News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Follow @arra Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Rasmussen Reports: Hucakabee Leading GOP As Potential Candidate
Rasmussen Reports (10/16/09): Nationwide Republican voters: Pick to represent the GOP in the 2012 Presidential:
- 29% Mike Huckabee
- 24% Mitt Romney
- 18% Sarah Palin
- 14% Newt Gingrich
- 4% Tim Pawlenty
- 6% Some other candidate
- 7% Undecided
Least Like to see get the nomination:
- 28% Tim Pawlenty
- 21% Sarah Palin
- 20% Newt Gingrich
- 9% Mitt Romney
- 8% Mike Huckabee
- 78% Mitt Romney & Mike Huckabee
- 75% Sarah Palin
- 69% Newt Gingrich
- 45% Tim Pawlenty H/T eGOPNews Tags:candidate, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, presidential candidate, Rasmussen Reports, Sarah Palin, Tim PawlentyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
ReRun Night - A great Video - "The Government Can"
The following was run on August 31, 2009. With everything that is going on, it is time again for some good music and a smile: Video by Tim Hawkins - "The Government Can." You will be smiling and jumping while at the same time agreeing on what the government is doing to you (us). Thank you, Tom Hawkins! [Video]
Tags:comedy, government, government waste, health care, parody, socialism, taxes, Tim Hawkins, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Love Ann Coulter's commentary and pointed banter. However, much of the banter was removed to highlight Coulter's important points. To enjoy the complete article with banter, her full article linked below. Photo provided by a reader. Seemed relevant to Ann's article and the present state of affairs. Thank you Ann Coulter and God Bless our troops including Commanding General Stanley McChrystal.
--------------- by Ann Coulter: The question of whether President Obama should send more troops to Afghanistan misses the point. . . . The most important part of warfare is picking your battlefield, and President Bush picked Iraq for a reason. Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan attacked us on 9/11 -- or the dozen other times American embassies, barracks and buildings came under jihadist onslaught since Jimmy Carter presided over "regime change" in Iran in 1979. Both countries -- and others -- gave succor to terrorists who had attacked the U.S. repeatedly, and would do so again.
As liberals endlessly reminded us during the three weeks of war in Afghanistan before the U.S. military swept into Kabul, Afghanistan has all the makings of a military disaster. It is mountainous, cave-pocked, tribal, has no resources worth fighting for and a populace that makes Khalid Sheikh Mohammed look like Alistair Cooke.
By contrast, Iraq had a relatively educated, pro-Western populace, but was ruled by a brutal third-world despot. . . . Not only could regime change in Iraq work, but Iraq's countryside was susceptible to America's overwhelming air power. Also, Iraq has fabulous natural resources. Once the U.S. got control of Iraq's oil fields, the Shia, Sunni and Kurds could decide to either prosper together or starve together. . . . By contrast, there aren't a lot of sticks that can be used in a wasteland like Afghanistan, where the people live in caves and scratch out a living in the dirt. . . .
But Democrats couldn't care less about military strategy . . . Liberals sneered at Bush's description of Iraq as the "central front of the war on terror" and a step toward the "democratization of the Middle East" . . . By design, Iraq was the central front in the war on terrorism. Any fanatic who hated the Great Satan, owned an overnight bag . . . was lured across the border into Iraq ... to be met by the awesome force of the U.S. military. Bush chose the battlefield that made the best flytrap for Islamic crazies and also that was most amenable to regime change.
Now nearly all denizens of the Middle East want the U.S. to invade them, so they can live in democracy, too. As Thomas Friedman inadvertently admitted, Lebanese voters credit their recent free election, in which the voters threw out Hezbollah, to President Bush. . . . Brave Iranian students who protested the tyrant Ahmadinejad did so because of Iraq -- and then they stopped because of Obama's indifference. Sadly for them, America's foreign policy will now be based on a calculus of political correctness, not national security.
During the campaign, Obama prattled on about Iraq being a "war of choice" and Afghanistan a "war of necessity" for no more thoughtful reason than a desire to win standing ovations from treasonous liberals. But lo and behold, those very liberals who were champing at the bit to fight in Afghanistan are suddenly full of objections to the war there, too. As Frank Rich points out: "Afghanistan is not Iraq. It is poorer, even larger and more populous, more fragmented and less historically susceptible to foreign intervention." . . .
Afghanistan is a brutal battlefield, largely invulnerable to modern warfare -- something the British and Russians learned. But as our military under Bush showed the world in 21 days, scimitar-wielding savages are no match for the voluntary civilian troops of a free people.
Bush removed the Taliban from power, captured or killed the lunatics and, for the next seven years, about the only news we heard out of Afghanistan were occasional announcements of parliamentary elections, new schools, water and electricity plants.
The difficult choice Obama faces in Afghanistan is entirely of his own making, not his generals' and certainly not Bush's. It was Obama's meaningless blather about Afghanistan being a "war of necessity" during the campaign that has moved the central front in the war on terrorism from Iraq -- a good battleground for the U.S. -- to Afghanistan -- a lousy battlefront for the U.S.
And it was Obama's idea to treat war as if it's an ordinary drug bust, reading suspects their Miranda rights and taking care not to put civilians in harm's way. A Democrat is president and, once again, America finds itself in an "unwinnable war." I know Democrats will never learn, but I wish the voters would. [Full Article] Tags:Afghanistan, Ann Coulter, Barack Obama, General Stanley McChrystal, IraqTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: If Barack Obama had campaigned on what he has actually done in his first 300 days in office, would he have been elected? That's the question somany are asking today.
If Obama had told us he would appoint 34 Czars, reporting only to himself and not vetted or confirmed in the constitutional way, building a powerful unitary executive branch of government, would he have been elected? What if he had told us that his Green Jobs Czar had been a Communist, that the Science Czar wrote in a college textbook that compulsory "green abortions" are an acceptable way to control population growth, and that the Diversity Czar has spoken publicly of getting white media executives to "step down" in favor of minorities?
If Obama had told us he would take over the automobile industry faster than any socialist dictator ever nationalized an industry, fire the CEO of General Motors and replace him with a Democratic Party campaign contributor, would Obama have been elected? If Obama had campaigned on closing down thousands of profitable car dealers, nearly all Republicans, would we have believed that this vindictive financial retaliation against those who didn't vote for Obama could happen in America?
If Hugo Chavez, the Communist who nationalized most of Venezuela's industries, had said before the election that "Comrade Obama" would nationalize the U.S. automobile industry and "end up to his right," would anybody have believed it? If talk shows had warned against such a socialist takeover, would the Obama-loving media have accused them of McCarthyism?
If Obama had told us he would spend $3 billion in a Cash for Clunkers program that would use taxpayers' funds to buy mostlyforeign cars and grind up the used American cars traded in to make them unusable, would he have been elected?
If Obama had told us that his Stimulus package is a sham because it does not create private-sector jobs (as a tax cut would do), so that the unemployment rate has risen to nearly 10 percent, with 15 million Americans unemployed plus another 11 million underemployed, could he have been elected?
If Obama had told us his Supreme Court pick would be a woman who said repeatedly that a "Latina woman" would make better decisions than "a white male," that his pick for chief State Department lawyer would be a transnationalist who wants to integrate foreign law into law binding on U.S. citizens, and that his pick for Regulations Czar argues that animals are entitled to have lawyers to sue humans in court, would Obama have been elected?
If we had known that Obama would be totally incompetent as commander-in-chief of his chosen war in Afghanistan, and would not speak to the general in the field for 70 days, ignoring his dire report for six weeks, would Obama have been elected?
If Obama had told us he would have the government guarantee 90 percent of all U.S. mortgages, imposing $5 trillion in off-budget debt on U.S. taxpayers who had faithfully made their own mortgage payments, would he have been elected? And what if Obama had told us he would have the taxpayers take over 80 percent of all student loans at a cost of $1 trillion over the next decade?
If Obama had told us that he would make the U.S. government a major shareholder in Citigroup (one of the world's largest banks), would you have believed he could get away with this socialist takeover?
If Obama had admitted that his health care plan would include the same provisions for which he ran negative TV ads against Hillary Clinton (a federal mandate requiring every American to buy health insurance) and against John McCain (a tax on high-cost employer-based plans), would Obama have been elected?
And what if Obama had told us that his federal health plan would pay for all abortions without regard to the Hyde Amendment, and provide full health care (including private doctor visits) to immigrants without requiring proof of legal residence?
If Obama had campaigned on increasing federal spending and debt from a multi-billion-dollar level to multi-trillions, would he have been elected? And what if Obama had told us that his promise to "spread the wealth around" would balloon his first year's budget deficit to $1.6 trillion?
If Obama had told us that his promise to "spread the wealth around" meant wiping out the Republican welfare reform of 1996 and increasing annual welfare spending by 39 percent to almost $1 trillion a year by the end of his first term, would he have been elected?
If Obama had declared during his campaign that his first major speech abroad would be to the Muslim world, and that he would proclaim in Muslim Turkey that "one of the great strengths of the United States is . . . we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation," would he have been elected?
----------------- Prior Articles by Phyllis Schlafly;Do Not Fall for Co-Op Obamacare Compromise Tags:Barack Obama, big government, Phyllis Schlafly, Socialization of AmericaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
This is the first, we have heard of this proposed United Nations Climate Change Treaty establishing a new "world government," but it needs to be immediately investigated. All inputs and sources welcome. Here is the story and video!
On October 14, Lord Christopher Monckton, a noted climate change expert, gave a presentation at Bethel College in St. Paul, MN in which he issued a dire warning regarding the United Nations Climate Change Treaty which is scheduled to be signed in Copenhagen in December 2009. [Video]
Lord Monckton served as a policy adviser to Margaret Thatcher. He has repeatedly challenged Al Gore to a debate to which Gore has refused. Monckton sued to stop Gore's film "An Inconvenient Truth" from being shown in British schools due to its inaccuracies. The judge found in-favor of Monckton, ordering 9 serious errors in the film to be corrected. Lord Monckton travels internationally in an attempt to educating the public about the myth of global warming. Tags:American sovereignty, climate change, national sovereignty, treaty, Lord MoncktonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington D. C. - Oct 16, 2009 - Congress is Worse than foxes in the hen house!
The Senate is in "recess" until Monday at 2 PM. But the democrat minions of deception (at present three not counting the White House staff) are at work in Sen. Reid's office behind closed doors crafting a new health care bill which will result in too much spending, too much government expansion into our lives and too many too taxes. However, today, Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) met this morning by conference call with numerous bloggers and reporters. Although sounding "battle worn" like a general calling for reinforcements from the front lines, Hatch cut through the rhetoric and provided candid revealing answers to any questions asked.
Yesterday, the Senate approved the conference report for the $34 billion fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water appropriations bill (H.R. 3183), clearing it for the president’s signature. Also yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 1776, a $247 billion bill to prevent cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates for doctors. A cloture vote is scheduled for Monday evening. If passed this is only a stop gap measure.
The Obama administration released the first real numbers on jobs the $787 billion stimulus bill supposedly “saved or created” yesterday, but once again all Americans have seen is that the bill has fallen far short of the projections and assurances of the White House. The Washington Post reports today that “the reports mark the first time the government has attributed a number of actual jobs -- however incomplete -- to the stimulus program, as opposed to estimates.” The administration was quick to laud the reports, with Jared Bernstein, chief economic advisor to Vice President Joe Biden saying, “The direct count by Recovery Act recipients of jobs created or saved from this small percentage of the recovery act exceeds our projections.”
When the stimulus was first being sold to Congress by President Obama and his advisers, they said that the bill would create 4 million jobs and keep unemployment from exceeding 8%. Since then 3.4 million Americans have lost their jobs and unemployment is approaching 10%, but the White House wants the country to believe that the stimulus “exceeds [their] projections?” However, this week’s report does provide the opportunity to see if any of this budget-busting spending is having an effect where it is most needed. Unfortunately, that doesn’t appear to be the case, according to The New York Times. “Businesses with federal stimulus contracts have created few jobs in states with the worst unemployment rates, according to data released Thursday by the federal government,” the Times reported yesterday. “One thing was clear: while the federal contracts have created or saved 30,383 jobs, they were not directed to states with the highest jobless rates. Businesses in Michigan, whose 15.2% unemployment rate in August was the highest in the nation, reported creating or saving about 400 jobs. Businesses in Nevada, which had the next highest unemployment rate, reported 159. And businesses in Rhode Island, which had the third-highest unemployment rate, 12.8%, reported the fewest jobs: just six.”
And there are even questions being raised today as to whether these numbers really reflect Americans being put back to work. New York Post columnist Charlie Hurt decided to look into a project that was reported by the administration as creating 50 jobs in Danville, Virginia: “Take one of this year’s most astonishingly successful federal-stimulus contracts touted on the administration’s Web site,” Hurt writes, “a grant for a Head Start program in Danville, Va. With less than $35,000, the Obama administration managed to create or save 50 jobs in Danville, they boast.” But, Hurt found, “No one was more mystified by this claim than the man who keeps the books for the Community Improvement Council, which won the federal grant. ‘It hasn’t created jobs, but it’s helped improve 50 jobs,’ Roy Garner explained. The money has gone for staff training, pay raises and playground repair. Wanting to be helpful, Garner added, ‘It’s helped prepare 50 people for keeping their jobs.’ But asked if any of the jobs were on the chopping block before the federal government arrived on the scene with all our money, Garner replied simply, ‘No.’”
3.4 million jobs have been lost since the stimulus bill was signed. Unemployment is approaching 10%. Stimulus money is not creating jobs in the states with the highest unemployment. And in the places where jobs are supposedly being created, we’re hearing, “It hasn’t created jobs, but it’s helped improve 50 jobs.” And, we are supposed to believe the Democrats again! We are supposed to trust placing one-sixth of our economy (health care) into the hands of the Government. The truth is most Americans do not trust them. But, they are for the moment proceeding with the planned theft of our choices and options while making us pay for the privileged planned process.
Congress has become worse than foxes in the hen house. They are stealing the whole house and our means to replace the house and the chickens. It often takes a con to know a con. Bernie Madoff must be smiling or, should we say it, "POd. While Madoff serves time for his ponzi scheme, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel huddles in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office and they plan the biggest con to date. Recall that the Democrats have 60 votes in the Senate and control the majority in the House. However, Reid does not trust that he can get all his own party to vote with hm. So as Reid publicly touts, he may change the Senate rules so they can avoid the few democrat senators or who may still have a conscience or who still listen to the majority of their constituents who oppose nationalization of health care. Tags:government healthcare, Harry Reid, Orrin Hatch, Rahm Emanuel, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C.To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama's Anita Dunn - Mao Tse Tung (70 million murdered) - the Connection?
Anita Dunn, President Obama's Communications Director, in June (3 months ago) at commencement speech, said that one of her favorite political philosopher was Mao Tse Tung. The very same Communist - Mao Tse Tung - who is the worst mass murdering modern history. Moa had 70 million people murdered. She praises Moa as one of her two favorite philosophers - a person who killed more people than Hitler. As the communications director for the President, she has been a vocal voice in attacking conservatives and even the Fox News Channel. Deception revealed!
Anita Dunn in her own words on Mao Tse Tung (notice she can't keep from sticking her tongue out as she speaks - what's up with that?): [Joe Gerarden video]
Obama communication's director attacks conservatives and the Fox News channel: [TPM video]
Rasmussen Reports - Presidential Tracking - Oct 15, 2009
Today's The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll: - 38% Strongly Disapprove of Obama's Performance - 30% Strongly Approve . . . - Approval Index rating of -8 Tags:Barack Obama, Rasmussen ReportsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, Editor: On Sept 14, we reported that the Senate Cuts Funding to ACORN after ever one learned of ACORN Promoting Prostitution & Tax Evasion. I commented at the time, "With people like Reid (D-NV), Boxer (D-CA), McCaskill (D-MO), and Kerry (D-MA) voting in favor of the amendment, a caution flag is still appropriate. This amendment could be removed in reconciliation with the House."
But then four days later on on Sept 18, we learned that the Senate approved 85-11 an amendment to the Interior appropriations bill to prohibit funding in that bill from going to ACORN. And, the House of Representatives voted 345-75 to pass the Defund ACORN Act.
At that time, we anticipated thought that the defunding of ACORN and the ACORN scandals would occupy the news for the weekend, but recall that other news took center stage when President Obama played into the hand of the Russians and announced that he was pulling the security rug out from under Poland and the European community. Well with all the ACORN lovers in Congress and the White House. we should have known this subject wasn't over.
She then further said that Congress hasn't cut off ACORN funding like you think. She says, "Congress did a CYA move, they defunded ACORN just for the month of October." (Read the Legislative Digest). She adds that on November 1, "the spigot of federal tax money will open wide open again."
To add insult to injury, she informed us that while ACORN didn't get federal funding in October, "They received a million dollar grant from Homeland Security for fire safety. "Full Story. What does ACORN have to do with fire safety? In fact, "they received 80% of the money for fire safety that was supposed to go to Louisiana."
H/T to TexasFred for sharing the above video and KTLK story. Fred adds, "Social Security is going BROKE! Yet groups like ACORN are right back on the public dole! And ACORN, despite all their words, does nothing to help anyone other than ACORN. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget, they give great advice on how to tax shelter your whores and dope operations. That’s some valuable advice if you’re a pimp or a dope dealer!"
Well, now we know what was up with the Democrats when they voted - deception ACORN style. They were smoothing the public's feathers while they prepared to continue to pluck us clean. When the clock runs out on Halloween, the ACORN nightmare continues but once again it is funded with our Federal tax dollars!
Tags:ACORN, federal funding, Michele Bachmann, US CongressTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Breaking News - MIAC Report -Now Appears to be Fraudulent
Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: We previously reported on the scandal that surrounded the MIAC report which has now apparently moved on to become a basis of support within Homeland Security Policy with respect to potential domestic terrorists. In the MIAC report, "People of "conservative" ideology were also identified in the State Police report as being potentially dangerous. People who held political opinions opposing abortion, illegal immigration, the New World Order, the North American Union, the Income Tax, the U.N., etc., were profiled in the MIAC report.. No Islamic extremists. No environmental extremists. Only people holding "conservative" or "right-wing" philosophies were identified in the MIAC report."
Adam Bitely at NetRight Nation just released the results of an Freedom of Information (FOI) related to the MIAC Report which are detailed below. Adams does it right by providing links to all the documentation received. However, the same cannot be verified for the MIAC or the Missouri Highway Patrol. The shocking FOI results show that that some unknown person or persons prepared the MIAC Report and no supporting documentation exists.
While most of the conservatives identified in the MIAC report have a high regard for both the the military and police officer, this MIAC report has reduced the public's respect for the process and the Missouri Highway Department for allowing this report to be released which cast aspersion on so many loyal American citizens concerned about our county and Constitution rights of all Americans.
No supporting documentation and the in ability to identify the author means that either a great hoax has been perpetrated on MIAC and the American people or that information is being withheld to protect someone from being held accountable for authoring a fallacious MIAC report. Either situation is untenable and reduces public trust in law enforcement. In addition, the continued use and support for the MIAC report's content by the Department of Homeland Security evidences a willingness to promote fictitious propaganda and an effort to possibly influence law enforcement across the nation.
While Adam Bitely in his comment below is generous by stating that "MIAC operation is nothing but an amateur operation," the fact is we cannot trust MIAC or any of its future reports when MIAC and the Missouri Highway Patrol allow amateur operations that went so far to originally castigate even supporters of candidates for President of the United States and law abiding Americans who are outspoken in their opinions.
Adam Bitely, NetRight Nation: Remember the MIAC Report from last February? This was the report issued by the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC) to law enforcement officials across the state warning them to watch out for supporters of limited government. The report, titled "The Modern Militia Movement", caused quite a stir in the media and the blogosphere.
Bill Wilson, President of Americans for Limited Government, filed a FOIA request to obtain the information that went into creating the report. The results of that FOIA were not surprising. The information did not exist.
Bizarre. The group tasked with collecting intelligence in Missouri cannot even keep track of its own office. It would appear that the MIAC operation is nothing but an amateur operation complete with mustache/glasses disguise kits. They have no idea what is going on inside of their own office.
Tags:ALG, Americans for Limited Government, domestic terrorists, liberty, MIAC, Missouri, NetRight NationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Howard Rich, Chairman Americans for Limited Government: As much as the Beltway chattering class refuses to admit it, Barack Obama's electoral victory last year had nothing to do with his oft-repeated, generic pledge to bring "hope and change" to Washington, D.C. Sure it sounded good at the time, but Americans have always voted based on their wallets and pocketbooks -- not lofty-sounding campaign promises or rhetorical flourishes.
The real key to Obama's victory a year ago -- indeed his "signature" issue -- was his promise not to raise taxes on the middle class.
"You will not see any of your taxes increase one single dime," Obama promised tens of millions of Americans making $250,000 or less. In fact, candidate Obama promised the middle class billions of dollars in tax cuts, part of his whole "spread the wealth around" plan.
“If you’re a family that’s making $250,000 a year or less, you will see no increase in your taxes,” Obama promised. “Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your personal gains tax, not any of your taxes.”
Never mind the fact that Obama’s plan would have hit income and payroll providers especially hard, rendering “middle class tax relief” irrelevant to the millions of workers heading toward already-crowded unemployment lines.
No matter how you look at it, though, what a difference a year makes. As an unprecedented string of multibillion-dollar government bailouts and a viral explosion of new discretionary spending continues to wreak havoc on the deficit, does it really surprise anyone to learn that Obama’s “middle class tax cut” was the very first thing to wind up on the cutting room floor?
Of course not. “Class warfare” may have succeeded in getting Obama elected, but it cannot pay for the political promises Obama has made with our borrowed billions.
But that is just the beginning of the great middle class betrayal. Not only are middle class American families getting no tax relief, Obama administration officials are refusing to rule out the possibility that taxes on middle class families will actually increase in an effort to help the government pay for all of this new spending.
So much for Obama’s plan to “bleed the rich” in order to fund middle class tax relief – now everyone must bleed as the President and his Congressional allies scramble to pay for all that “hope and change” they’ve created.
Aside from the obvious demerits of “Robin Hood-style” tax policy (it’s never a good idea to go after the people creating the jobs, is it?), the reality is that Obama’s now-scrapped middle class “tax cut” would have barely made a dent when compared to costly new government mandates being forced upon American families.
For example, according to an unreleased report prepared by Obama’s own Treasury Department, the cost of the administration’s “cap and trade” energy tax on the typical American household came out to $1,761 a year. On top of that, we learned this week that the latest multibillion-dollar proposal to “reform” the health care industry would cost the typical American family of four over $4,000 a year by the time the plan is fully implemented.
Altogether, that’s nearly $6,000 a year in additional energy and health care costs being heaped on American families struggling to make ends meet during one of the worst recessions in our nation’s history – again, with no tax relief to offset the additional financial burden.
Based on these numbers, it seems clear that the American middle class was (and is) nothing but a means to an end for Obama. It also seems clear that rich or poor, Obama’s plan to “rescue” the American economy involves taxing all of us back to the Stone Age. Tags:ALG, Barack Obama, higher taxes, middle classTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington D. C. - Oct 15, 2009 - Rotten Sausage is Being Made in Congress
Yesterday the Senate voted 79-17 to invoke cloture on the Energy-Water appropriations conference report so today they are addressing the the conference report for the fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water appropriations bill, H.R. 3183. The bill provides $34 billion for the Energy Dept., the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation. Expected vote today on the conference report.
After the Energy-Water bill, the Senate is expected to return to the fiscal year 2010 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill (H.R. 2847). Among the amendments pending to that bill is one from Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) which would prevent the trial of 9/11 terror suspects in civilian courts and instead have them tried by military tribunal.
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and House Republican Leader John Boehner held a joint press conference on health care reform this morning. As detailed below, their concerns are real and it appears that America is headed for one of the biggest behind closed doors contrived tax increase on all Americans and takeover of another private sector of America.
Senate Democrats have moved health care from somewhat public markups in the Finance and HELP Committees to a conference room in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office which is closed to other elected officials and the public. Imagine one of the Senators with the most unpopular ratings in history is carrying the water on this bill - and doing so behind closed doors. Forgetting politics, one wonders what is the future payoff of Sen. Reid. Well, Senate Republicans rightly so are upset and put the Democrats on notice yesterday that they expect more transparency and debate when a bill comes to the Senate floor.
Time noted yesterday, Reid is now in charge of the process of “cobbl[ing] together” a single Senate health care reform bill. But the process will be through as The Washington Post described “private talks set to begin Wednesday in Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid's office.” Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who led the process of creating the HELP Committee bill, said at a press conference yesterday, “So there'll be four people, staff, gathering in a room -- Senator Baucus, the Leader, myself, the White House.” The New York Times went into more detail noting that Obama’s health care adviser, Nancy-Ann DeParle, “and several other officials, including Rahm Emanuel, the chief of staff, and Peter R. Orszag, the budget director, met Wednesday with Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic leader, to discuss merging the Senate’s bills.”
As Democrats continued to write health care reform bills among themselves, Republicans turned their attention to the upcoming floor debate. They held another press conference today and at one yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Senate Republicans are going to insist that there be an actual bill, that there be a CBO score so we know what it costs, that it be available on the Internet for a minimum of 72 hours so the American people can react to it.” Further, Roll Call reported, Sen. McConnell “insisted that whatever bill emerges be given more floor time than the four weeks accorded a recent agriculture bill.”
Sen. McConnell said, “Senate Republicans are going to insist that this be a real Senate debate, a multi-week debate that gives everyone on both sides an opportunity to freely amend this measure and the American people an opportunity to fully understand what's in it.” Given that Democrats are pushing “highly complex effort to reorganize one-sixth of our economy,” it’s only reasonable to expect an adequate amount of time for debate and amendment.
Just last year the Senate spent 4 weeks debating the farm bill, and in recent years spent 7 weeks on No Child Left Behind and 8 weeks on an energy bill. To quote Reid concerning his behind closed doors health care bill, it is “something, as Senator Dodd said, that may come about only once in a generation.” Rightly so Republicans are demanding at least a similar time for debate and consideration of the health care bill as those bills. However, the fact is these prior bills had a prior history; and the health care bill is a new bill which is not a makeover of a prior bill but a takeover of the health care industry.
While some people especially democrats these days are using an often modified cliché in an attempt to cover their track, it isn't working. They assert that In a democracy, making law is like making sausage. you will love the final product, but the process for making both of them will probably make you sick. Well in this situation, the process is definitely making America sick. "Making a new law" that takes away individual freedom, choice and even property through mandatory taxes is anathema. The intended final sausage - the health care bill - is already rotting. It stinks not only in the halls of Congress and Washington, D.C., but the stench has reached the heartland of America.
ObamaCare: Big Government Health Care Reform - Rationing - Mandatory Insurance
Is Big Government Health Care Reform what America needs? Well let's first watch a comparison. And if you don't believe it can happen then note the following videos on how Oregon bureaucrats is already rationing care and how Massachusetts politicians decide what insurance is right for their residents. Folks the socialists (liberal progressives) are already taking control of people's private lives in various states. In your state, do you want the Federal Government providing you with ObamaCare. And for those who do not like the use of the word ObamaCare consider this fact: it is the Obama and his White House that is pushing for the total take over of health care system!
Tags:compulsory health insurance, government healthcare, Massachusetts, Obamacare, Oregon, rationed care, Socialized medicineTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Horror Movie Monsters and Bad Ideas in Washington Rarely Die
Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families: Like monsters from bad horror movies, bad ideas in Washington rarely die. They come back to life again and again. As soon as Democrats in Congress clear the decks of health care reform and the cap and trade energy tax, the next item on the agenda is likely to be immigration reform in the form of a massive amnesty. Yes, it’s back!
Everyone understands that our immigration system is a mess thanks to failed liberal policies. Everyone understands that one of the worst ideas is amnesty. Everyone except Washington, that is.
A recent Rasmussen poll found that 56% of voters believe that the policies of the federal government encourage illegal immigration, and 74% don’t think the government is doing enough to secure our borders. Anticipating another battle over immigration reform, pollster John Zogby surveyed more than 1,000 people in Mexico to get their opinions on U.S. immigration policy.
Among the results, Zogby found that 56% of Mexicans thought that giving legal status to illegal immigrants in the U.S. would make it more likely that people they know would go to the United States illegally. In other words, an amnesty policy would encourage more illegal immigration. Another amnesty would simply continue the vicious cycle. As the Rasmussen poll indicates, you get it. As the Zogby poll indicates, Mexicans get it too.
Now, I want to be clear about this next point, because I think it speaks directly to the frustration that so many Americans have with our immigration system. We are welcoming people. The overwhelming majority of Americans would welcome anyone who comes here wanting to be an American, willing to work hard, obey our laws and contribute to this country.
But, according to the Zogby poll, “An overwhelming majority (69%) thought that the primary loyalty of Mexican-Americans (Mexico - and U.S.- born) should be to Mexico. Just 20% said it should be to the United States. The rest were unsure.”
In other words, the poll suggests that an overwhelming majority of Mexicans believe that Mexicans who do come here should retain an allegiance to the nation they fled, rather than to the nation they chose to come to in the hope of finding a better life. Many are not coming here to be Americans. Their first act upon entering the country is to break the law by coming in illegally, and they are here asking “not what they can do for America, but what America can do for them.” How can anyone call amnesty “reform”? Democrats do. Tags:amnesty, Democrat, Gary Bauer, illegal aliens, Rasmussen PollTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington D. C. - Oct 14, 2009 - Harry Reid To Write Final Senate Health Bill
As reported yesterday, the Senate Finance Committee voted 14-9 to report out committee chairman Max Baucus’ (D-MT) $829 billion health reform proposal. Well the Senate is back at it again, including Sen. Reid and the White House hunkering down in secret meetings to craft a socialized Obamacare (health care) bill.
Also yesterday, the substitute amendment to the CJS bill failed to get cloture by a vote of 56-38, due in part to a dispute over amendments to the bill.
Today, the Senate begins consideration of the conference report for the fiscal year 2010 Energy and Water appropriations bill, H.R. 3183. The bill provides $34 billion for the Energy Dept., the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bureau of Reclamation and plan to vote the conference report.
Votes on amendments to the fiscal year 2010 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill (H.R. 2847) are possible during the rest of the day. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John McCain (R-AZ), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) are will be offering an amendment to prevent the trial of 9/11 terror suspects in civilian courts and instead have them tried by military tribunal.
Now that Democrats have moved a flawed health care reform bill through the Finance Committee (something they had initially promised would be done in July), the action now moves into a conference room in Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office. There, Reid, with the help of a select group of Democrats, will combine the Finance bill with the one passed by the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee out of public view.
As Reid explained to reporters at a press conference in September, “Once [the Finance Committee finishes], I'll need a few days to work with the chairman, as I've indicated, and the White House to come up with a bill.” Back in July, Reid said that once the Finance Committee was done, it would “leave me with the responsibilities . . . to come up with a bill.” Last week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “The head of that process is obviously going to be the Senate Majority Leader. . . .” And Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), the new chairman of the HELP Committee told The New York Times last month, “Our quarterback is Harry Reid … He will decide how this is done.” Of course, Reid will have to eventually work with Speaker Pelosi and other House Democrat leaders who want a single-payer system.
Press reports have also acknowledged that Reid will be in the driver’s seat. According to today’s Washington Post, “private talks [are] set to begin Wednesday in Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid's office.” And Time notes, “Now . . . it falls to majority leader Harry Reid to cobble together something that can pass the Senate.”
Knowing this, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell put yesterday’s Finance Committee vote in perspective: “The fact is, this proposal will never come before the Senate. But what we do know is that the bill written behind closed doors here in the Capitol will be another 1,000-page, trillion-dollar Washington takeover.” Indeed, it doesn’t even appear to do what Democrats claim it will do. The New York Times writes today, “Douglas W. Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, said his agency had not estimated the impact of the bill on overall national health spending, public and private, and could not say whether it would ‘bend the cost curve,’ as Mr. Obama and lawmakers want.”
Senate Democrats’ health reform bill is now in the hands of Harry Reid. He has the opportunity to improve the bills he was given, but as things stand Democrats’ proposals “will slash a half-trillion dollars from seniors’ Medicare, add new taxes and raise premiums,” as Sen. McConnell said. That’s not reform. Tags:government healthcare, Harry Reid, Obamacare, 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!
Oh. Canada?! - Going to U.S. for Health Care - Socialized Healthcare Stinks!
Listen to the Truth: With Canadians enduring pain for months and years while they wait for surgery, traveling to the U.S. for treatment, entering "lotteries" to get a doctor, and getting "wait list insurance," is Canada really a model for U.S. health reform? [video]
Tags:Canada, government healthcare, Human Society of United StatesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Albany apartment complex bans American flags - Update: Flags Okay Again
Update (2:20 pm): ARRA News contacted KVAL News reporter Kim Quintero. She said the issue is resolved and the residents may fly their flags. Following are a few of her comments which she will share in her on-air evening KVAL news report: 'If people want to fly any flag of any nationality, it's their right' Flags are OK again at an Albany apartment complex after the property manager reviewed the policy and decided she didn't have the legal standing to ban flags from the exteriors of apartments and vehicles parked at the complex. "If people want to fly any flag of any nationality, it's their right," said Barb Holcomb with Oaks Apartments.
Holcomb said she received different legal counsel that led her to believe she is wrong to ban the flags. "When a tenant rents the unit, the inside of the unit belongs to the tenant," Holcomb said Wednesday. "All automobiles and things attached to the automobiles are the personal property of the tenant." "I made a policy. I was wrong," she said.
By Melica Johnson KATU News and KATU.com:Apartment managers ban a lot of things, but in Albany, Ore., it is a ban on the American flag that has residents fuming. And if they don't take down their flags? Residents said they are threatened with eviction.
Jim Clausen flies the American flag from the back of his motorcycle. He has a son in the military heading back to Iraq, and the flag - he said - is his way of showing support. "This flag stands for all those people," said Clausen, an Oaks Apartment resident. "It stands for the people that can no longer stand - who died in wars. That's why I fly this flag."
But to Oaks Apartment management, Clausen said, the American flag symbolizes problems. At the Oaks Apartments in Albany, the management can fly their own flag advertising one and two bedroom apartments - but residents have been told they can't fly any flags at all. Clausen was told to remove the red, white and blue from both of his rides, or face eviction.
Even long-time residents like Sharron White, who has flown a flag on her car for eight years, has been told to take it down. White said management told her that "someone might get offended." . . . management told them the flags could be offensive because they live in a diverse community.
The mother of one soldier fighting in Iraq put up a poster in her son's apartment window when she learned of the ban. Her son's roommate said he'll risk eviction to make sure it stays. Another Oaks Apartment resident, Judith Sherer, doesn't have a car. Instead she carries an American flag around the complex to protest the ban, and wonders if the flag pin she wears is next to be "singled out." The ban also includes . . . Even flag stickers on cars. Ozark Guru (a vet): What happened, isn't Oregon in the United States anymore? Diversity my backside! This America and Americans fly the American flag. What right does management have to tell people to remove American flags stickers from their cars and motorcycles. Also, Good job National guard mom - keep that sign in your window! Jim Clausen - ride on brother!
H/T TexasFredwho had a few choice words and identified the address of the apartment: FLAG OFFENDER:Oaks Apartments, 1440 Geary Cir SE, Albany, OR 97322-6823 - (541) 967-1284 Other blogs posting story (If you post a story - we will add your link - leave comment): America's Watchtower -- GM's Place -- TexasFred -- Planck's Constant Tags:freedom of speech, Oregon, US, Flags, banning American flagsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama - Education - Children - What Are Those Educational Plans?
Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: I have debated for several days about addressing education and the following videos. The 2009 annual PDK*/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools found that most Americans believe education is not as good today as when they were in school however the parents polled said education is better today. In addition, the poll found respondents supported President Barack Obama's education plans.
My concern rests with what are the plans for Barack Obama's education? I also had concerns prior presidents who have sought to change local education via the Office of the President. In the first place, education in America was seen by our forefathers as resting in the hands of the parents and in the communities within which people lived. According to the Constitution, Education rests with the individual States. While the United States is a melting pot of people of many origins, the U.S. was not meant to be a place where everyone becomes an "automitron."
Education has been the responsibility of parents and communities. As public education was established, each community determine minimum levels of education, the courses, and the scope education for the children in their specific community. And from this uniqueness, the needs of community and society were met. Eventually, the various states expanded their role and responsibility hopefully to assure equal and adequate education within communities although some states went far beyond even that role. Historically, education required instructions and discussions in classrooms that also recalled the sacrifice of our ancestors and the freedoms that we inherited from their efforts.
With the the Carter administration and the establishment of the Dept of Education, the federal government greatly affected the community education decisions primarily through federal grants. Since the formation of Dept of Ed., history textbooks have been rewritten and fail to present students their great heritage of freedom and liberty which affords them the opportunity to make personal choices and to succeed or fail based on their own merits. The federal government involvement reduced the influence of home and religion in schools. Students have been indoctrinated into a philosophy of no moral absolutes (no right or wrong) and presented the most negative history of America with its the flaws and failures without balancing it with the its overriding sacrifice and success.
Today's, young people are in danger of relying for answers on an educational system controlled by a central government - and potentially one person, the president. Again, as the PDK/Gallup Poll indicated, people and parent were willing to lend their support for President Barack Obama's education plans. President Abraham Lincoln understood the threat and warned "The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." I believe President Obama and others know this quote as well. So, what is the philosophy in today's school room? And, what is the Federal government doing or planning to do to influencing the local classroom instruction?
Why did the PDK/Gallup Poll even ask such a question? One would surmise that educators had noted this shift in education created by the influence of the federal government. With respect to the poll, one wonders what were the considered Obama educational plans? We they more than "hope and change"? Although a myriad of other potential question exist, the elephant in education is the question: where in the Constitution of the United States is the authority for a President to decide the educational plans for America, for States, for community, for parents and for "the children"?
History shows what happens when person becomes a supreme despot and determines among other things the plans for the education (indoctrination and control) of the children in a nation. And before someone gets carried away, I am not calling President Obama a despot.
Intellectually, many questions could and should be asked relative to the shift in American society which resulted in the results reflected by the poll. But due to limited space of a short article, I will stipulate the point made by the poll that there is a willingness by parents and teachers polled to support the education plans of President Barack Obama for America which would affect their and our children and generations to come.
Recently, the public has become aware of parents and adults at educational institutions, supported by their peers and academic supervisors until publicly embarrassed, who used children in efforts to express forms of adoration for President Obama. While the children are innocent and in fact quite talented, these situations identify forms of indoctrination which raise a red flag especially when bumped against the PDK Gallup Poll result. Where do we go from here? Do we need to be truly concerned? Should the President of the United States or members of the Dept. of Education or the various "czars" be controlling the community education of our children and grandchildren? And, what harm could happen if they did? All these questions require reflection and serious consideration.
To stop right now, kind of leads our minds hanging. So, let's take focus and consider the recent incidents and also reflect on a dark time in history when one nation's leader and his staff controlled the education of the children. You may wish to save the following videos. The first two videos are recent situations when children were used. The remaining five are rare classics detailing the indoctrination of children in Germany prior to WWII:
------------------- Dr. Bill Smith is a retired military officer and retired university professor. He has authored published articles and writes online articles for numerous sites. He has earned two degrees in business and a Ph.D. is in Education and post doctoral work in workforce education, training and development. He is a senior member of *Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) and a Fellow with the National Contract Management Association. Tags:Barack Obama, Bill Smith, education, Gallup Poll, US ConstitutionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Global Security Newswire: A week after indicating it was ready to resume nuclear negotiations, North Korea yesterday launched five short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan, the Washington Post reported. Two ground-to-ship weapons were fired from an east coast launch site. . . . They might be followed by additional missile tests in coming days. Among the weapons that are set for launch are the Scud-B, which can fly more than 200 miles, and the Rodong missile, which has a range of more than 800 miles but might be restricted to roughly 250 miles in this instance, according to the South Korean JoongAng Ilbo newspaper.
Tday's launches came as U.S. officials were in China in hopes of persuading leaders in Beijing to aggressively enact the latest penalties against North Korea. China, meanwhile, hopes to persuade its neighbor to return to the nuclear negotiations. The recent actions could be North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's attempt to display authority as he prepares to hand power over to his youngest son, observers say. . . .
There is no indication that North Korea is preparing to soon carry out its reported plan to launch an ICBM that could hit U.S. territory, according to the South Korean television network YTN (Chang, Associated Press). Two U.S. scientists said that North Korea could hit much of the United States with a modified version of the rocket launched in April. "North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests, but it isn't thought to have designed a nuclear warhead that could be delivered by a missile. Such a first-generation plutonium warhead could have a mass of 1,000 kilograms or more," according to Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Theodore Postol and physicist David Wright of the Union of Concerned Scientists. . . . [Full Story] Tags:missiles, North Korea, launches 5 missiles, NTITo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Update (1:20 pm):Senators voted 14-9 to approve passing out of the Senate Finance Committee the health care reform proposal. One Republican Sen Olympia Snowe (R-ME) voted yes. Otherwise, ALL committee democrats voted yes and the republicans voted no. Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln and other formerly self-labeled "blue dogs" voted against the wishes of the majority of their constituents. While in her home state, Lincoln made clearly demonstrated a deliberate effort not to listen to the" grassroots voters" in Arkansas. Considering her vote today, she must have felt safe with over $4 million in her campaign coffers. Many democrats arrogantly believe that voters will forget come next November's elections. After all the eventual bill will not go into effect until after 2012. Now, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reed has indicated that he will move the proposed finance committee bill behind closed doors where democrats will craft the final bill in secret.
Senate reconvenes at 2 PM today and will resume consideration of the fiscal year 2010 Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill, H.R. 2847. The bill provides $65 billion in funds, including $7.3 billion for the Census Bureau. At 5:30 PM, a vote is scheduled on cloture on the substitute amendment for the CJS bill. In addition, the Senate Finance Committee resumed its markup of committee chairman Max Baucus’ (D-MT) health care bill. A vote on the amended draft language is expected later this afternoon.
A new analysis from respected accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers that was released yesterday found that the health care reform proposal being pushed through the Senate Finance Committee today by Democrats would raise premiums for private health insurance coverage.
The Wall Street Journalnotes today, “Among other things, the report said a family health-insurance policy that costs $12,300 today would increase to $25,900 on average by 2019 under the bill, more than under current law.” The AP identified, “The study projects that the legislation would add $1,700 a year to the cost of family coverage in 2013, when most of the major provisions of the Baucus bill would be in effect. Premiums for a single person would go up by $600 more than would be the case without the legislation, it estimated. In 10 years' time, premiums would be $4,000 higher for a family plan, and $1,500 more for individual coverage.”
Reacting to the new report, Republican leadership responded: “Higher premiums, higher taxes, and more government—that’s not reform. But that’s precisely what the American people, the Congressional Budget Office and now outside experts have identified with this trillion-dollar experiment that cuts Medicare, raises taxes and premiums, and threatens the health care options that millions of Americans enjoy.”
Today's AP says that Democrats are scrambling to attack the report. Assaults came from the White House, Democrat members of Congress, especially Senate Finance Committee chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), and from the AARP, which claims it has not endorsed any health reform bill. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rockefeller “said the report was ‘misleading and harmful,’ and represented ‘politicking for corporate gain at its worst.’”Clearly Democrats are concerned that the report shows their reforms would negatively impact the health coverage many families currently have, despite their assurances otherwise.
Sen. McConnell said to Fox’s Neil Cavuto, “I think we ought to listen to the American people, rather than trying to jam something through with the narrowest of margins in order to give any administration a victory. This is not about the administration. This is about the issue. . . . I don't think a half-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts, $400 billion in new taxes, and driving up the cost of insurance premiums is the way to go.” Tags:government healthcare, health care reform, 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!
Bill Smith, Editor: This site proudly stood with the free people of Honduras when they experienced the peaceful revolution and removed a dictatorial president who sought to illegally change the Honduras constitution. Everything was approved by the their Congress and Supreme Court. The then vice president from the same party as the ousted president was sworn in as president. Next month, the people will hold an election to pick a new president and even the current president is not a candidate. But for some unfathomable reason the Obama administration has sided with the positions of the dictators of Latin America who would that the former president be reinstalled as president against the wishes of the people of Honduras.
In the last three months, much has been made of a supposed military "coup" that whisked former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya from power and the supposed chaos it has created. After visiting Tegucigalpa last week and meeting with a cross section of leaders from Honduras's government, business community, and civil society, I can report there is no chaos there. There is, however, chaos to spare in the Obama administration's policy toward our poor and loyal allies in Honduras. That policy was set in a snap decision the day Mr. Zelaya was removed from office, without a full assessment of either the facts or reliable legal analysis of the constitutional provisions at issue. Three months later, it remains in force, despite mounting evidence of its moral and legal incoherence.
While in Honduras, I spoke to dozens of Hondurans, from nonpartisan members of civil society to former Zelaya political allies, from Supreme Court judges to presidential candidates and even personal friends of Mr. Zelaya. Each relayed stories of a man changed and corrupted by power. The evidence of Mr. Zelaya's abuses of presidential power—and his illegal attempts to rewrite the Honduran Constitution, a la Hugo Chávez—is not only overwhelming but uncontroverted.
As all strong democracies do after cleansing themselves of usurpers, Honduras has moved on. The presidential election is on schedule for Nov. 29. Under Honduras's one-term-limit, Mr. Zelaya could not have sought re-election anyway. Current President Roberto Micheletti—who was installed after Mr. Zelaya's removal, per the Honduran Constitution—is not on the ballot either. The presidential candidates were nominated in primary elections almost a year ago, and all of them—including Mr. Zelaya's former vice president—expect the elections to be free, fair and transparent, as has every Honduran election for a generation.
Indeed, the desire to move beyond the Zelaya era was almost universal in our meetings. Almost. In a day packed with meetings, we met only one person in Honduras who opposed Mr. Zelaya's ouster, who wishes his return, and who mystifyingly rejects the legitimacy of the November elections: U.S. Ambassador Hugo Llorens.
When I asked Ambassador Llorens why the U.S. government insists on labeling what appears to the entire country to be the constitutional removal of Mr. Zelaya a "coup," he urged me to read the legal opinion drafted by the State Department's top lawyer, Harold Koh. As it happens, I have asked to see Mr. Koh's report before and since my trip, but all requests to publicly disclose it have been denied.
On the other hand, the only thorough examination of the facts to date—conducted by a senior analyst at the Law Library of Congress—confirms the legality and constitutionality of Mr. Zelaya's ouster. (It's on the Internet.)
Unlike the Obama administration's snap decision after June 28, the Law Library report is grounded in the facts of the case and the intricacies of Honduran constitutional law. So persuasive is the report that after its release, the New Republic's James Kirchick concluded in an Oct. 3 article that President Obama's hastily decided Honduras policy is now "a mistake in search of a rationale."
The Hondurans I met agree. All everyone seemed to want was a chance to make their case, or at least an independent review of the facts. So far, the Obama administration has ignored these requests and instead has repeatedly doubled down. It's revoked the U.S. travel visas of President Micheletti, his government and private citizens, and refuses to talk to the government in Tegucigalpa. It's frozen desperately needed financial assistance to one of the poorest and friendliest U.S. allies in the region. It won't release the legal basis for its insistence on Mr. Zelaya's restoration to power. Nor has it explained why it's setting aside America's longstanding policy of supporting free elections to settle these kinds of disputes.
But these elections are the only way out—a fact even the Obama administration must see. The Honduran constitution prohibits Zelaya's return to power. The election date is set by law for Nov. 29. The elections will be monitored by international observers and overseen by an apolitical body, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, whose impartiality and independence has been roundly praised, even by Ambassador Llorens.
America's Founding Fathers—like the framers of Honduras's own constitution — believed strong institutions were necessary to defend freedom and democracy from the ambitions of would-be tyrants and dictators. Faced by Mr. Zelaya's attempted usurpations, the institutions of Honduran democracy performed as designed, and as our own Founding Fathers would have hoped.
Hondurans are therefore left scratching their heads. They know why Hugo Chávez, Daniel Ortega and the Castro brothers oppose free elections and the removal of would-be dictators, but they can't understand why the Obama administration does. They're not the only ones.
Tags:Freedom, Honduras, Honduras Revolution, Jim DeMintTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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