Richard Webber emphatically ruled against illegal aliens who had sued to overturn a similar ordinance enacted by Valley Park, Missouri, a town near St. Louis. The court upheld the ordinance, which was directed at employers who were hiring illegal aliens.
The third strike against illegal aliens came in February when federal Judge Neil V. Wake rejected each and every argument challenging a new Arizona law that imposes penalties on businesses that knowingly hire illegal aliens. He dismissed the claim that federal law somehow ties the hands of state and local governments seeking to protect their own citizens.
These three decisions in three different parts of the country . . . there is now bipartisan judicial support for state and local legislation against illegal aliens. Law Professor Kris Kobach says these decisions give "a green light to other communities" seeking to pass similar ordinances. . . . [Read More] Tags:crime, Eagle Forum, federal judges, illegal aliens, Phyllis SchlaflyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
PRESIDENT BUSH: It's been my honor to welcome my friend, John McCain, as the nominee of the Republican Party. A while back I don't think many people would have thought that John McCain would be here as the nominee of the Republican Party -- except he knew he would be here, and so did his wife, Cindy.
John showed incredible courage and strength of character and perseverance in order to get to this moment. And that's exactly what we need in a President: somebody that can handle the tough decisions; somebody who won't flinch in the face of danger.
We also need somebody with a big heart. I have got to know John well in the last eight years. I've campaigned against him, and I've campaigned with him. Laura and I have spent time in their house. This is a man who deeply loves his family. It's a man who cares a lot about the less fortunate among us. He's a President, and he's going to be the President who will bring determination to defeat an enemy, and a heart big enough to love those who hurt. And so I welcome you here. I wish you all the best, and I'm proud to be your friend.
SENATOR McCAIN: Thank you, sir. Well, I'm very honored and humbled to have the opportunity to receive the endorsement of the President of the United States, a man who I have great admiration, respect and affection [for]. We -- he and I, as is well known, had a very good competition in the year 2000, and I was privileged and proud to have the opportunity to campaign for his election and reelection to the Presidency of the United States.
I appreciate his endorsement. I appreciate his service to our country. I intend to have as much possible campaigning events together, as it is in keeping with the President's heavy schedule. And I look forward to that opportunity. I look forward to the chance to bring our message to America.
Last night, as you know, both Senator Obama and Senator Clinton called to congratulate me. I pledged at that time, and I pledge again, a respectful campaign -- a respectful campaign based on the issues and based on the stark differences in vision that we have for the future of America.
I hope that the President will find time from his busy schedule to be out on the campaign trail with me, and I will be very privileged to have the opportunity of being again on the campaign trail with him -- only slightly different roles this time. I thank you, Mr. President, and it's a pleasure.
COMMENT TO PRESS BY PRESIDENT BUSH: And the good news about our candidate is, there will be a new President, a man of character and courage -- but he's not going to change when it comes to taking on the enemy. He understands this is a dangerous world, and I understand we better have steadfast leadership who has got the courage and determination to pursue this enemy, so as to protect America.
John McCain will find out, when he takes the oath of office, his most important responsibility is to protect the American people from harm. And there's still an enemy that lurks, an enemy that wants to strike us. And this country better have somebody in that Oval Office who understands the stakes, and John McCain understands those stakes. Tags:Election 2008, endorsement, John McCain, President George Bush, presidential candidateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Family Resource Council: Congress is getting a head start on next year's budget after its knock-down, drag-out fight over the current plan. With the bickering over the FY08 budget lasting well into the calendar year, both the House and Senate Democrats are unveiling new proposals that could divide the parties even further in an already combative election season. Led by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), liberals have based their budget entirely on the assumption that President Bush's tax cuts will expire, which would result in a massive, multi-billion dollar surplus for Congress--and the biggest tax hike in history for the American people. Although a lot is riding on the priorities of the next administration, the Democrats' current plan includes massive spending on education, transportation, and energy. Adding to taxpayers' misery, it looks like the powerful Congressional Progressive Caucus's solution for the economy is socialism. The liberal group is pushing for a second stimulus package that would do nothing but stimulate its own welfare agenda. The Caucus's budget would boost funding for food stamps, public works, unemployment insurance, and Medicaid spending by a whopping $40-60 billion. President Bush has promised to veto any bill that exceeds his spending limit, but don't put it past the Left to wait the 43rd President out simply to make a political point. Unless the conservatives wage an all-out war for tax cut permanency, that political point will come at the economy's expense.See Also:Senate Democrats Unveil Budget Plans Tags:Democrats, economic stimulus, Excessive spending, US BudgetTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Updated 3/5: A summary of the March 4 Primary Election Results by state. The number of delegates may be adjusted; the numbers available are shown for both the Democrats (D) and Republicans (R). Early reporting. Many delegates have yet to be allocated.
Texas - D:228 R:140*
McCain 52% (69 Delegates); Huckabee 38%; Paul 5% (71 available*)
Clinton 51% (77 Delegates); Obama 47% (69 Delegates); (82 available) *Huckabee withdrew from the presidential race Tags:Barack Obama, Election 2008, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Ohio, presidential primary, primary, Rhode Island, Texas, VermontTo 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 9:30 AM today. Following an hour of morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) overhaul bill (S. 2663). Roll call votes are expected today. Yesterday, the Senate rejected an amendment to the CSPC bill by Sen. DeMint (R-SC) which would have substituted the text of the House-passed CSPC overhaul.
This week marks the beginning of the yearly budget debate. The Senate Budget Committee begins its markup of the Democrats’ fiscal 2009 budget proposal at 2:30 PM, while the House Budget Committee will mark up its version at 10 AM.
From Senate & News Sources: Today begins the annual budget battle on Capitol Hill. Both the House and Senate will be marking up Democrat budget proposals for fiscal year 2009.
The Washington Post reports that the budget proposed by Senate Democrats “would inject billions of additional dollars into such domestic priorities as education, energy and transportation,”which “would push the federal deficit to more than $350 billion in fiscal 2009.” Yet the Democrat budget purports to balance the budget in four years. “To get there, however, Democrats assume all of President Bush’s first-term tax cuts would expire on schedule in 2010, bringing in billions in revenue,” according to The Washington Post. This could amount to a $1.3 trillion tax increase.
CQ Today discussed Democrats’ potential use of the reconciliation process to move various legislation: “Many House Democrats want to use reconciliation to advance priorities such as a fully offset ‘patch’ for the alternative minimum tax (AMT), renewable-energy tax breaks that would likely be offset with a tax increase on oil and gas companies, and legislation to prevent a 10 percent cut in Medicare payments to physicians.”
Yesterday, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee, spoke on the floor about how the Democrats handled the budget process last year. He pointed out that the Democrats’ fiscal year 2008 budget assumed $736 billion in tax increases, raised non-defense discretionary spending by $205 billion, grew the debt by $2.5 trillion, all while failing to address $66 trillion in entitlement liabilities.
Meanwhile, as The Wall Street Journal reports that “almost half of Americans think the [Iraq] war effort is going well, and that the U.S. should keep its troops there, at least for the time being,”The Hill notes that Democrats are once again being forced to change their strategy on Iraq: “Congressional Democrats searching for a message that will resonate on the Iraq war are preparing an argument that getting troops out of the conflict is the only way to rebuild a spent military.” Tags:Iraq War, Consumer Product Safety Commission, CSPC, US Budget, 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!
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee abandoned his U.S. presidential bid on Tuesday after voting in fTexas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island made it clear his rival, Arizona Sen. John McCain, would be the Republican candidate in the November election. McCain has been the party's presumptive candidate since his leading rivals dropped out of the race, leaving only Huckabee to challenge him. Huckabee told supporters:
We kept the faith. I’d rather lose an election than lose the principles that got me into politics in the first place. We started this effort with very little recognition and virtually no resources. We ended with slightly more recognition and very few resources. But what a journey. What a journey. A journey of a lifetime. It's now important that we turn our attention not to what could have been or what we wanted to have been but what now must be, and that is a united party.
Huckabee rarely raised a negative word during the campaign about McCain, a man he clearly likes, and he called him Tuesday night to congratulate him. Huckabee said he extended “my commitment to him and to the party to do everything possible to unite our party, but more importantly to unite our country.”Tags:Arkansas, Election 2008, Governor, John Mccain, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidate, RepublicanTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
John McCain won the Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island primaries today and clinched enough delegates to surpass the required 1,191 GOP delegates to secure the Republican presidential nomination. It has been an extraordinary comeback from eight months ago when he was not a front runner in the primary. After racking up wins in states across the country, McCain entered Tuesday's contests with 1,014 delegates, 177 short of what he needed. According to early returns, McCain won all 17 delegates in Vermont, and at least 69 in Texas, 58 in Ohio and 9 in Rhode Island. McCain also picked up about 30 endorsements from party leaders who are at-large delegates to the convention. Tags:delegates, Election 2008, GOP, John McCain, Ohio, presidential candidate, presidential primary, primary, Republican, Rhode Island, Texas, VermontTo 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 morning business, the Senate will resume consideration of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) overhaul bill (S. 2663). Roll call votes are likely today. Yesterday, the Senatevoted to proceed to the CSPC bill. After failing to get cloture on the motion to proceed to their Housing bill (S. 2636), Democrats have pulled the bill from the floor while they decide how to move forward on it. According to The Hill, the bill is not likely to return until after the Easter recess. Also, the Senate confirmed Mark Filip as Deputy Attorney General by voice vote. Filip’s confirmation had previously been blocked by Majority Whip Dick Durbin. This week marks the beginning of the yearly budget debate, with the Senate Budget Committee scheduled to mark up the Democrats’ fiscal 2009 budget proposal on Wednesday and Thursday.
From Senate & News Sources:The Washington Post reports this morning that discussions among Congressional Democrats continue on a way to bring FISA modernization legislation to the House floor. Of course, the Democrats always have the option of simply passing the Senate bill in the House, which would then be swiftly signed by the president.
Sen. Judd Gregg, ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, offered his own preview of the Democrats’ budget. Gregg warned of potential Democrat plans to let the Bush tax cuts expire which could lead to a $1.3 trillion tax increase, and he chided the Democrats for last year’s “dishonest” budget. Shopfloor.org presents part of Sen. Gregg’s discussion of the reconciliation process which he warned could be used to bypass Senate filibusters on programs like SCHIP. Democrats have been quick to condemn such filibusters and accuse Republicans of obstructionism.Their accusations fall flat when examined as they seem to think that any vote to move forward on a bill actually counts as a filibuster. At the same time, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has used of cloture extensively to prematurely cut off debate.
Senate Republicans have offered positive proposals on a number of issues, and held a press conference recently to discuss their ideas on the economy and housing. The Republican package includes a proposal by Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) for a $5,000 per year tax credit for a family buying a vacant house, tax relief for entrepreneurs and families, and long overdue tort reform measures to help curb frivolous lawsuits and rising healthcare costs. On judicial confirmations Republican Leader Mitch McConnell noted that judicial nominations remain stalled: “There have been no judicial confirmations so far this year, and there has been only one hearing on a circuit court nominee since September of last year. . . . I hope my Democratic colleagues resist the desire by some to drag us back into judicial confirmation brinksmanship and establish a precedent they will regret. I hope they will treat these nominees fairly before it is too late.” Tags:Budget, product safety, 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!
Obama: Sermon on the Mount Supports Same-sex Unions
Tony Perkins, FRC Action: On the campaign trail yesterday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) defended his support of abortion and same-sex unions. In response to a question at a stop at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, Obama said he does not support calling same-sex unions marriage, but thinks same-sex couples should be given the recognition and benefits granted to married couples. "I think that it is a legal right that they [homosexuals] should have that is recognized by the state. If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans."
Jesus teaches on a number of issues central to the Christian life in the Sermon on the Mount: being witnesses to the world, loving our enemies, honoring marriage - but there is no instruction on same-sex unions. As for St. Paul's writing in Romans, it is distinguished not by its obscurity but by its clarity and consistency with all of Christian teaching about the nature of sexuality and marriage. Paul writes: "They [the unrighteous] exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." (Romans 1:24-27, NIV) Obama also told the crowd that his support of abortion (he voted against banning partial-birth abortion, and against notifying the parents of minors prior to their having an abortion) and his support of same-sex unions do not make him "less of a Christian."See also:Obama: Sermon on Mount Justifies Same-Sex UnionsTags:abortion, Barack Obama, Election 2008, FRC, partial birth abortion, presidential candidates, same-sex marriage, Tony PerkinsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Check out the interesting insight as to how Government Earmarks are killing academic competition. Rob Port in Pork Barrel reports that "In the past scientists competed with one another to get their research funded, and that competition is a good thing. Valuable research tended to win funding while more trivial research didn’t. Unfortunately, thanks to the woefully corrupt and completely non-transparent earmark system, many scientists and researchers with the right kind of political connections can bypass traditional funding competition and get money for their projects by greasing the hands of the right politicians." . . . [Read More]Tags:competition, earmarks, Oink Report, Pork Barrel, universitiesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Dr. Bill Smith, ARRA Editor, USAF Retired: If you are military, family of military or a supporter of the military, the following examples of abuses of our service members by the military services will heighten your concern about today's military chain-of-command. The knee-jerk reaction of military commanders and their staffs in response to "excessive political correctness" by the liberal left should make your blood boil. Military members understand the inherent power of their commanders. However, they also trust in their commanders to defend and to protect them while they have served in "harms way." This abuse of our military by commanders with the use of the judicial system makes me wonder about the past influence of the liberal Clinton administration on the development and advancement of these commanders and their staff officers.
When military commanders send troops in to "harms way" to face "kill or be killed" situations, military commanders should not second guess or to treat these situations like civil actions. Military commanders should protect the troops from unreasonable accusations and / or excessive oversight and review. When commanders criminalize or attempt to criminalize military responses as detailed in the below examples, they trample on the morale of the troops, place at risk the lives, the careers and the reputations of the troops under their command. Today's commanders at many levels in the chain-of-commands seem to be more interested in protecting themselves or their service image and are willing to allow the careers, reputations, and livelihoods of lower ranking members to be placed at risk. It is time for commanders to stand up and say: "War is Hell" and innocent people die. Saving fellow comrades-in-arms is more important than treating "nicely" a terrorist insurgent. The following examples were detailed by Chuck Muth in his article Support the Troops by Untying Their Hands.
In November 2005 some “Johnny Jihadi” in this Iraqi town set off an IED (improvised explosive device) which killed one Marine and wounded two others. Immediately after the bomb went off, the rest of the squad came under sniper fire from nearby houses. In the process of clearing those houses, Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt and Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich encountered at least four armed Iraqi men. In the ensuing close-combat battle, the Marines, doing their jobs and protecting the lives of their comrades, killed 24 people, including some civilians who happened to be at a horribly wrong place at a horribly wrong time.
War is hell. And those civilians didn’t die because our Marines targeted them the way Muslim fanatics target civilians by strapping explosives on the mentally handicapped and sending them into the midst of a market. Those civilians died because Iraqi insurgents tried to hide in the civilians’ homes after trying to blow up an entire squad of Marines.
Four months later Time magazine reported on the Haditha battle, labeling it a “massacre.” Spooked by the American media and egged on by anti-war Rep. Jack Murtha (D-Pa.) - who proclaimed without evidence or first-hand knowledge that our Marines “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” – the military brought charges, including murder, against eight of the Marines involved in the Haditha battle. Most have since been dropped, as the government’s case against the Marines has crumbled under close scrutiny. However, Wuterich and Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum will go on trial this month for allegedly killing Iraqi civilians unlawfully.
The continued multi-million dollar prosecution of these Marines is outrageous. Even more so when you consider what the cost of defending them is doing to their families. As Tatum’s mother told NewsMax this week, “We don’t have enough money in our retirement account and equity in our home to come close to covering all these new trial expenses.” Is bankrupting a Marine’s family what Democrats – or Republicans for that matter – consider “supporting the troops”?
If this was an isolated incident of military prosecutorial excess, that would be one thing. But tying our soldiers hands with ridiculous “rules of engagement,” which the enemy violates at will, and then prosecuting them for doing what they’ve been trained to do has been a disturbing pattern throughout this conflict.
For example, Army Spc. Christopher Shore was convicted last month of “aggravated assault” for shooting at a man “whose hands had tested positive for touching explosives.” He didn’t hit the man, by the way. He only shot “at” him.
Marine Lt. Illario Pantano was charged with murder for shooting two Iraqi insurgents. Eventually, all charges against Pantano were dismissed, but in the process America lost the services of this heroic military officer. Following his trial, Lt. Pantano resigned his commission, noting that “the emotional and psychological strain on my family for the year that the investigation was ongoing well exceeded the rigors of combat that I experienced.”
Then there was the prosecution of Green Beret Capt. Dave Staffel and Master Sgt. Troy Anderson, both charged with premeditated murder for shooting a known Taliban figure in Afghanistan who, as the New York Times reported, “had already been ‘vetted as a target’ by American commanders as an enemy combatant who could be legally killed once he was positively identified.” But rather than pin a medal on the pair for their sharp-shooting prowess, the military prosecuted them. After months of agony and uncertainty, the Green Berets were exonerated last fall.
And then there was the prosecution of Lt. Col. Allen West who, you many recall, was summoned to interrogate an Iraqi prisoner believed to have information about a planned ambush of West’s squad in the town of Taji. The insurgent refused to spill the beans. So West took him out back, bent him over and fired a shot near his head, scaring the living…well, you know, out of the man. The insurgent immediately began singing like the proverbial canary. The ambush was thwarted. The man’s accomplices were apprehended and no further attacks on Col. West’s men occurred while under his command. Nevertheless, months later the Army decided to prosecute Col. West for scaring the prisoner into talking. It relieved West of his command, fined him $5,000 and forced him into retirement, ending a proud and honorable 22-year military career. When asked if it was all worth it, West responded that he would “walk through hell with a gasoline can” to protect his troops. This nation needs more Allen Wests and fewer Sean Penns. But if we keep prosecuting soldiers and Marines for shooting the enemy, or in some case, just scaring them, it won’t be long before we no longer have any American heroes to prosecute. . . . [Read More]
Tags:Iraq War, military commanders, military justice, military troops, support troopsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
On The Floor: Senate reconvenes at 2 PM today. At 3:30, the Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CSPC) overhaul bill (S. 2663) with a cloture vote on the motion expected at 5:30. After failing to get cloture on the motion to proceed to their Housing bill (S. 2636), Democrats pulled the bill from the floor while they decide how to move forward on it. This week marks the beginning of the yearly budget debate; the Senate Budget Committee is scheduled to mark up the Democrats’ fiscal 2009 budget proposal on Wednesday and Thursday.
From Senate & News Sources:It has been Over Two Weeks since Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrat leadership allowed the Protect America Act to lapse. Sen. Mitch McConnell in The Cincinnati Enquirer op-ed, laid out the consequences of the Democrats' inaction: “Intelligence officials who once could listen to phone conversations between terrorists overseas with appropriate speed are now legally barred from following new leads without first following antiquated, bureaucratic procedures - even if neither of the terrorists is physically within the U.S. . . . As the House reconvenes, the Democratic leadership must allow a vote on this vital national-security legislation to ensure we are doing all we can to keep our citizens safe. As lawmakers, we have no higher responsibility.” In addition, a Justice Dept. official highlighted for The Washington Post the lawsuit problem that the immunity provision for telecom companies is designed to address: “The whole point of [the] litigation is discovery of information. Obviously there is information here that could be damaging to national security if it was released, and of course that is a major concern.”
There are signs that House Democrats are starting to feel the pressure. House Intelligence Comm. Chair Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) told CNN yesterday that a deal to bring FISA legislation to a vote on the House floor this week could be in the works. Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has been under pressure to hold a vote from Blue Dog Democrats who support the Senate-passed FISA modernization bill. There has been discussion on the House splitting the bill and holding separate votes on the surveillance and immunity provisions. Based on speculation this morning this seems unlikely. Tthe best and easiest way to give our intelligence community the tools to continue keeping this country safe is for the House to take up and pass the Senate bill which a majority of House members support.
Meanwhile, in domestic economic discussions, Democrats have been loud in their denunciations of the cost of the war in Iraq. Some have even suggested that those costs are contributing to the current economic slowdown. Interestingly, Mother Jones, perhaps the last publication expected to do so, warned Democrats about this line of argument by noting: “Many economists say this isn’t so.” Tags:Consumer Product Safety Commission, CSPC, Protect America Act, FISA, product safety, 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!
Judge orders homeschoolers into government education
by Bob Unruh, WorldNetDaily: A California court has ruled that several children in one homeschool family must be enrolled in a public school or "legally qualified" private school, and must attend, sending ripples of shock into the nation's homeschooling advocates as the family reviews its options for appeal. The ruling came in a case brought against Phillip and Mary Long over the education being provided to two of their eight children. They are considering an appeal to the state Supreme Court, because they have homeschooled all of their children, the oldest now 29, because of various anti-Christian influences in California's public schools. . . .
"We find no reason to strike down the Legislature's evaluation of what constitutes an adequate education scheme sufficient to promote the 'general diffusion of knowledge and intelligence,'" the court said in the case. "We agree … 'the educational program of the State of California was designed to promote the general welfare of all the people and was not designed to accommodate the personal ideas of any individual in the field of education.'" The words echo the ideas of officials from Germany, where homeschooling has been outlawed since 1938 under a law adopted when Adolf Hitler decided he wanted the state, and no one else, to control the minds of the nation's youth. . . . [Read More]Tags:California, education, home school, homeschoolers, legal ruling, parent rightsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
From Stix: Hugo Chavez and his friends in Ecuador have moved soldiers close to the borderwith Colombia, a US ally. They are upset that the Colombian army killed a FARC terrorist in Ecuador. See, the problem is that both Venuzuela and Ecuador are helping FARC, which is a Marxist guerilla group trying to overthrow the government of Colombia. And also Colombia is ally of the US in the war on drugs. FARC uses cocaine as thier wayof financing their military. It is also believed that FARC might have connections with Al Queda and they have connections to the IRA. So the next few weeks and months should be interesting.
South America on brink of war
By Martin Arostegui
March 3, 2008
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia — South America was on the brink of war yesterday as Venezuela and Ecuador amassed troops on the Colombian border in response to the killing of a Marxist rebel leader.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatened to join the rebels in a war to overthrow hard-line Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, a key ally of the United States, deploying tanks, fighter jets and thousands of troops along the Colombian border.
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa also ordered troops to the border, expelled Colombia's ambassador and recalled its ambassador to Bogota, but left its embassy open. Venezuela closed its embassy in Colombia and ordered all diplomats home.
A weekend battle sparked the mobilization, in which Colombian forces killed a top leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), in a camp in Ecuador . --- Washington Times
Also don't forget that the Defeatocrats refused to give aid to Colombia because of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe was supposedly involved in war crimes along with the Right Wing Militias in Colombia in years past. Give it to the Defeatocrats to help out the Marxists and enemies of the United States every time. Tags:Colombia, Ecuador, FARC, Hugo Chavez, Marxist, South America, Stix, VenezuelaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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