News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru] - firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Huckabee Goes Hollywood - Hope Detoured
NewsMax Reports that Former Arkansas Gov. and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has signed a signed a contract with one of the largest talent agencies in Hollywood, Creative Artists Agencies (CAA).
“Nothing has been decided,” his daughter and adviser Sarah Huckabee told CNN about his future projects. It probably won’t be just one thing but maybe several different things. Just exploring options right now.”
Huckabee and his sense of humor drew praise when he appeared on “Saturday Night Live” and other TV show during his White House campaign. CAA represents more than 2,000 clients, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore and Tony Bennett.
In addition to signing with Hollywood, Huckabee has lashed out blaming his not becoming the Republican presidential on evangelical leaders who did not fall in step to Huckabee's 'Capitol Offense" tunes. Aaron Sadler of the Stephens Washington Bureau reports:
Mike Huckabee on Thursday lashed out at religious leaders who did not support his failed run for the presidency, saying their help may have kept him in the race. A month after the former Arkansas governor ended his White House bid, Huckabee told supporters that he may run again in 2012. . . . The Southern Baptist minister said leaders who stood behind pulpits and shared biblical stories of faith were far less likely to put faith in Huckabee’s candidacy. “Some people really worshipped at the altar of electability rather than to be faithful and loyal to the principles they were supposed to be committed to,” Huckabee said on a telephone conference call sponsored by Charisma magazine.“When it gets to their own political realm, they think more secularly than even the secular people. That was very troubling,” he said.
Huckabee former campaign site, mikehuckabee.com, has undergone redesign. Currently there is a large countdown clock set to reach zero at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. Word on the street is that the site will be "big" for Mike Huckabee. Huckabee successfully used his "I Like Mike" website to garner support including money for his campaign. After the tongue lashing of Evangelical leaders, it is obvious that Huckabee covets the White House and plans, after a detour with Hollywood, for "American to Give Hope a Second Chance." Tags:Arkansas, Hollywood, Hope, Mike Huckabee, presidential candidateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, ARRA Editor:MSNBC reports that Obama has moved to reformat his elitist comments about middle Americans while speaking at a town hall meeting at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Unfortunately, his remarks proved to be even more condescending as he and his campaign tried to do damage control for his gaffs. What caught my attention were the remarks by Hillary Clinton about Obama's comments:
But Clinton struck hard, calling Obama's comments "demeaning." . . . "I was raised with Midwestern values and an unshakable faith in America and its policies. Now, Americans who believe in the Second Amendment believe it's a matter of constitutional right. Americans who believe in God believe it's a matter of personal faith. I grew up in a church-going family, a family that believed in the importance of living out and expressing our faith. The people of faith I know don't 'cling' to religion because they're bitter. People embrace faith not because they are materially poor, but because they are spiritually rich. Our faith is the faith of our parents and our grandparents. It is a fundamental expression of who we are and what we believe. "
Oh no - this time, I have to agree with Hillary Clinton with respect to Barack Obama. She may be a liberal but she, husband Bill, or someone in her campaign remembers what "red state" America believes. For the moment, she is willing to align with us as she opposes Obama who was raised on the values of two sides of the Pacific rim. Tags:Barack Obama, beliefs, Hillary Clinton, valuesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama’s ‘Small Town’ Slam Framed as Republican Attack By Wash. Post by Warner Todd Huston: Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog executed an example of political gymnastics so amazing for its twisting of reality that it boggles the mind. He actually turned comments by Barack Obama from a dissing of “small town” America to one highlighting how mean Republicans are. You heard me right. Obama’s comments had absolutely nothing to do with the GOP, yet Cillizza was somehow able to take his derogatory comments against the American heartland and turn it all into a discussion on how Republicans will attack the Democrat candidate! Talk about a bending over backwards to use an Obama gaff to attack Republicans, this one takes the cake and shows how in the tank for Obama Chris Cillizza seems to be.
I was born and raised in flyover country. In my case, it was a rural agricultural community in Northern California. The small town America I know may cling to guns and religion, but it sure as hell isn't out of bitterness. No, my small town America clings to guns and religion because of tradition. It's the way we were 'raised. We are a self-reliant folk. We don't look to, nor do we expect, the government to coddle us or solve every problem that some Liberal/Progressive elitist politician can identify. Actually, like President Reagan, we tend to think government is more often the problem. The more we can keep the government out of lives, the better off we are.
I resent Obama's assertion that us country folk suffer from "antipathy" toward others. I find it personally offensive. I was raised to respect others and was taught that I should strive, like God, to be "no respecter of persons." I've always tried to do that, and so do the small town folk I know.
Hillary issued several statements criticizing Mr. Obama, calling Obama "out of touch." The McCain campaign also weighed in:
“It shows an elitism and condescension toward hard-working Americans that is nothing short of breathtaking,” said Steve Schmidt, a senior adviser to Mr. McCain. “It is hard to imagine someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans.”
Tags:Barack Obama, guns, Pennsylvania, religion, Warner Todd HustonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The following comments by Barack Obama were made to a group of "wealthy donors" in San Francisco.
Barack Obama: "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." See also:Obama on small-town PA: Clinging to religion, guns, xenophobia
What do you suppose Obama would tell the liberal elites about the people of Arkansas?Tags:Arkansas, Barack Obama, guns, Pennsylvania, religionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
In light of our recent post Fed up with “Press 1 for English?” , let's review a prior FoxNews report talking about American firefighters losing jobs to Mexicans that can't speak English.
Oregon is requiring fire crew bosses to be able to communicate with ALL of the firefighters under their command as they fight wildfires in the state. Most of the firefighters are Hispanic and only speak Spanish. If the crew bosses do not speak Spanish; some of them are being laid off or demoted. Your Comments?
Tags:English, firefighter, Fox News, hispanic, Mexican, Oregon, Spanish, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
* The showdown over Senate legislation that will determine whether or not you will be able to carry a gun on lands controlled by the National Park Service has been postponed until later, as Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma (who had planned to offer the pro-gun amendment) determined he didn't have enough votes. Senator Coburn does plan to find another vehicle to offer his amendment at a later date.
* Several bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives to recognize the right of Americans to carry firearms in national parks: HR 1897 (Paul), HR 5434 (Hensarling) and HR 5646 (Broun). All three bills do basically the same thing, except for Broun's bill which would also encourage hunting on federal lands.
* Rep. John Boozman (R-AR) will soon be introducing a solid concealed carry reciprocity bill. Modeling the old Hostettler bill from previous Congresses, this bill would allow anyone -- who is recognized by his state of residence to carry a firearm concealed -- to carry his gun anywhere in the country. This bill means that even residents of Vermont and Alaska, who can legally carry without a permit, would be given reciprocity by the Boozman bill.Tags:2nd Amendment, concealed gun rights, GAO, Gun Owners of America, gun rights, hunting, John Boozman, Tom CoburnTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith,ARRA Editor: Summary of American Concern: Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid's and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's continued ineptness have moved from moronic to being a serious threat to the Unites States. It is time for them to be replaced with reasoned Democrat leadership. Failure to do so will not only continue to damage our foreign relations but also our economy, judiciary and domestic relations. American cannot afford to continue to tolerate their ineptness. At a minimum, democrats should be concerned that the public's total lack of trust in these individuals could result in a complete repudiation of a democrat led Congress.
On The Floor:Yesterday, the Senate passed 84-12 housing bill (H.R. 3221) after approving an amendment to the bill to extend renewable energy tax breaks and rejecting one to reduce credits on wind energy while extending others longer. After voting down four amendments by Sen. Coburn (R-OK), the Senate then passed 91-4 the omnibus public lands bill (S. 2739). Last night the Senate approved four district court nominees and also confirmed Catharina Haynes to be a judge on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, the first circuit judge confirmed since December. They recessed until 2 PM Monday.
In the Senate, Republicans aired their frustrations at the glacially slow pace of judicial confirmations in the Senate. Senate Democrat leadership have delayed approval of judicial appointments far behind the average of 15 per year for circuit court nominations approved by under Republican leadership during the President Bill Clinton's final two years. The Senate has advanced six appellate nominations so far this Congress. Republicans are most upset about vacancies on the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia . With 19 judicial emergencies and nine openings on the appellate courts, they point out that the Senate must not stall any longer.
News Reports on House Leadership: The storm of opprobrium earned by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi because of her unprecedented rules change to put the Colombia Free Trade Agreement in limbo continues today. In addition to Thursday's scolding Pelosi received from newspapers, today her hometown paper, the San Francisco Chronicle, criticizing her for “playing politics by pandering to free-trade foes.” The New York Post attacked “Pelosi’s Putrid Sellout.” Colombia’s trade minister told Bloomberg that “Not having a trade agreement is almost like having trade sanctions imposed in the sense that you’ve been downgraded . . . .” A former Clinton administration official expressed concern that the international impact of Pelosi's House move, saying, “Behind the scenes people are looking at us and wondering what we are doing. . . . The concern is palpable, especially among countries that are pursuing democracy and open markets.”
The Washington Post reported President Bush statement: “Today’s unprecedented and unfortunate action by the House of Representatives -- led by Speaker Pelosi -- to change the rules governing legislation to implement our trade agreement with Colombia is damaging to our economy, our national security, and our relations with an important ally. It also undermines the trust required for any Administration to negotiate trade agreements in the future.” And House Republican Leader John Boehner said, “We’re doing nothing here but hurting American businesses and American workers. Why? I think the speaker made it very clear. This action today is nothing short of political blackmail.”Tags:5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Columbia, Free Trade, Harry Reid, housing assistance, judicial appointments, Nancy Pelosi, public lands, 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!
"Governor, if your office knew that there would be a projected shortfall in the General Revenues in 2009 then why did you just last week rush through a special session in which you insisted that 95% of the money from the tax increase would be diverted to roads? If there is a shortage, doesn't that decision endanger Medicaid spending, for the children?" by Mark Moore, Arkansas Watch: Governor Mike Beebe , with the help of a cooperative state print media, completely dominated the legislature and got everything he wanted in the Special Session. The state's severance tax for natural gas will be greatly increased, and all of the money will be kept by the government, mostly to spend on roads. Beebe elected not to use any of the funds for a tax cut. None of the bonanza will be shared with the taxpayers.
While he was winning that immediate battle, the decision to keep all of the money in Little Rock certainly raised some questions. Questions like, "why wasn't the severance tax money used for a major tax cut? The state treasury is overflowing while families are hurting. What good are new roads when we can't afford the gas to drive on the roads we've got?"
Those were difficult questions to answer. The state is currently sitting on a $140 million dollar surplus; the natural gas finds are certain to boost tax revenues even without a tax rate increase; and the Governor had made a commitment to eliminate the other half of the sales tax on groceries. With families hurting far worse than state government, why the urgency for a special session to raise taxes even further? It appears Beebe and his friends in the corporate media have gone into spin-overdrive to protect his flank on this one. . . . [Read More]Tags:Arkansas, increased taxes, Media, Mike Beebe, tax surplusTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tired of "Press 1 for English?" when calling someone. We are! Why do Americans have to press 1 for English to call their government? Why do we have to pay for interpreters for those who refuse to learn English? That's what Executive Order 13166 requires - at a cost of $billions to taxpayers.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) is trying to do something about it. She has introduced a bill, S. 2719, to repeal Presidential Executive Order 13166, which forces government offices and federal contractors to provide services in multiple languages.
The order – which was never debated or approved by Congress -- is an attempt by government bureaucrats to force multilingualism on the American people without their consent. The Office of Management and Budget estimates it already costs taxpayers billions of dollars annually. When fully implemented, the cost will be astronomical.
For example doctors and hospitals participating in Medicare face government prosecution if they fail to provide interpreters for non-English speaking patients free of charge. The order also covers state and local government agencies. The American people or their elected representatives never voted to transform the United States into a multicultural ‘Tower of Babel.’ Help repeal it! Click HERE to take action! Tags:English, executive orders, telephone, unfunded manadatesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
This morning, President Bush addressed the Nationto announce his adoption of General David Petraeus’ recommendations for troop levels in Iraq through the end of the summer and the reduction of Army combat tours in Iraq from 15 to 12 months. Bush warned Democrats about using the upcoming war supplemental bill as a vehicle for billions in unrelated domestic spending.
In The Senate: This morning,Senate Republicans took to the floor to decry Senate Democrats’ continuing inaction on judicial nominations. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “It’s been 108 days since this Senate confirmed a federal judge of any kind. It last did so the week before Christmas, on December 18, 2007. Since then, the Senate has made precious little progress on judicial nominations.” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a former chairman of the Judiciary Committee said, “The majority has essentially shut down the confirmation process.” And Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) warned Democrats that business in the chamber could be held up if reasonable numbers of circuit court nominees don’t start being considered.
The Senate hopefully will finally vote on its first circuit court nomination of the year - Catharina Hayes to the 5th Circuit, The are to several district court nominations. After up to four hours of debate, the Senate will vote on confirming the nominees. However, Democrats continue to delay approval of Bush's circuit court nominees leaving the Federal courts stressed due a lack of judges.
The Senate will again resume consideration of H.R. 3221, the vehicle for the housing bill. This morning, there will be two votes on amendments concerning renewable energy tax credits; then the Senate will vote on final passage of the housing bill. Following completion of the housing bill, the Senate will proceed to a public lands bill (S. 2739). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid backed down from a confrontation with Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) over the bill and agreed to let Coburn offer four amendments. Following up to two hours of debate on the amendments, the Senate will vote on passage of the lands bill.
In the House: In what House Republicans have called an “unprecedented” and “outrageous” move, yesterday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced her intention to offer a resolution on a rule change that would strip fast-track rules fore the Colombia Free Trade Agreement that guaranteed a vote within 60 legislative days. If approved this could effectively kill approval of the agreement this year. House Republican Leader John Boehner sharply criticized Pelosi, saying, “Any vote to delay the consideration of the Colombia Free Trade Agreement would violate the spirit of the law and undermine our ability to create more American jobs. Let me be clearer: it would be cheating. . . . Worse, such an action would wreak havoc on our international trade commitments and any future attempts to negotiate any agreement with a foreign nation.”
Pelosi’s move has brought a storm of criticism from editorial pages across the country. The Las Vegas Review Journal writes, “Ms. Pelosi, acting at the behest of the protectionist union interests who now run the Democratic Party, says she'll take the unprecedented step of holding a procedural vote today to remove the required timetable, shielding her members from having to go on the record opposing a free trade pact with our most reliable South American ally.” The Wall Street Journal says, “The Democratic Party's protectionist make-over was completed yesterday, when Nancy Pelosi decided to kill the Colombia free trade agreement. Her objections had nothing to do with the evidence and everything to do with politics, but this was an act of particular bad faith. . . . For all the talk of repairing the U.S. ‘image’ in the world, the Democrats don't really mind harming that image if it pleases the AFL-CIO.” The Washington Post sums up the Democrats’ message: “Drop Dead, Colombia.” Tags:Columbia, Free Trade, General David Petraeus, housing assistance, judicial appointments, Nancy Pelosi, President George Bush, 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!
With General David Petraeus' testimony this week we can see the predisposition of Democrats to dismiss his report. This has already been the path Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. The Republican National Committee (RNC) released the following today.
RNC: The following video highlights Senators Clinton and Obama’s politicization of the War on Terror and complete disregard for the facts and the warnings made by Gen. David Petraeus during his last congressional hearing on Sept 11, 2007. After consistently promising to “always listen to our commanders on the ground,” Barack Obama has blatantly ignored Gen. Petraeus’ recommendations and pledged to enact an immediate and dangerous withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq if elected President. And despite warnings from Gen. Petraeus that “a premature drawdown of our forces would likely have devastating consequences,” Senator Clinton has promised to begin a precipitous withdrawal of American troops within 60 days.
Tags:Barack Obama, Christopher Ward, General David Petraeus, GOP, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, RNC, Troops, videoTo 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, End of Day Updates: I'm sure by now you have heard about liberal Democrat Senator Jay Rockefeller's attack on John McCain. Well, let me correct the reporting of the story. He didn't just attack Sen. McCain; he smeared every American fighter pilot in the United States Air Force and impugned the integrity of our military men and women.
Tuesday, The Charleston Gazette ran an interview with Senator Rockefeller regarding his recent endorsement of Barack Obama. In the interview, Rockefeller attempted to contrast his favorite Democrat with Senator McCain and made the following remark:
"McCain was a fighter pilot, who dropped laser-guided missiles from 35,000 feet. He was long gone when they hit. What happened when they [the missiles] get to the ground? He doesn't know. You have to care about the lives of people. McCain never gets into those issues."
Several of the senator's facts are simply wrong, but far more disturbing is the radical worldview betrayed by such remarks. John McCain was a pilot serving his country during a time of war. Yet Senator Rockefeller, who happens to be chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, speaks about his service with such contempt that the reader is left with the impression that John McCain was the "bad guy." The McCain campaign was quick to respond with a statement from retired Marine Lt. Col. Orson Swindle, who said: "
Senator Rockefeller's statement is an insult to all the men and women who are serving or have served in America's military. Had Senator Rockefeller served himself, he would appreciate and understand that most who have been to war emerge with a much deeper concern for humanity than they otherwise might. If he knew what he was talking about, he would know that John McCain wasn't dropping laser-guided missiles at 35,000 feet in 1967."
Rockefeller, to his credit, did apologize, saying, "I have deep respect for John McCain's honorable and noble service to our country. I made an inaccurate and wrong analogy and I have extended my sincere apology to him. I regret my very poor choice of words." Unfortunately, there is a pattern here. Last week, liberal talk-show host Ed Schultz, while warming up a crowd for Senator Obama, called John McCain a "warmonger." The Obama campaign tried to distance itself from the remarks, but Schultz repeated the accusation Monday morning on CNN.
Then there is the radical leftwing group MoveOn.org, which endorsed Senator Obama just before the Super Tuesday primaries. MoveOn.org has a history of outrageous anti-military rhetoric, including the infamous "General Betray Us" ads the group ran the last time Gen. David Petraeus testified before Congress. The ads were so offensive that 72 senators, including nearly two dozen Democrats, voted to condemn them. Conveniently, Obama dodged this vote, just like he did when he voted "present" over 120 times in the Illinois State Senate.
Democrat Rep. Jack Murtha has called our Marines, "cold blooded killers." Democrat Senator John Kerry accused our soldiers of "terrorizing women and children" in Iraq. Democrat Dick Durbin, the senior senator from Illinois, compared our military police at Guantanamo Bay to Nazis and Soviet gulag guards. And Ted Kennedy once said that "Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management, U.S. management."
I know that most Democrats, like most Americans of all political persuasions, respect our men and women in uniform. But on the political Left today, there is a growing hatred for American servicemen and women. These leftwing radicals increasingly wield great influence and power within the Democrat Party. Senator Rockefeller should be aiming his fire at these radicals who are transforming the party of JFK and FDR into the party of Michael Moore and George Soros. The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee should not be kowtowing to these fringe extremists by adopting their hateful leftwing rhetoric to attack Senator McCain.
Americans may be frustrated with the pace of progress in Iraq, but I believe the "silent majority" is rapidly running out of patience for the "blame America first" crowd and the "God D--- America" chorus. Tags:Gary Bauer, insults, Jay Rockefeller, John Mccain, liberals, military, military pilotsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
After reading this story from neighboring Tennessee, let us know about reported or known abuses by teachers or favors provided to unworthy teachers in your communities. While the majority of teachers are worthy of praise and are critical to our communities, rogue teachers like rogue police officers undermine the public trust. We can only safeguard this trust, aid our faithful teachers, and protect our students by shining the light of truth on these "bad apples" and refusing to tolerate them in our children's classrooms or locker rooms. Stix Reports: If you area parent, you should be concerned about who is teaching your children. And Blue Collar Muse has a great case of who teaches our children, and why parents should be involved in their children's schools.
Lynn Lang, TN's State Board of Education & What We are Teaching Our Kids
Education is supposed to be about learning and knowledge. Today's education seems to be about far more than that, however. From participating in the "Who gets a seat in the Lifeboat?" scenario to curricula dealing with homosexuality, moral issues are taking up more time in schools. Unfortunately, educators often come down on the wrong side of the matter. How refreshing, then, to read about coaches shunned by the schools for their part in what became a criminal case. It would be if that had been what happened!
On The Floor: Senate resumes consideration of H.R. 3221, the vehicle for the housing bill. A substitute amendment containing compromise language worked out by Sens. Dodd and Shelby is the basis for debate. Yesterday, the Senate voted to invoke cloture on the Dodd-Shelby substitute amendment. At least 3 germane amendments to the substitute are still pending and could be voted on later today. Following the housing bill, Reid is expected to turn to a public lands bill (S. 2739).
From Senate & News Sources: Today, General David Petreaus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are back on the Hill delivering their testimony to the House Armed Services Committee. They will testify this afternoon before the House Foreign Relations Committee. Yesterday, Gen. Petraeus and Amb. Crocker summarized to the Senate the “significant but uneven security progress in Iraq” since September. They emphasized the stark contrast between the current security situation and that of January 2007 and noted the many positive political and economic developments as well as the impressive improvements in the Iraqi security forces. As Gen. Petraeus cautioned, though, “the progress made since last spring is fragile and reversible” and thus recommended a period of evaluation and consolidation of security gains after the surge forces complete their rotations out of Iraq.
Democrats in Congress seem to not be paying attention. Many continue to act and speak as if nothing has changed in the country since 2006. Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) chided Democrat Senators, saying, “As I hear the questions and the statements today, it seems to me that there’s a kind of see no progress in Iraq, hear no progress in Iraq, and most of all speak of no progress in Iraq.” The next avenue for legislation concerning Iraq will be the supplemental appropriations bill for the war, which is likely to be on the floor towards the end of this month. It is disappointing that Roll Call reports that not only are withdrawal timetables that have been repeatedly defeated returning, but Democrats are also proposing loading up the troop funding bill with unrelated domestic spending.
As expected yesterday, President Bush formally submitted to Congress the Colombia Free Trade Agreement for approval. The Los Angeles Times and USA Today both have laudable editorials urging approval of the agreement. Tags:General David Petreaus, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Iraq War, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The National Taxpayers Union Foundation released the NTU Rates Congress 2007 today.Their comprehensive ratings covers every roll call vote in the House and Senate that affects tax, spending, regulation, trade, and debt burdens. Based on their individual votes, each Representative and Senator receives a Taxpayer Score (percentage) and a corresponding grade. The numbers speak for themselves; NTU doesn't “tweak” the scores to reward political allies. The Public maylook up individual score histories for their Representative or Senator.
The 2007 rating reviewed a staggering 427 House and 182 Senate roll call votes. In comparison, our 2006 rating covered 199 House and 109 Senate roll call votes. The average Senate Taxpayer Score was 37%, with the House only averaging 35%. In other words, our national leaders only voted for taxpayers one-third of the time.
Arkansas, Representative John Boozman (R - Dist1) had the best NTU score for the Arkansas delegation with an improved score of 69% which was up 12% from his prior years score. Boozman also rose in his Ranking from from 119 to 116 in the House which was difficult with House Republicans returning in general to their former goals of supporting the taxpayers. Republicans, now in the minority, responded to their 2006 drubbing at the polls. House GOP members took the election results as a referendum on their declining fiscal discipline and on refocused on taxpayers' concerns. Thus, they improved in general their pro-taxpayer score by nine points to 69%.
All of Arkansas Democrat delegation saw drops in their percentages and remained with failing (F) grades. Democrats in both chambers saw drops in average scores: 16% to 6% in the House and 15% to 8% in the Senate. These factors may be contributing to the decline in public confidence in the national polls for Democrat leadership in the US Congress.
2007 Results for the Arkansas Delegation Senators:
Mark Pryor (D): F Grade, 6%, Rank 70th (score declined by 7% from 13% in 2006)
Blanche Lincoln (D): F Grade, 9%, Rank 62nd (score declined by 8% from 17% in 2006)
Representatives: Dist 1 - Marion Berry (D): F Grade, 8%, Rank 234 (score declined by 16% from 24% in 2006)
Dist 2 - Vic Synder (D): F Grade, 5%, Rank 320 (score declined by 9% from 14% in 2006)
Dist 3 - John Boozman (R): B- Grade, 69%, Rank 116 (score increased by 12% from 57% in 2006)
Dist 4 - Mike Ross (D): F Grade, 6%, Rank 264 (score declined by 16% from 22% in 2006)Tags:Arkansas, grades, National Taxpayers Union, NTU, US CongressTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Planned Parenthood Kills Record Number of Preborn Babies
by Devon Williams, associate editor, CitizensLink: In Kansas, judge delays hearing on 107 criminal charges. A record 289,650 preborn babies were killed at Planned Parenthood clinics in fiscal year 2006-07, an increase of nearly 25,000 from 2005-06. The nation's largest abortion provider, which received $336 million in taxpayer money last year, is responsible for 25 percent of all abortions in the U.S.
Jenn Giroux, president of Women Influencing the Nation, said the numbers in the 2006-07 annual report show Planned Parenthood is clearly a for-profit business. “What jumped out at me more than ever was the amount of our tax dollars — one third of their budget — (from) taxpayers that completely disagree with killing unborn children,” she told Family News in Focus. “It is horrifying, and taxpayers aren’t going to stand for it much longer.”. . . [Read More]Tags:abortion, Planned Parenthood, preborn babiesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Barack Obama seeks to portray himself as a new type of politician. He wants to lead us, he says, with hope for the future, change in the present and repudiation of the past eight years so that America can exchange the failed policies of the last eight years for those of the past one hundred years, He seeks, if you will, to transcend politics. But if you were to take an objective look at Obama, you could reasonably conclude that Obama transcends politics by making the typical politician appear more honest. With each passing day, a new lie springs forth from Obama’s mouth causing university professors and ivy league graduates to faint at the non-truth that affirms their world view.
In 1996, Barack Obama’s campaign responded to a questionnaire by indicating that Obama favored bans of the manufacturing and selling of guns, opposed parental notification of abortions for minors, and opposed the death penalty. When asked about that, Obama threw his campaign staff under the bus, claiming the staff had sent in the questionnaire . . . [Read More]
Tags:Barack Obama, Ft Hard Knox, RedState, truth, Pinnochobama, PinnochoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Where Did Congress Get the Economic Stimulus Money?
"Donuts verses Doughnuts; it's all the same. The economic stimulus money will be gone but the debt will be with our grandchildren." Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Arkansas U.S. Rep. Mike Ross (D-Dist 4)is known to some to be Blue Dog and to others to be a liberal. He is known in his district as the man who can bring home the "bacon." Not being pro limited government, Ross brings home more Federal funds to Arkansas Dist 4 than any of the three other Arkansas U.S. Representatives.
Last Friday, Rep. Ross spoke in Arkadelphia to the Arkansas County Assessors at DeGray Lake State Park Resort. Ross relating to the Assessors they were important because they they were the avenue for increased property taxes. And we know this congressman likes taxes. Someday, it would be nice to hear a public speaker acknowledge that assessors are important because while assessing people they stand between the government and the property owners to assure that each person is treated equally and fairly.
Obviously, to a Congressman, available taxes are very important. Although having available taxes before spending them in Washington DC is not always required. Ross touted the House Democrats' "paygo rules" claiming that each bill has to include funding before it can be passed. On the surface "paygo rules"appear to be reasonable, but they are in a big confidence game. Learm more about the Democrats PAYGO Face. Ross related that 70% of the bills passed by the current session were funded by cutting wasteful spending. What was that wasteful spending? Wouldn't you like to know which programs or services were cut. No, it wasn't congressional trips and unnecessary congressional hearings.
Rep. Ross said that two bills recently passed that did not meet the "paygo rules." The first was the bill to pay tax rebates under the economic stimulus package and the second was to revamp the tax code to make wealthy persons pay more taxes. Taking the second bill first, although he did not discuss this bill, he was addressing the AMT tax which was established only for the very rich and would be used as bludgeon on middle income families for whom the AMT tax was never to have been applied. The "paygo rules" were not appropriate in this situation because the tax from the AMT was never intended to be collected on the middle class and therefor no offset needed to be considered. It would have been like saying, we plan to steal $50 billion from a 20 to 25 million hardworking middle income taxpayers but since we can't steal the money and we still wish to spend this money, we need to find another way to get the $50 billion because we still want to spend it. Learn more about the AMT issue.
With regard to the economic stimulus package, Ross admitted, "We [i.e, Congress] had to borrow the money" for the economic stimulus rebates." In other-words, they did not have the money, so they borrowed the money with interest to give money to American (and many non-American) taxpayers and non-taxpayers. This one time check expanded the National debt. From whom does Congress intend to get this money in the future to pay down this additional debt? And who did they borrow the money from - China, Japan, EU Banks? Or are they just printing checks backed by the declining good will of the U.S. Government. Doubtful, y, they are robbing the social security funds because Congress has already done this previously. Wonder why they did not exempt themselves or their very rich friends from this economic stimulus rebate?
Rep. Ross encourages his audience to spend the money as fast as you can. Which is a good Democrat axiom. Being from Arkansas, Ross did encourage them to buy American-made products at local stores and shops. Last time I shopped, most local Arkansas stores were full of imported goods. And, what consumer does not wish to save money? Maybe I will spend my stimulus check on gasoline or whole lot of American made Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kreme Doughnuts. Donuts verses Doughnuts; it's all the same. The economic stimulus money will be gone but the debt will be with our grandchildren. What a country! Tags:Bill Smith, borrowed funds, economic stimulus, Mike Ross, National Debt, PAYGO, US CongressTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
On The Floor: Currently, General David Petreaus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker are giving their testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee. At 2:30, they will move to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. They will testify before House committees tomorrow.
Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 3221, the vehicle for the housing bill. A substitute amendment containing compromise language worked out by Sens. Dodd and Shelby is the basis for debate. After lunch, a cloture vote is scheduled on the Dodd-Shelby substitute amendment. Senator Reid has also filed cloture on the underlying bill. Work on the housing bill could be completed this afternoon. Following the housing bill, Reid is expected to turn to a public lands bill (S. 2739). Reid has filed cloture on the motion to proceed to the bill.
“[t]he question now is whether Washington will squander these gains by withdrawing so quickly that we could still lose politically. . . . While Democrats still claim political progress is possible only if the U.S. leaves Iraq, the surge has proved the opposite. Better security required a larger U.S. presence, which in turn has made Iraqis feel more secure about compromise. The political progress has been especially significant at the local level, with greater cooperation from tribal leaders and local councils, most Sunnis saying they'll participate in provincial elections this fall, and more oil money flowing to the provinces from Baghdad.”
FISA returned briefly in the Senate yesterday. Reid (D) asked unanimous consent to extend the now long-expired Protect America Act for another month, but without the critical immunity provisions for telecom companies. McConnell (R) offered to amend the request to add the immunity provisions, but Reid objected. This result leaves us right where we were before: the House refuses to pass the bipartisan Senate bill and has passed its own bill unacceptable to the Senate & White House. Meanwhile, according to CQ Today, lawsuits against telecom companies are advancing while our surveillance capability languishes. Reid has repeatedly tried to blame Republicans for this impasse, but it is the intransigence of the House Democrat leadership that is the primary issue. Tags:FISA, General David Petraeus, housing assistance, Iraq War, public lands, Ryan Crocker, 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!
Charlton Heston known to all of us for his epic films died Saturday at his home in Beverly Hills, California at the Age of 84. Although a Democrat for many years, he became a Republican after Democrats in the Senate blocked the confirmation of Judge Robert Bork, a conservative, to the Supreme Court in 1987. Mr. Heston had supported the nomination and was critical of the Reagan White House for misreading the depth of the liberal opposition. Mr. Heston frequently spoke out against what he saw as evidence of the decline and debasement of American culture. We hope he is has both found peace and is continues to be full of life in the Eternal Arena.
See Also:Charlton Heston, Epic Film Star and Voice of N.R.A., Dies at 84- appeared in some 100 films in his 60-year acting career but remembered chiefly for his monumental, jut-jawed portrayals of Moses, Ben-Hur and Michelangelo . . . The same quality made Mr. Heston an effective spokesman, off screen, for the causes he believed in. Late in life he became a staunch opponent of gun control. Elected president of the National Rifle Association in 1998, he proved to be a powerful campaigner against what he saw as the government’s attempt to infringe on a constitutional guarantee — the right to bear arms. In Mr. Heston, the N.R.A. found its embodiment of pioneer values — pride, independence and valor. In a speech at the N.R.A.’s annual convention in 2000, he brought the audience to its feet with a ringing attack on gun-control advocates. Paraphrasing an N.R.A. bumper sticker (“I’ll give you my gun when you take it from my cold, dead hands”), he waved a replica of a colonial musket above his head and shouted defiantly, “From my cold, dead hands!” . . . [Read More] Tags:Charlton Heston, Christian Conservative, gun rights, movie, NRA, RepublicanTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
As Hillary Clinton came under increasing scrutiny for her story about facing sniper fire in Bosnia, one question that arose was whether she has engaged in a pattern of lying. The now-retired general counsel and chief of staff of the House Judiciary Committee, who supervised Hillary when she worked on the Watergate investigation, says Hillary’s history of lies and unethical behavior goes back farther – and goes much deeper – than anyone realizes.
Jerry Zeifman, a lifelong Democrat, supervised the work of 27-year-old Hillary Rodham on the committee. Hillary got a job working on the investigation at the behest of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Sen. Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair. When the investigation was over, Zeifman fired Hillary from the committee staff and refused to give her a letter of recommendation – one of only three people who earned that dubious distinction in Zeifman’s 17-year career.
Why? “Because she was a liar,” Zeifman said in an interview last week. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.” . . . [Read
Tony Perkins, Washington Update: When it comes to education, more parents may consider themselves pro-school-choice after reading the sobering new report about U.S. dropout rates. The America's Promise Alliance found that less than half of the students in 17 of the nation's 50 largest cities graduate from high school. In Detroit, the number of graduates is almost non-existent. Only 24.9% receive their diplomas in the Motor City, followed by 30.5% in Indianapolis and 34.1% in Cleveland. And the number of "dropout factories" is growing. In the words of former Secretary of State Colin Powell, "When more than one million students a year drop out of high school, it's more than a problem-it's a catastrophe." While the report should serve as an indictment of the public school system, many in the educational establishment refuse to see it for what it is-the greatest justification for real school choice. In Saturday's Wall Street Journal, Jason Riley chronicles the success of the charter school movement and refutes the notion that it would be better to "de-emphasize choice" in favor of improving the current system. "The reality," writes Riley, "is that the former fuels the latter... School choice is clearly making a difference for the better, which justifies expanding it-not abandoning it." To read the entire piece about the importance of empowering parents, click the link below. See Also:School Choice - Now More Than Ever [Wall Street Journal]Tags:dropout, high school, Public Schools, school choice, Tony Perkins, Washington UpdateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: Some background: After crude oil costs, taxes are the second largest contributor to the price paid at the pump. Together Federal and State excise taxes on fuel account for an average cost of approximately 62 cents per gallon (cpg) . Rates include Federal excise taxes 18.4 cpg for gasoline and 24.4 cpg for diesel. Arkansas charges 40.2 cpg for gasoline and 47.2 cpg for diesel. In addition, Arkansas also charges a .3 cpg environmental assurance fee for underground storage tank fund. While Arkansas is by far not the highest, they have just passed an increased severance tax on natural gas to be used to help funds Arkansas highways and roads.
The four House members from Arkansas on Thursday called for congressional hearings into the high cost of diesel fuel that is harming top trucking firms in the state. The written request to top Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee comes as diesel prices hover near a record $4 per gallon. . . . "As businesses across the country are forced to absorb the cost of surging diesel prices, it can be expected that the burden will ultimately fall on the consumer," the lawmakers wrote. " . . . It is imperative that Congress examine the ripple effects caused by record high diesel fuel prices."The delegation's action follows a March decision by the Arkansas Trucking Association to press for congressional hearings on the impact of high diesel prices.The trucking association represents 84,000 Arkansans and more than 300 corporations. They include J.B. Hunt Transport Services, ABF Freight System and USA Truck.
Yes, the high cost of diesel fuel is affecting the economy. Does anyone remember when diesel prices were lower than gasoline prices? The Congressmen's concerns can also be applied the high cost of gasoline. High gasoline prices are impacting the economy because citizens are paying more for gas and have less on discretionary money to by goods and services, travel to and with family, participate in recreation or trips, etc. In addition, low income wage earners and people on fixed incomes are significantly affected!
It is time for Arkansas' four "concerned" Congressmen to do something for their constituents that could quickly impact prices at the pump within Arkansas. They could join together and call for public meetings in Arkansas with state officials starting with with Arkansas Governor Beebe. With the significant increases in excess revenue generated by a myriad of Arkansas taxes, it is time for an emergency (even if temporary) reduction in the Arkansas taxes collected on gasoline and diesel fuel. We need relief -- now!Tags:Arkansas, diesel fuel, gasoline, gasoline tax, Representative, the economy, US Congress, Bill SmithTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
This week Army General David Petreaus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker return to testify to Congress about military and political progress in Iraq. On The Senate Floor: The Senate will resume consideration of H.R. 3221, the vehicle for the housing bill. A substitute amendment containing compromise language worked out by Sens. Dodd and Shelby is the basis for debate. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has filed cloture (scheduled for Tuesday) on the Dodd-Shelby substitute amendment and on the underlying bill.
On security improvements: “Al Qaeda in Iraq has been swept from its former strongholds in Anbar province and Baghdad. The liberation of these areas was made possible by the surge, which empowered Iraqi Muslims to reject the Islamist extremists who had previously terrorized them into submission. Any time Muslims take up arms against Osama bin Laden, his agents and sympathizers, the world is a safer place.”
On the political reconciliation: “In recent months, the Iraqi government, encouraged by our Ambassador in Iraq, Ryan Crocker, has passed benchmark legislation on such politically difficult issues as de-Baathification, amnesty, the budget and provincial elections. After boycotting the last round of elections, Sunnis now stand ready to vote by the millions in the provincial elections this autumn.”
On reflexive opponents of the surge: “Unable to make the case that the surge has failed, antiwar forces have adopted a new set of talking points, emphasizing the ‘costs’ of our involvement in Iraq, hoping to exploit Americans' current economic anxieties. Today's antiwar politicians have effectively turned John F. Kennedy's inaugural address on its head, urging Americans to refuse to pay any price, or bear any burden, to assure the survival of liberty.”
Unfortunately, Democrats seem determined to deny all these achievements. The AP said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Joe Biden (D-DE) “declared last year's troop buildup in Iraq a failure.” However, The Washington Post today quotes Biden admitting, “The biggest mistake we could make is politicizing this, looking at this in terms of political advantage.” CQ Today notes the litany of Democrat criticisms prepared for Gen. Petraeus which range from denying there has been progress at all, to ignoring important benchmarks being met, to moving the goalposts in complaining that laws passed have yet to be implemented.
Meanwhile, the White House is likely this week to submit the Colombia Free Trade Agreement to Congress which begins the countdown clock for consideration and a vote in the House and Senate under fast-track trade negotiating rules. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have op-eds today explaining the importance of the Colombia agreement from a security, economic, and political perspective. Also, Kenneth Duberstein, former Reagan White House chief of staff, and Thomas McLarty, former Clinton White House chief of staff, have an WSJ op-ed on “the need to restore a bipartisan consensus in favor of free trade” and the Colombia agreement. Tags:Columbia, General David Petraeus, housing assistance, Iraq War, 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!
"Sacrifice" details how John McCain, like so many Americans who have answered our Nation's call in combat, understands that glory belongs to the act of being constant to something greater than yourself, to a cause, to your principles, to the people on whom you rely, and who rely on you in return.
Tags:Election 2008, John Mccain, military service, political video, SacrificeTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Clinton Tax Returns Reveals Third World Type Greed
by Steven Nikitas, Ft. Hard Knox: . . . release of tax information that showed that Bill and Hillary Clinton earned a whopping $109 million in the years 2000 through 2007. . . . In the tax filing, it is reported that Bill Clinton has earned more than $51 MILLION in speaking fees alone since he left office. Does anyone remember the absolute explosion of indignation when Republican Ronald Reagan gave one speech in Japan after he left office for $75,000? No, that doesn’t jog the memory.
Bill Clinton reported more than $30 million from book sales, most notably from his cut-and-paste autobiography My Life, while Hillary had book revenues of $10 million. Add up speaking fees, book sales and all their extraneous incomes like Hill’s US Senate salary and Bill’s prez pension and it comes to… $94 million. Which doesn’t quite add up to $109 million. So what is going on here?
What is going on is that Billary are hiding $15 million in income, a tactic strangely reminiscent of the evil rich Republicans that Democrats like the Clintons have been warning us about since they left small-time corruption behind in Arkansas and headed for the big show in Washington and beyond. And most troubling is that the Clintons’ hidden income reportedly is tied to his dealings with billionaire American supermarket magnate Ron Burkle and the oil-rich Middle Eastern nation of Dubai. And this convenient threesome simply represents Bill Clinton (again) selling out his political influence for millions while the usual media ‘wealth watchdogs’ will remain silent. After all, it is their wealth we are talking about now.
What we are witnessing with the Clintons is a third-world form of greed, part of a big movement in “wealth appropriation” to people on the political left. Here in America, as jobs are shipped overseas, as our energy supply is restricted by environmentalists, and as the economy shrinks, socialists are making life more and more difficult for new “wealth creation” by imposing more and more taxation, regulation, enviro restrictions, union demands and bureaucracy on new capitalist enterprises. Meanwhile, Clinton and his friend Al Gore, and thousands like them, are getting richer and richer as the people of America get poorer and poorer. . . . [Read More] Tags:Bill Clinton, Ft Hard Knox, income tax returnsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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