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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, August 01, 2009
Israel Could Strike Iran Before Year's End
CBN News: Israel's window for a military attack on Iran's nuclear facilities is narrowing considerably, and Israeli leaders may have to make a decision to strike before the end of 2009, according to former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton.
Bolton, writing in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal, says Defense Secretary Robert Gates was sent to Israel this week to urge the Israelis not to exercise its military option against Iran. But Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak bluntly stated while standing next to Gates that Israel believes no option -- including the military option -- should be excluded. . . .
The Obama administration has been shifting tactics in recent weeks, somewhat downplaying the expected results from its longstanding plan to negotiate with Iran's dictators. Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton suggested that a "defense umbrella" could cover U.S. allies in the Middle East to protect against Iranian attacks in the event it succeeds in developing nuclear weapons. But Bolton believes that because Israeli leaders know that the missile shield would have imperfections, they will "politely ignore" the offer of a defense shield as a substitute for preventing Iran from getting nuclear weapons in the first place.
"Under the worst case scenario," Bolton writes, "Iran will continue improving its nuclear facilities and Mr. Obama will become the first U.S. president to tie the issue of Israel's nuclear capabilities into negotiations about Iran's. . . . Striking Iran's nuclear program will not be precipitous or poorly thought out. Israel's attack, if it happens, will have followed enormously difficult deliberation over terrible imponderables, and years of patiently waiting on innumerable failed diplomatic efforts. Absent Israeli action, prepare for a nuclear Iran." [Source] Tags:DeNuke Iran, Iran, Israel, John Bolton, nuclear weaponTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Dr. Walter E. Williams: How can political commentators, politicians and academics get away with statements like "Reagan budget deficits," "Clinton budget surplus," "Bush budget deficits" or "Obama's tax increases"? The only answer is that they, or the people who believe such statements, are ignorant, conniving or just plain stupid. Article I, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution reads: "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other Bills." A president has no power to raise or lower taxes. He can propose tax measures or veto them but since Congress can ignore presidential proposals and override a presidential veto, it has the ultimate taxing power. The same principle applies to spending. A president cannot spend a dime that Congress does not first appropriate. As such, presidents cannot be held responsible for budget deficits or surpluses. That means that credit for a budget surplus or blame for budget deficits rests on the congressional majority at the time.
Thinking about today's massive deficits, we might ask: Where in the U.S. Constitution is Congress given the authority to do anything about the economy? Between 1787 and 1930, we have had both mild and severe economic downturns that have ranged from one to seven years. During that time there was no thought that Congress should enact New Deal legislation or stimulus packages along with massive corporate handouts. It took the Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt administrations to massively intervene in the economy. As a result, they turned what might have been a two or three-year sharp downturn into a 16-year depression that ended in 1946. How they accomplished that is covered very well in a book authored by Jim Powell titled "FDR's Folly." Here's my question: Were the presidents in office and congresses assembled from 1787 to 1930 ignorant of their constitutional authority to manage and save the economy?
If you asked President Obama or a congressman to cite the specific constitutional authority for the bailouts, handouts and corporate takeover, I'd bet the rent money that they would say that their authority lies in Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution that reads: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Impost, Excises to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States." They'd tell you that their authority comes from the Constitution's "general welfare" clause. James Madison, the father of our constitution, explained, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one subject to particular exceptions." He later added, "With respect to the two words 'general welfare,' I have always regarded them as qualified by the detail of powers connected with them. To take them in a literal and unlimited sense would be a metamorphosis of the Constitution into a character which there is a host of proofs was not contemplated by its creators." Thomas Jefferson said, "Congress has not unlimited powers to provide for the general welfare, but only those specifically enumerated." That means only those powers listed.
The Constitution provides, through Article V, a means by which the Constitution can be altered. My question to my fellow Americans whether they are liberal or conservative: Has the Constitution been amended to permit Congress to manage the economy? I'd also ask that question to members of the U.S. Supreme Court. I personally know of no such amendment. What we're witnessing today is nothing less than a massive escalation in White House and congressional thuggery. Secure in the knowledge that the American people are compliant and willing to cast off the limitations imposed on Washington by the nation's founders, future administrations are probably going to be even more emboldened than Obama and the current Congress. ---------------- Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of More Liberty Means Less Government: Our Founders Knew This Well.Tags:congress, public ignorance, seperation of powers, US Constitution, Walter E. WilliamsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Gary Bauer: As President Obama was hosting the Beer Summit at the White House, attempting to diffuse a racial controversy sparked by his own comments, another controversy was returning to the front pages. Two months ago, the Washington Times broke the story that political appointees in the Obama Justice Department had overruled career lawyers and stopped the prosecution of members of the New Black Panther Party charged with voter intimidation during the 2008 election.
The Times has stayed on this story, and yesterday reported the name of the official who ordered the case dismissed, “Associate Attorney General Thomas J. Perrelli, the department’s No. 3 political appointee.” Today, the Times reports that one of the Black Panthers named in the voter intimidation complaint “obtained new credentials as a poll watcher ‘at any ward/division in Philadelphia’ just days after the charges against him were dismissed.”
Congressional Republicans have been demanding answers from Attorney General Eric Holder, and they are now demanding that he refile the case. Virginia Representative Frank Wolf said, “In all fairness, he [Holder] has a duty to protect those seeking to vote and I remain deeply troubled by this questionable dismissal of an important voter-intimidation case in Philadelphia.” In addition, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, has asked repeatedly that the career Justice prosecutors be allowed to tell their side of the story. A meeting among top Justice officials involved in the case, Rep. Smith and John Conyers, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, was canceled yesterday and has been rescheduled for next month.
I’m glad to see congressional conservatives fighting hard to defend our cherished freedoms like the right to vote and holding government officials accountable in the administration of justice. But the handling of this case is just another reminder of the myriad ways in which elections have consequences. Tags:Black Panthers, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, US Justice Dept, voter intimidation, votingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Sen. John Thune (R-SD) Delivers Republican Address On Health Care
Senate Republican Policy Committee Chairman John Thune discusses health care reform in the Weekly Republican Address. Thune urges "the right kind of reform," which protects doctors and hospitals from frivolous lawsuits and equalizes the tax code for individuals and employers. Thune also warns that the Democrats' plans are "the mother of all unfunded mandates," as one Democrat governor put it, and expresses his concern about how it will affect the budgets of states like South Dakota.
Tags:GOP, health care, John Thune, SenatorTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Breaking News: House Committee Passed Health Care Bill
Bill Smith, Editor: Tonight, House Democrats pushed a health bill (H.R. 3200) along party lines through the House Energy and Commerce Committee by a vote of 31-28. Five Democrats opposed the bill: Reps. John Barrow (GA); Rick Boucher (VA); Jim Matheson (UT); Charlie Melancon (LA) and Bart Stupak (MI). Four Blue "Lap" Dogs voted to support the bill were Reps. Bart Gordon (TN), Baron Hill (IN), Zack Space (OH) and very disappointingly Mike Ross (AR) who touted himself as a conservative leader. Administration officials, Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) agreed with the four "dogs" on Wednesday to delay the full House vote past August, and to cut of $100 billion over 10 years. The bill is still $900 billion.
The the committee agreed to cap increases in the cost of insurance sold under the bill, and also to give the federal government authority to negotiate directly with drug companies for lower prices under Medicare. Previously, they voted 47-11 to grant 12 years of market protection to high-tech drugs used to combat cancer, Parkinson's and other deadly diseases. The decision was a minor trade off against the White House which was seeking faster patients access to generic versions of costly medicines.
Democrats stopped a Republican effort by 31-28 to strip out a provision allowing the government to sell insurance in competition with private industry. Also, abortion opponents were stopped by a vote of 31-27 to bar insurance plans that offer abortion services from accepting customers with government subsidies. However the committee agreed on a provision saying the government could neither require nor prohibit abortion services in insurance plans sold in the exchange.
Insurance companies would be required to sell coverage to all seeking it, without exclusions for pre-existing medical conditions. The federal government would provide subsidies for lower-income families to help them afford policies that would otherwise be out of their reach. There would be "exchanges" - national marketplaces - where consumers both with and without subsidies could evaluate different policies and choose the one they wanted. Insurance plans sold in the exchange would need government approval before increasing premiums by more than one and half times medical inflation. The main expansion of coverage would not come until after the next presidential election in 2013.
Speaker Pelosi, who previously said a bill would be out of committee before recess, has set a September 15 deadline of any talks to produce a bipartisan compromise. At that time, Pelosi will bring the bill for a full vote by the House. Pelosi said,"Let me assure you: There will be a health care reform bill passed and it will make a big difference in the lives of the American people." Pelosi has also promised a floor vote on a single-payer health care system that would be fully run by the government.
In the Senate, sources advise that Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) has been pressured by the White House and Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and has caved and intends for the Finance Committee to begin voting by September 15. If no bipartisan bill is achieved, then a bill will be tailored to the Democrats and voted on.
House Republican Leader, John Boehner (R-OH), said that "Democrats are in for a long, hot summer once they return to their congressional districts, where Americans are lining up in opposition to a government takeover of health care." However, it is apparent that the Democrats intended to ram through a nationalized health care bill in spite opposition by either Republicans or the general public. Expect the democrats to be hiding out during the August recess while the media and former Obama campaign team pushed for the Democrats national health care bill.
To prevent the irreversible train wreck of the best health care system in the world, IT will be critical for American citizens to make every effort to create a majority change in the U.S. House and to gain seats the U.S. Senate in 2010 Also, it appears that Obama will be forced to make national health care a center piece of his campaign in 2012. Tags:democrats, government healthcare, US House, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
10 Questions For Your U.S. Representative & Senators About ObamaCare
by Gary Bauer: American Values: It’s been a very busy time here in Washington. Fighting ObamaCare has dominated our work in recent days. In fact, we’ve published more than a dozen items on ObamaCare in this daily report in the past two weeks. We were able to stop the march of Big Government socialism for a while. But with news that the “moderate” Blue Dog Democrats have cut a deal with liberal House leaders, ObamaCare is on the move once again. The battlefield now shifts from Capitol Hill to each congressional district, and we’re calling in reinforcements – YOU!
Yesterday, President Obama conceded that there probably won’t be a vote on health care reform until “the end of September or the middle of October.” That means you have August to attend town hall meetings with your representative and senators, stop by their congressional offices, write letters to the editor and educate your friends and family members about the dangers of ObamaCare. To help you in that effort, below are 10 key concerns and questions. Please share this with like-minded folks and those who may be undecided and willing to listen. Thank you for everything you do to defend our shared values in your community!
1. ABORTION - Pro-choice groups, like NARAL and Planned Parenthood, are demanding that abortion be covered in any health care reform bill. In a recent interview with Politico, Laurie Rubiner, vice president for public policy and advocacy at Planned Parenthood, defends this demand by saying, “the alternative would be slashing benefits for millions of women who currently have [private] coverage for abortions…” In addition, key administration officials refuse to rule out abortion coverage. When asked on Fox News Sunday whether taxpayer money would go to pay for abortions, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag replied, “I am not prepared to say explicitly that right now. It’s obviously a controversial issue, and it’s one of the questions that is playing out in this debate.”
Pro-life senators on the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee forced a roll call vote on the issue when Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) attempted to add an amendment to the healthcare bill that would, in her words, “include women’s health clinics that provide comprehensive services … deemed medically necessary or appropriate.” She admitted that such “health clinics” would include Planned Parenthood. The pro-life amendment to prohibit funding of abortion lost 11-to-12.
Question for your Representative and Senators: Will you oppose any health care reform bill that uses my tax dollars to pay for abortions?
2. EUTHANASIA - In a recent New York Post column, Betsy McCaughey, a former lieutenant governor of New York and health care expert, wrote:
“One troubling provision of the House bill compels seniors to submit to a counseling session every five years (and more often if they become sick or go into a nursing home) about alternatives for end-of-life care (House bill, p. 425-430). The sessions cover highly sensitive matters such as whether to receive antibiotics and ‘the use of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.’ This mandate invites abuse, and seniors could easily be pushed to refuse care.”
Question for your Representative and Senators: Will you oppose any health care reform bill that in any way promotes euthanasia?
3. COST - The United States faces a debt crisis. According to many analysts, including Senator Judd Gregg (who is so respected by President Obama that he offered Gregg the post of Secretary of Commerce), the Obama budget will give us $11 trillion of debt at the end of five years and $17 trillion of debt at the end of ten years. (Source: PolitiFact.com)
Question for your Representative and Senators: Why is Congress and the president pushing through a health care bill that would cost another trillion dollars over the next ten years? Shouldn’t we concentrate on getting the debt under control first?
4. RATIONING CARE - According to a July 15th report by The Hill, “The House bill would be paid for by roughly $500 billion in Medicare and Medicaid cuts…” These “cuts” would come as millions of Americans are retiring. Logic suggests that if we are “cutting” hundreds of billions of dollars health care would have to be limited or rationed in someway to accommodate more people. And seniors would be most affected by Medicare cuts.
In addition, advisers to President Obama, such as Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, have suggested that health care should be rationed to certain individuals. Dr. Emanuel once wrote that “services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens … should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia.” (Source)
Question for your Representative and Senators: How can government promise to do more with less? Will you oppose any health care reform bill that in any way limits my access to health care or medicines recommended by my doctor?
5. MORE BURDENS ON SMALL BUSINESSES - Despite a 9.5% (and rising) unemployment rate, the health care bill in the House imposes a new 8% payroll tax on small businesses with payrolls of $400,000 or more that don’t provide health insurance for their employees. This is in addition to the current 15% payroll tax. What this means is that any employer with a payroll of $400,000 dollars or higher will have to pay at least 25% above the salary just to hire someone. Common sense tells you that any struggling small business will likely lay off workers to avoid this additional tax. On the other hand, if the tax is cheaper than the cost of health insurance, larger businesses may opt to cancel their health insurance, forcing employees into the government’s “public option,” and simply pay the 8% fine. (Source: Wall Street Journal, July 15, 2009)
Question for your Representative and Senators: Why are you imposing additional mandates and taxes on small businesses, which create the overwhelming majority of new jobs, in the middle of a severe recession?
6. QUALITY CARE - American health care is better than that in European countries with socialized medicine. The German breast cancer mortality rate is 52% higher than in the United States. Prostate cancer mortality is 604% higher in the United Kingdom and 457% higher in Norway than in the United States. Canadian health care lags behind the United States too. Canadian patients wait twice as long to see a specialist for hip surgery or cancer than we do in the United States. Most Americans say they are satisfied with the U.S. health care system, but more than 70% of Germans, Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders and Britons say that their systems need “fundamental change” or “complete rebuilding.” (Source: National Center for Policy Analysis)
In an editorial on July 26th, the Washington Post criticized President Obama for not “leveling about the consequences of change” when it comes to health care costs versus quality. Here’s what the Post wrote:
“The Congressional Budget Office estimates that new technology accounts for about half the increase in health-care costs over the past several decades. This, for the most part, is a good thing. Adjusted for inflation, health-care spending per person is six times what it was 40 years ago. But no one today would settle for 1960s-style medicine.”
Question for your Representative and Senators: Why are you trying to force us in the direction of more government involvement in health care when everywhere government-run health care has been tried, quality declines and care is rationed?
7. THE PEOPLE ARE BEING IGNORED - According to a recent poll, just 23% of voters believe health care reform legislation will lower costs, while 53% believe it will lead to more expensive care. By a margin of 50% to 23%, voters believe that “reform” legislation will make the quality of care decline. And while voters believe they will get worse care at higher costs, 78% also believe that health care reform will result in middle class tax hikes. In addition, a recent Fox News poll found that 91% of those surveyed have health insurance, 84% said that the quality of their health insurance was either excellent or good and 83% said the quality of health care they receive from their private insurance is either good or excellent. And only 12% of those surveyed said reforming health care was the most important issue Congress should be working on right now. (Source: Rasmussen Reports, July 28, 2009 and Fox News poll July 23, 2009.)
Question for your Representative and Senators: Why are you and the White House rushing this bill through Congress and ignoring the concerns of the American people?
8. LOSS OF FREEDOM - The health care reform legislation under consideration in the House will eventually force all Americans into a government-approved plan. After a five-year grace period, every new insurance policy will have to comply with government mandates, and any policy changes – “altering co-pays, deductibles, or even switching coverage for this or that drug” – invalidates your previous coverage and forces you to choose a government “qualified” plan. In addition, the House plan mandates coverage for every individual. If you are self-employed or choose not buy insurance for whatever reason, the bill imposes a “health care tax” of 2.5% of your income. (Source: CNNMoney.com, July 24, 2009 and Bloomberg.com, July 15, 2009)
Question for your Representative and Senators: Why do you believe bureaucrats can make better decisions than me about what kind of health insurance I should have? And will you guarantee that any health care reform bill passed by Congress will always allow me to choose my own doctor?
9. RACIAL PREFERENCES - Do you care about the race of a doctor who is getting ready to operate on you? Of course not. Most Americans want their doctor to be the best professional available regardless of race or ethnic background. But congressional liberals have a different idea. On page 909 of the House bill, grants to medical schools will be awarded “to entities that have a demonstrated record of the following … training individuals who are from underrepresented minority groups or disadvantaged backgrounds.” (Source: Investors Business Daily, July 27, 2009)
Question for your Representative and Senators: Why are you throwing affirmative action/racial set asides into a health care reform bill?
10. PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS - President Obama has repeatedly said that “no insurance company will be allowed to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition.” That sounds wonderful until you apply common sense, which is in short supply in Washington. What if we made a law that allowed you to buy car insurance after you got into an accident and that required the insurance company to pay for the damage? Wouldn’t many people just wait for an accident before buying insurance? Why wouldn’t many Americans wait until they were sick to buy health insurance?
Question for your Representative and Senators: Isn’t it clear that this provision would drive up the cost of health insurance for everyone? Tags:congressman, Gary Bauer, government healthcare, Obamacare, Representative, Senator, Top 10 Reasons, US House, US SenateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today's Bumper Sticker: If Al Queda wants to demolish the America we know and love, they better hurry because Obama is beating them to it. Tags:al Qaeda, America, Barack Obama, bumper sticker, political satireTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington D. C. - July 31, 2009 - Democrats Play The Blame Game
The Senate began consideration of H.R. 2997, the fiscal year 2010 Agriculture appropriations bill. The bill provides $124.5 billion for the USDA, the FDA, and farm programs. Yesterday, the Senate voted79-17 to pass a bill that provides $7 billion to prevent the highway trust fund from going bankrupt (H.R. 3357). Prior to passage, the Senate voted downa series of Republican amendments designed to pay for the bill by using unspent stimulus funds.
Another day of trouble for Democrats’ health care efforts in Congress caps a week of bad news and bad polling for them. Last night, Roll Callreported, “Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) on Thursday night emerged from a meeting of the gang of six bipartisan health care negotiators to announce that there would be no markup of a bill next week, while stressing that the Senators were committed to seeing the ongoing talks to their conclusion.” Liberal House Democrats are venting their frustration at deals to bring moderate Democrats on board, it’s little wonder that Democrat leaders went casting about for someone to blame yesterday.
The LA Times writes, “In the House, liberals are furious at their leaders for striking a deal with conservative Democrats that would weaken the proposal to create a government insurance program, a dream long cherished on the left. . . . The rising tide of liberal anger sent the White House scrambling, with Obama calling at least one left-leaning lawmaker to offer reassurance before Congress leaves town for its August break.” And even more liberal Democrat senators were complaining yesterday, where Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) “took aim at a key part of the Baucus efforts to craft a bipartisan bill: a proposal to create a system of insurance cooperatives in place of a government plan.”
On top of all the problems among Democrats, Gallup reports another poll that doesn’t bode well for President Obama’s health reform plans. Gallup writes, “Seniors are the least likely of all age groups in the U.S. to say that healthcare reform will benefit their personal healthcare situation. By a margin of three to one, 36% to 12%, adults 65 and older are more likely to believe healthcare reform will reduce rather than expand their access to healthcare. And by 39% to 20%, they are more likely to say their own medical care will worsen rather than improve.”
Insurance companies seem to be a favorite target, though, with Pelosi calling them “villains,” saying they’re “carpet bombing” the health care debate. President Obama said in North Carolina yesterday, “The truth is, we have a system today that works well for the insurance industry, but it doesn't always work well for you.” And Roll Call’s Mort Kondracke noted, “Obama shows unremitting hostility toward one of them: the health insurance industry. In practically every speech he gives or town hall he hosts, there’s a slam at insurance profits and methods . . . .” Why insurers? According to The Washington Post, that’s who the president’s chief pollster is telling him to attack. Yet Democrats howled when GOP pollster Frank Luntz suggested ways for Republicans to talk about health care.
Given Democrats’ desperation to find a villain to blame for their internal problems on health care legislation, it seems that Americans are hearing the Republican message that a government takeover is not the right way to reform the health system. Certainly, all the polls this week suggest that. Tags:2010 Agriculture appropriations, blame game, health care bill, US Congress, Nancy Pelosi, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C., mocking citizens, insurance companies, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Blue Dogs Sell Out - Healthcare 'Fix' Only Scratches Surface
by Jim Brown: Blue Dog Democrats who agreed to a deal yesterday on the House healthcare bill may have achieved political cover by helping improve the legislation slightly, but they have not come close to fixing the major problems it creates. Four Blue Dog Democrats agreed to a deal yesterday with Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Henry Waxman that they say will cut $100 billion from the overall cost of the $1 trillion House healthcare bill. The legislation will now reportedly exempt small businesses with a payroll less than $500,000 from paying for any government-sponsored health coverage.
Lead Blue Dog negotiator, Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR), says the bill's government-funded public insurance option would be a choice for consumers instead of coverage forced on people without health insurance. Former Congressman Ernest Istook (R-OK), a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation, says there is little difference between saying you will spend $900 billion instead of a full trillion.
"This still is an enormous expenditure of money which will not be of benefit to most Americans, and the details still are not in; but it accepts the premise, it seems, that government should get more involved in delivery of our healthcare. And that has risks to the healthcare of most Americans who are satisfied with their coverage today."
Istook says he's not sure he can trust the savings Blue Dogs and Henry Waxman say they will deliver since "government figures are notoriously way off." Also under the changes agreed to yesterday in the House, federal subsidies would be reduced to help lower-income families afford coverage, and the administration would steer away from using Medicare as the blueprint for a proposed government insurance option. . . . voting on the legislation in committee could begin as early as today. The earliest that floor votes could occur would be in September. Tags:Blue Dogs, health care, Obamacare, Socialized medicineTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
28% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President
40% Strongly Disapprove of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President
Obama's Presidential Approval Index rating is -12; the lowest rating yet recorded
49% now say that America’s best days have come and gone
38% believe they are still to come
34% say the country is heading in the right direction
75% want the Federal Reserve to be audited
Overall, 48% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President's performance; the lowest level of total approval yet recorded for this President
51% now disapprove
A plurality of voters now believe the President views American society as unfair and discriminatory
Only 23% believe health care costs will go down if health care reform is passed
53% expect prices would rise
50% expect the quality of care would decline
Tags:audit the Federal Reserve, Barack Obama, approval rating, health care, Rasmussen Poll, Rasmussen ReportsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama, Planned Parenthood, & Genocide of Black Babies
Video hosted by Sonja Schmidt on Pajamasmedia: Barack Obama emphasizes his concern for the well-being of black children, but his followers are probably completely unaware of the literal genocide of black babies that's carried out by one of Barack Obamas most loyal supporters, Planned Parenthood. Don't miss the numbers at the end of the video. And, the government wants to use your tax dollars to fund this continued genocide not only of black babies, but babies of all colors. And their willing to use your tax dollars to support abortions in other countries. Why would President Obama support such an organization? Sonja Schmidt known for her wit and humor via comedy is very serious in addressing the topic in this video. Tags:abortion, babies, Barack Obama, blacks, Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood, pro-life, Sonja Schmidt, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington D. C. - July 30, 2009 - 6 Different Polls Show Skepticism of Obamacare
The Senate will have a senators’ briefing at 3 pm with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. Later in the day, the Senate will begin consideration of a bill to prevent the highway trust fund from going bankrupt, H.R. 3357. The bill would transfer $7 billion into the fund to keep it solvent and allow loans to states to pay for unemployment insurance. The Senate will consider four Republican amendments to the highway trust fund bill, including a substitute from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) to offset the spending in the bill.
Last night, the Senate voted 85-9 to pass H.R. 3183, the fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water appropriations bill. The $34.3 billion bill provides money to the Energy Department, including $10 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration, and water infrastructure projects around the country. Prior to final passage, the Senate rejected an amendment from Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) to cut $13.8 billion in administrative expenses from the Energy Department.
An amendment from Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to prohibit further auto bailouts from TARP funds and distribute government shares of auto companies to taxpayers failed to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a budget point of order against it. There you have it folks, it is not the American Taxpayer that "owns" the bailed out auto companies, it is "Big Government" which is using our money for bailouts that owns the auto companies. And, will TARP ever end?
Six different polls over the last twenty-four hours shows that Americans simply are NOT being convinced by the Democrats’ arguments for a government takeover of health care. No less than five polls yesterday showed bad news for Democrats and President Obama on health care. And today the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press piles on with its own poll showing deep skepticism of the Democrats’ health reform proposals.
Yesterday,Gallup's poll showed that “less than a majority of Americans are convinced that healthcare reform will be beneficial to either the country or to their own personal situations. Americans are less likely to believe healthcare reform will result in improvements to themselves personally than to the national healthcare situation. [And] Americans believe that healthcare reform will increase costs rather than lower them, both nationally and for themselves.”
Even apoll from the government funded NPR found, “[w]hen asked about the [health care] plan now moving through Congress, a plurality of 47 % was opposed and 42% said they were in favor, based on what they had heard about the plan so far.” And by 48%-45% respondents agreed with the statement, “President Obama’s economic policies have run up a record federal deficit while failing to end the recession or slow the record pace of job losses.”
A Time poll found, “By significant margins, survey respondents said they believe the final health-reform legislation is likely to raise health-care costs in the long run (62%), make everything about health care more complicated (65%) and offer less freedom to choose doctors and coverage (56%).”
The New York Times writes about a poll it just conducted with CBS News, “Americans are concerned that revamping the health care system would reduce the quality of their care, increase their out-of-pocket health costs and tax bills, and limit their options in choosing doctors, treatments and tests, the poll found.” By 48%-46% Americans believe that it’s not possible to provide health coverage for most in the country without increasing the budget deficit, something Obama has been pledging to do. In addition, the poll found that respondents disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the budget deficit by 43%-40%. More people in the poll continue to say that Obama is trying to accomplish too much than the right amount.
Meanwhile, there’s the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll. In that poll, for the first time, more Americans disapprove (46%) than approve (41%) of the president’s handling of health care. Also for the first time, more Americans think “Barack Obama’s health care plan” is a “bad idea” (42%) than think it’s a “good idea” (36%); those who think it’s a “bad idea” jumped 10 points in the last month alone. Further, 39% believe that “Barack Obama’s health care plan” will result in the quality of their health care getting worse, and 29% it will stay the same, while only 21% believe it will improve.
Finally, there is today’s poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. Pew finds, “By a 44% to 38% margin, more Americans generally oppose than favor the health care proposals now before Congress. Opposition rises to 56% among people who say they have heard a lot about legislation to overhaul the health care system. Concerns about the costs and increased government involvement in the health care system are volunteered most often by Americans critical of the health care proposals.”
At minimum, the public is skeptical of the Democrats’ plans for a government takeover of the health care system and see that government involvement is likely to raise health care costs for themselves and the government at a time of record deficits. Consider that many of non-skeptical responses in the polls are from people who are in fact neither for or against the idea of nationalized health care because they do not know the facts or have been mislead by a biased certain media outlets. Many people don't have take time to seek the facts because they are buried trying to make ends meet in the Obama recession. Then there are those influenced by information from groups they trusted for honest information on health care benefits. Groups, like AARP who supported Obama, who are now willing to mislead their senior members and support a government run health care program that would lead to increased promotion of "end of life" options and minimizing available corrective care for seniors by their doctors. However, with increased information, the informed public is turned off by the deceptive government run health care. Maybe it is time for polls to be brutally honest and ask questions like: Do you favor euthanizing (killing) your grandmother or grandfather to reduce health care costs? Your very active mother just turned 65 , should she be denied access to knee surgery by the government? Tags:health care, polls, US Congress, 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!
Your loved one denied surgery - a government bureaucrat decided it isn't needed.
Your hard-earned tax dollars funding abortions liberals in Congress decided they are needed.
Congress will soon vote on President Obamas healthcare bill a bill limiting our choices to preserve life and expanding the choice to end one.
Our greatest generation denied care. Our future generation denied life
Call your Senator.
Tags:abortion, elderly, FRC, government healthcare, seniors, Socialized medicine, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Dr. Thomas Sowell: After many a disappointment with someone, and especially after a disaster, we may be able to look back at numerous clues that should have warned us that the person we trusted did not deserve our trust. When that person is the President of the United States, the potential for disaster is virtually unlimited.
Many people are rightly worried about what this administration's reckless spending will do to the economy in our time and to our children and grandchildren, to whom a staggering national debt will be passed on. But if the worst that Barack Obama does is ruin the economy, I will breathe a sigh of relief.
He is heading this country toward disaster on many fronts, including a nuclear Iran, which has every prospect of being an irretrievable disaster of almost unimaginable magnitude. We cannot put that genie back in the bottle-- and neither can generations yet unborn. They may yet curse us all for leaving them hostages to nuclear terror. Conceivably, Israel can spare us that fate by taking out the Iranian nuclear facilities, instead of relying on Obama's ability to talk the Iranians out of going nuclear.
What the Israelis cannot spare us, however, are our own internal problems, of which the current flap over President Obama's injecting himself into a local police issue is just a small sign of a very big danger. Nothing has torn more countries apart from inside like racial and ethnic polarization. Just this year, a decades-long civil war, filled with unspeakable atrocities, has finally ended in Sri Lanka. The painful irony is that, when the British colony of Ceylon became the independent nation of Sri Lanka in 1948, its people were considered to be a shining example for the world of good relations between a majority (the Sinhalese) and a minority (the Tamils). That all changed when politicians decided to "solve" the "problem" that the Tamil minority was much more economically successful than the Sinhalese majority. Group identity politics led to group preferences and quotas that escalated into polarization, mob violence and ultimately civil war.
Group identity politics has poisoned many other countries, including at various times Kenya, Czechoslovakia, Fiji, Guyana, Canada, Nigeria, India, and Rwanda. In some countries the polarization has gone as far as mass expulsions or civil war. The desire of many Americans for a "post-racial" society is well-founded, though the belief that Barack Obama would move in that direction was extremely ill-advised, given the history of his actions and associations.
This is a president on a mission to remake American society in every aspect, by whatever means are necessary and available. That requires taking all kinds of decisions out of the hands of ordinary Americans and transferring them to Washington elites-- and ultimately the number one elite, Barack Obama himself. Like so many before him who have ruined countries around the world, Obama has a greatly inflated idea of his own capabilities and the prospects of what can be accomplished by rhetoric or even by political power. Often this has been accompanied by an ignorance of history, including the history of how many people before him have tried similar things with disastrous results.
During a recent TV interview, when President Obama was asked about the prospects of victory in Afghanistan, he replied that it would not be victory like in World War II, with "Hirohito coming down and signing a surrender to MacArthur." In reality, it was more than a year after Japanese officials surrendered on the battleship Missouri before Hirohito met General Douglas MacArthur for the first time.
This is not the first betrayal of his ignorance by Obama, nor the first overlooked by the media. Moreover, ignorance by itself is not nearly as bad as charging full steam ahead, pretending to know. Barack Obama is doing that on a lot of issues, not just history or a local police incident in Massachusetts. While the mainstream media in America will never call him on this, these repeated demonstrations of his amateurism and immaturity will not go unnoticed by this country's enemies around the world. And it is the American people who will pay the price.
------------- Thomas Sowell is an American economist, social commentator, and author of dozens of books. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Chicago and degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University. He is a retired professor of Economic and presently is a Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow, The Hoover Institution, Stanford University.See also Sowell's article: A Post-Racial President? Tags:Barack Obama, Disaster, economy, nuclear attack, Thomas SowellTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Deadly Doctors - Obama's Advisers Want to Ration Care for People Over Age 65
by Betsy McCaughey, NY Post:The health bills coming out of Congress would put the decisions about your care in the hands of presidential appointees. They'd decide what plans cover, how much leeway your doctor will have and what seniors get under Medicare. Yet at least two of President Obama's top health advisers should never be trusted with that power.
Start with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. He has already been appointed to two key positions: health-policy adviser at the Office of Management and Budget and a member of Federal Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. Emanuel bluntly admits that the cuts will not be pain-free. "Vague promises of savings from cutting waste, enhancing prevention and wellness, installing electronic medical records and improving quality are merely 'lipstick' cost control, more for show and public relations than for true change," he wrote last year (Health Affairs Feb. 27, 2008).
Savings, he writes, will require changing how doctors think about their patients:Doctors take the Hippocratic Oath too seriously, "as an imperative to do everything for the patient regardless of the cost or effects on others" (Journal of the American Medical Association, June 18, 2008). Yes, that's what patients want their doctors to do. But Emanuel wants doctors to look beyond the needs of their patients and consider social justice, such as whether the money could be better spent on somebody else. Many doctors are horrified by this notion; they'll tell you that a doctor's job is to achieve social justice one patient at a time. Emanuel, however, believes that "communitarianism" should guide decisions on who gets care. He says medical care should be reserved for the non-disabled, not given to those "who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens . . . An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia" (Hastings Center Report, Nov.-Dec. '96). Translation: Don't give much care to a grandmother with Parkinson's or a child with cerebral palsy.
He explicitly defends discrimination against older patients: "Unlike allocation by sex or race, allocation by age is not invidious discrimination; every person lives through different life stages rather than being a single age. Even if 25-year-olds receive priority over 65-year-olds, everyone who is 65 years now was previously 25 years" (Lancet, Jan. 31). The bills being rushed through Congress will be paid for largely by a $500 billion-plus cut in Medicare over 10 years. Knowing how unpopular the cuts will be, the president's budget director, Peter Orszag, urged Congress this week to delegate its own authority over Medicare to a new, presidentially-appointed bureaucracy that wouldn't be accountable to the public.
Since Medicare was founded in 1965, seniors' lives have been transformed by new medical treatments such as angioplasty, bypass surgery and hip and knee replacements. These innovations allow the elderly to lead active lives. But Emanuel criticizes Americans for being too "enamored with technology" and is determined to reduce access to it. Dr. David Blumenthal, another key Obama adviser, agrees. He recommends slowing medical innovation to control health spending. Blumenthal has long advocated government health-spending controls, though he concedes they're "associated with longer waits" and "reduced availability of new and expensive treatments and devices" (New England Journal of Medicine, March 8, 2001). But he calls it "debatable" whether the timely care Americans get is worth the cost. (Ask a cancer patient, and you'll get a different answer. Delay lowers your chances of survival.)
Obama appointed Blumenthal as national coordinator of health-information technology, a job that involves making sure doctors obey electronically delivered guidelines about what care the government deems appropriate and cost effective. In the April 9 New England Journal of Medicine, Blumenthal predicted that many doctors would resist "embedded clinical decision support" -- a euphemism for computers telling doctors what to do. Americans need to know what the president's health advisers have in mind for them. Emanuel sees even basic amenities as luxuries and says Americans expect too much: "Hospital rooms in the United States offer more privacy . . . physicians' offices are typically more conveniently located and have parking nearby and more attractive waiting rooms" (JAMA, June 18, 2008).
No one has leveled with the public about these dangerous views. Nor have most people heard about the arm-twisting, Chicago-style tactics being used to force support. In a Nov. 16, 2008, Health Care Watch column, Emanuel explained how business should be done: "Every favor to a constituency should be linked to support for the health-care reform agenda. If the automakers want a bailout, then they and their suppliers have to agree to support and lobby for the administration's health-reform effort." Do we want a "reform" that empowers people like this to decide for us?
Betsy McCaughey is founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths and a former New York lieutenant governor.View this video where Betsy McCaughey talks with former Sen. Fred Thompson and "Exposes Obama Health Care Lies."
Tags:Betsy McCaughey, David Blumenthal, Ezekiel Emanuel, Fred Thompson, Rahm Emanuel, rationed care, seniorsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington D. C. - July 29, 2009 - Gallup Poll Bad News for Obama
The Senate resumed consideration of H.R. 3183, the fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water appropriations bill. The $34.3 billion bill provides money to the Energy Department, including $10 billion for the National Nuclear Security Administration and water infrastructure projects around the country.
Yesterday, the Senate rejected an amendment to the bill from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) which would have prohibited funds from the bill being used for projects in the committee report that have not been authorized by legislation. Please excuse the satire, but maybe Sen. McCain is starting to wake up and realize that his "My Friends" have never been the people across the Senate floor. It is a bad day in for Americans 1) when this type of amendment even has to be offered and 2) when the government can spend money on anything even when not authorized by Congress. The Constitution, ignored by many, requires Congress to FIRST authorized projects and then SECOND appropriate funds before the authorized projects can proceed. That means many federal projects, agencies etc. might be authorized but some or even a majority of these might not have funds appropriated thus they could not be done. Why because good or bad ideas required that money be available and not that the executive branch could spend money on anything and that we would spend based on what money we had available or could reasonably "borrow." and not in the fictitious credit line of indebtedness created by the Federal government spending on items not even authorized.
Also yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-6 to send Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the full Senate. Six of the seven Republicans voted not to send the nomination to the floor. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) supported the nominee stating that she was "left of center" but the "president deserves deference on well-qualified candidates." Graham fell in line with the new criteria for judges established for by the President by stating "I feel good about Judge Sotomayor." Graham continue to be a great disappointment for conservatives who see him as the "great compromiser" and one who could have voted for confirmation of the likes of Dr. Josef Mengele as Surgeon General "in deference to the president." Graham may represent the desires of the people of South Carolina but he does not speak for or represent the heartbeat of the Republican Party and conservatives in America.
An important Gallup poll on health reform today has bad news for President Obama and the Democrats on health care: Americans aren’t buying their pitches. A plurality in the poll believes a new health care bill will “worsen” their health care and “reduce” their access to care. Less than half of the respondents believe it will improve or expand access for everyone else.
A key selling point from the administration has been that it will reduce health care costs. Just last week, President Obama said, “[I]t’s about the fact that the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid. So let me be clear: If we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit.” But, Gallup writes, “It appears to be a commonly held belief that healthcare reform will increase costs for the country as a whole and for the respondents personally, rather than decreasing these costs.” Indeed, by two to one (34%-18%) Americans believe the cost of their own health care will go up under these reforms. Forty-five percent believe costs will go up nationally and only 14% see a reduction in costs nationally.
Beyond cost, more Americans believe the health care legislation will worsen their own medical care than improve it. Thirty-four percent believe their own health care will worsen while only 26% believe it will be improved; 29% believe it will make no change at all.
And in terms of access to health care, more Americans believe the legislation would reduce their personal access to health care (29%) than expand it (21%), while 39% believed it would make no change. Less than half (47%) believe that access to health care would be expanded nationally, while 29% say it would reduce access and 13% believe it would have no effect. Interestingly, only 29% of Democrats believe it would improve their own access to health care.
Gallup’s summary of the poll results is dreadful for proponents of Democrats’ health reform plans. “These results do not coalesce into a terribly optimistic picture of Americans' views of the perceived impact of health care reform: Whether the focus is access to healthcare or the quality of care, less than a majority of Americans are convinced that healthcare reform will be beneficial to either the country or to their own personal situations. Americans are less likely to believe healthcare reform will result in improvements to themselves personally than to the national healthcare situation. Americans believe that healthcare reform will increase costs rather than lower them, both nationally and for themselves.” Tags:Barack Obama, Gallup Poll, health care, Lindsey Graham, Sonia Sotomayor, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Gary Bauer: The Obama Administration, devoting its energy to browbeating Israel, continues to downplay the threat from Islamofascism. Meanwhile, here’s a brief review of today’s headlines from the “front lines.”
Yesterday in Falls Church, Virginia, just 8 miles from the White House, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali was sentenced to life in prison for his role in an Al-Qaeda conspiracy to kill President Bush. Ali was valedictorian of the Islamic Saudi Academy in nearby Alexandria, Virginia. The Islamic Saudi Academy has been regularly criticized for exposing students to radical textbooks. As the convicted terrorist left the courtroom, he was cheered by a large crowd of supporters. I hope the FBI was taking photos.
In North Carolina, seven Muslim men were charged with being part of a jihadist cell that planned a series of attacks abroad. Several of them are Muslim converts, including Daniel Patrick Boyd, who traveled to Israel in 2007 hoping to pull off attacks there. Boyd lived in a lakeside home in a rural area near Raleigh, where he and his family ran a dry-wall business while learning to wage war for Allah at night.
Exterminators will tell you that if you see a roach in your home it almost always means you have hundreds more breeding in the dark places between the walls. How many more jihadists do we have living among us? How many Saudi-funded schools and mosques are teaching hatred right under our nose? The Obama Justice Department might want to spend fewer dollars trying to put former Bush officials in jail and more dollars protecting the homeland. Tags:Gary Bauer, homegrown Muslim, jihadists, Homeland Security, Islamofascism, jihadTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Does Marion Berry (AR-01) Accept Federal Farm Subsidies?
So which is it, Congressman? View the following video and referenced articles to find the truth! Marion Berry has long denied that he owns any farms that accept subsidies, yet his response to a question on the topic yesterday seems to contradict this. And the data shows "slick" Berry is may seem more dim witted with age but he has been more than smart enough to fleece the public for years.
The Other King of Pork -- AR Representative Marion Berry - Congressman Marion Berry (D-AR) promises more pork barrel spending now that the Democrats are in charge of Congress. This is no surprise. Last year, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette wrote, "Arkansas’ Rep. Marion Berry would like to be known as the king of pork. “Nothing would please me more,” he says. . . .
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