News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used. Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru] - email@example.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Real Americans Likely To Be Adversely Affected By Dems Health Care Bill
As Democrats keep the Senate in session for another weekend of debate on Reid substitute amendment to H.R. 3590 - their $2.5 trillion 2,074-page health care reform bill, many in Washington are looking at the debate as a horse race or political power story, forgetting that real Americans across the country will be adversely affected if this bill passes.
Yesterday, 57 Democrats voted to preserve $120 billion is cuts to Medicare Advantage in their health care bill. Prior to that, the Senate voted 51-47 for an amendment from Sen. John Thune (R-SD) to strike the CLASS Act, a new entitlement in the Reid bill which some Democrats have called “a Ponzi scheme of the first order.” However, the amendment needed 60 votes for approval, so it was not approved.
Yesterday, The Washington Post ran a front-page story looking at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s attempts to push through his health care bill. The story focused solely on process and Democrat vote-counting (and managed to not quote a single Republican). Indeed, the interest among many inside the Beltway, especially in the press has been on horse race issues, with little discussion of the impact the Democrats’ health care bills could have on Americans.
In fact, no less than The New York Times reports from Caribou, Maine, “As they are across the nation, Medicare patients and nurses in this town in northern Maine are anxiously following the Congressional debate because its outcome could affect Medicare’s popular home health benefit in a big way. The legislation would reduce Medicare spending on home health services, a lifeline for homebound Medicare beneficiaries, which keeps them out of hospitals and nursing homes.” Indeed, The Times notes, “Under the legislation, home care would absorb a disproportionate share of the cuts. It currently accounts for 3.7% of the Medicare budget, but would absorb 10.2% of the savings squeezed from Medicare by the House bill and 9.4% of savings in the Senate bill, the Congressional Budget Office says.”
Lisa Harvey-McPherson, president of Eastern Maine Home Care, told the NYT, “Our staff are scared . . . but it’s our patients who will pay the price if Congress makes the cuts in home care.” And Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) added, “Deep cuts to home health care would be completely counterproductive to our efforts to control overall health care costs . . . Home care and hospice have consistently proven to be cost-effective and compassionate alternatives to institutional care.”
Democrats will have another opportunity today to show whether they are going to plow ahead with $42 billion in cuts to home health benefits when Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) offers a motion to return the bill to committee and strike those cuts. Americans would do well to note if Democrats again defend major cuts in a bill that polls continually show the country wants them to oppose.
While Republicans remain committed to real health care reform without the Federal Government taking over 1/6 of the American Economy, They remain shutout of any comprehensive discussion and on proposed amendments. On the Democrat side, most appear willing to sell out the medical profession and American Citizens. The question is the degree to which they are willing to go. Here are some of the recent comments regarding their positions on compromise: “Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), One Of The Leading Proponents Of The Public Insurance Option, Warned Friday Evening That He Is ‘Done’ Compromising With Moderates And Will Not Accept Any Further Changes To The Provision.”(“Sen. Brown: I’m ‘Done’ With Compromising On Public Option,” Roll Call, 12/4/09)
However, Lincoln appears willing to vote for the bill if she get her amendment to the Senate health-care bill approved that would reduce tax breaks on insurance company executives’ pay. In a statement issued by her office, Lincoln, D-Ark., said the plan would not dictate what a business pays an employee, but it would reduce the maximum amount that an insurance company can deduct from its taxes for compensating executives from $1 million annually per executive to $400,000.
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: Ex-White House counsel Greg Craig thought it was a good idea to transfer Elián Gonzalez from the arms of his loving family in Miami into the arms of Fidel Castro. Transfer Elián from Florida to Cuba. Bad idea. Attorney General Janet Reno thought she might have to prove her toughness by transferring dozens of women and children from a Waco cult headquarters to eternity. Really bad idea.
But Eric Holder’s plan to transfer Khalid Sheikh Mohammed from Guantánamo Bay to Manhattan for a civilian trial is surely liberals’ worst idea. KSM and his cohorts had agreed to plead guilty before a military tribunal, accept a sentence of death, and speedily rendezvous with their 72 ladies-in-waiting.
This offer of way out for the administration was not good enough for Attorney General Eric Holder. He insists on trying the terrorists before a civilian jury in federal court, just a few hundred yards from Ground Zero. Next to martyrdom and a free trip to paradise, this has to be the terrorists’ wildest dream. No turbaned genie ever appeared out of Aladdin’s lamp to grant three greater wishes than these. KSM to Genie: One, I want to exploit my status as mass murderer; Two, I want to inflict even greater pain and suffering on the families of those thousands whom I’ve murdered; Three, I want to make my trial a magnet for my brother jihadists throughout the world.
Eric Holder’s decision to try the terrorists in Manhattan may not be simply the worst decision of this administration, it bids fair to stand with Dred Scott and Roe v. Wade as being among the three worst decisions in American history. Congress has the power to prevent this farce from going forward. Congress must spare us this travesty. Congress must act. Phyllis Schlafly has reminded us—serious student of the Constitution that that she is—that Congress has the power to restrict the appellate jurisdiction of the federal judiciary. Very true. But Congress has a power that would provide even more immediate relief: That power is the power of the purse.
We need to move quickly to deny Mr. Holder’s Justice Department any federal funds to transfer or try any of the Guantánamo detainees apart from military tribunals. President Obama is on record as approving those military tribunals. As a senator in 2006, he even voted for the measure that established those tribunals. Of course, he is now on record backing up his besieged Attorney General. We would actually be doing Mr. Obama a great favor by having Congress override his hasty and reckless Attorney General. I think the President would secretly heave a sigh of relief if Congress would prevent this gross error from going forward. It’s vitally important that the people’s representatives speak on this point. It’s why we have checks and balances.
We should have a good chance of prevailing on a cutoff of federal funds for civilian trials of terrorists. How many Members of Congress would relish the prospect of having to explain on the campaign trail next year why they voted to spend a minimum of $75 million a year on security for the New York show trials? Especially, voters will object when Guantánamo Bay was built with taxpayer funds for precisely such trials. I believe we’d have good prospects of winning on such a proposition. But even if we don’t carry this amendment, we would certainly have a vote that would be of intense interest to American voters as they approach the 2010 elections next fall The ins and outs of the health care debate, cap and trade (tax and trade to insiders), and the stimulus require voters to pay the strictest attention as lawmakers wade through numerous 2,000+-page legislative behemoths. But a vote Up or Down on Holder’s Manhattan Transfer has a marvelous clarity. Let’s get clear. ----------------- Mr. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. He submitted this article to the ARRA News Service Editor which also appears in his Townhall. Blackwell is a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Commission and is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and American Civil Rights Union.Tags:9-11, Eric Holder, Gitmo, Islamic terrorist, Islamist, Ken Blackwell, New York, US CongressTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Phyllis Schlafly: The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights announced in November that it will investigate whether colleges illegally discriminate against women by admitting less qualified men. This is only the latest in a decades-long campaign by the feminist lobby to sell the false propaganda that girls are cheated all through the education system, K through 12.
Colleges used to have a male-female ratio of about 60-40, and suddenly, we've discovered that it's close to 40-60. Colleges don't like this change; men don't like it; women don't like it; but the feminists are bragging about it and plan to use their clout in the government bureaucracy and in the Democratic Party to maintain it.
One of the causes for this dramatic shift is that colleges perceive applications by women to be better than those by men. Another cause seems to be that men don't seem to be as eager to get a college education as women.
We see the results in the granting of degrees. Women receive 58% of bachelor's degrees in four-year colleges, 62% in community colleges, and graduate degrees are headed in the same direction. Those who worry about the continuation of American exceptionalism are concerned because, if they have the courage to face reality, they know that women and men follow different paths both in and after college. Many more men than women drop out before graduation, and women receive only about a fifth of bachelor's degrees in engineering, physics, or computer science.
After college, men and women make different choices, too. Women don't take the risks necessary for business start-ups or for business ownership, or choose the social isolation of technical laboratories, in anywhere near the proportion of men.
But why is it that women knock at the college admissions office with higher high-school grade-point averages, better essays, and even a bigger variety of extracurricular activities than men? Fewer boys manifest significant interest in academic achievement or aspirations to walk through the doors that a college degree can open. Even the Wall Street Journalcalls this the "boy mystery" that "nobody has solved." We should respond with the famous line attributed to Sherlock Holmes, it's "elementary, my dear Watson."
We can even claim a double entendre for the word elementary. The reason is obvious, and the causes originated in elementary school. The ultra-feminist American Association of University Women (AAUW) issued a report in 1992 called "How Schools Shortchange Girls." It claimed "findings" that teachers focused their attention on boys, neglected girls, and discouraged girls from taking important math and science courses.
The AAUW report was a lie that started real discrimination against boys and young men plus government spending to address a non-existent problem. The AAUW report was fully debunked by researcher Christina Hoff Sommers, who proved that feminist claims that girls are shortchanged in school are "riddled with errors" and not "published in peer-reviewed professional journals."
Elementary schools are not only ruled by females; they are dominated by feminists who make school unpleasant for boys from the get-go. Fewer than ten percent of elementary school teachers are men, giving boys the distinct impression that school is not for them.
Elementary school teachers used to understand that boys will be boys, but teachers now look upon boys as just unruly girls. Feminists manifest hostility to males and to masculine traits such as competitiveness and aggressiveness, and instead reward typical female behaviors such as non-assertiveness and group cooperation.
Schools cannot make gender go away by pretending that boys do not have an innate masculinity, or by trying to suppress it with ridiculous zero-tolerance punishments, banning sports such as dodge ball and tag, and allowing only playground games without winners. Five- and six-year-old boys are not as able or willing as little girls to sit quietly at a desk and do neat work with pencil and paper. Even worse is the appalling fact that first-grade kids are not taught how to read phonetically, and the assigned stories are mostly about topics of interest to girls not boys.
It's no wonder that boys are more likely to have academic or behavior problems, repeat a grade, get suspended, be enrolled in special education programs, or become involved in drugs, alcohol or crime. Little boys make the calculation that school (and college) is not an environment where they want to remain. The solution to the college 40-60 male-female problem is certainly not to let the feminist bureaucrats force colleges to admit an even higher percentage of women. One solution is for colleges to be told (by regulation or statute) that a 50-50 male-female ratio is not, by definition, "sex discrimination." Tags:liberalism, men, Phyllis Schlafly, universities, WomenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Both autographed copies are signed “From one All American to Another.” I'm also giving away a year long membership to Rush 24/7. Click to learn the rules for this CHRISTMAS contest.Complete Registry before December 15, 2009 Tags:Christmas, 2009, contest, Duane LesterTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Jarrett Chronicles: Corruption – The Chicago Way
Check out this five part series on Valerie Jarrett that was just released from the Americans for Limited Government Research Department.
Valerie Jarrett’s Grove Parc Fiasco: The Rich Got Richer: “In 1987, U.S. District Judge Marvin Aspen had appointed Habitat to oversee construction of all public housing in Chicago as part of the historic Gautreaux case, which found that the CHA had failed for decades to integrate housing. At first, Habitat’s job was to desegregate housing by building “scattered site” units in more affluent white neighborhoods across the city. But the effort had little impact. The company built about 1,800 units, mostly in lower-income Hispanic neighborhoods before the program ended.”
Valerie Jarrett’s Underwater Demolition: Cataloging Failure: Mayor Daley was displeased when Jarrett lost Spiegel, a catalog company which had operated warehouses in Chicago for 88 years. Daley wanted a more aggressive effort from the Department of Planning and Development. The company wanted to relocate its old warehouses. Her department proposed six sites, but Spiegel found all of them to be deficient. The best site was covered with 20 to 30 feet of water. Jarrett promised that the site could be filled-in in time to meet Spiegel’s deadline, but the company did not believe it.
Valerie Jarrett and Cecil Butler: Partners in Slime: Cecil Butler started managing the Lawndale Restoration, a low-income community in 1974. In 1995, Cecil Butler received a $51 million loan, backed by the state, to renovate Lawndale Restoration. In 1999, Valerie Jarrett’s Habitat formed an LLC with Butler’s Boulevard Management. In 2000, Cecil Butler hired the Habitat Company to manage Lawndale Restoration.
The Valerie Jarrett Health Care Plan: In 2004, Jarrett’s Habitat Company violated the Family and Medical Leave Act by terminating an ill employee. David Burnett had been employed with Habitat for fourteen years. His boss had no problems with him until late 2003 when Burnett began to have symptoms of prostate cancer.
Valerie Jarrett’s Cronies See “Green”: It appears that Jarrett tried to get a contract for Allison Davis, Obama’s former boss. In 1996, Habitat was overseeing the redevelopment of Cabrini Green. Habitat seemed to favor a plan from MCL/ASD LLC. This partnership was the creation of Dan McLean of MCL Development Corporation and Allison Davis. Davis went on to become a major fundraiser for Obama.
Tags:ALG, Chicago politics, corruption, The White House, Valerie JarrettTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Don’t Kill The Recovery, Mr. President - Stop The Spending!
Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families: The president got some much-needed good news this morning. The unemployment rate has dropped – it’s now just 10%, down from 10.2%. This is an early and hopeful sign of recovery, and that’s a great Christmas present for many Americans. But this good news is happening in spite of the policies coming out of the White House and Congress, and because of the institutions and individuals the president frequently criticizes – businesses and entrepreneurs.
We reported yesterday that the White House hosted a jobs summit. No critics were invited, and no one who was there was willing to tell the president how jobs are created. We looked around and to the best of our knowledge, no on had the audacity to stand up to the president and tell him how he could help create jobs without spending a dime. No one stood up and said:
“Mr. President, take cap and trade off the table. Take healthcare ‘reform’ off the table. Take card check off the table. All of these big government programs will make it necessary to raise taxes down the road, which creates tremendous uncertainty for small business owners and entrepreneurs.”
Unfortunately, no one at the White House is willing to sacrifice their leftwing ideology in order to get Americans back to work. In fact, it’s worse than that. By the end of the day, the administration and its allies in Congress were advocating a new tax on stock transactions and voting to permanently reinstate the death tax at a whopping 45%.
So, once again, they’ve fallen into the socialist trap that higher taxes and more government create wealth and prosperity, when in reality Big Government and high taxes consume wealth and destroy prosperity. The U.S. economy is very resilient, and it is doing its best to move forward one step at a time in spite of all the uncertainty. But the major tax hikes and massive spending that Obama, Reid and Pelosi are planning for the years ahead will kill the recovery.
Stop The Spending! America is going broke. The national debt now exceeds $12 trillion and is growing at rates unmatched since WWII. We’ve amassed massive unfunded promises to guarantee future entitlement benefits, which, added to liabilities like debt, total nearly $57 trillion. If Congress does not address this issue, it won’t be long before every penny of the federal budget will be used just to pay for interest on the debt and entitlement spending.
There would be no money for critical priorities like national defense, homeland security and medical research. The dollar would lose its status as the primary international reserve currency, meaning that everything that is traded internationally, such as food and oil, would increase in price. Deficits choke the investment needed to create jobs. And our biggest bankers – countries like China and Saudi Arabia – are hardly friends.
Leaders of both political parties have been reluctant to acknowledge the severity of this issue and to take the necessary action to curtail spending. Congress’ paralysis comes at great cost to our children and grandchildren. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has an idea to address our growing fiscal crisis that deserves consideration.
The Securing America’s Future Economy Commission Act (SAFE – H.R. 1557) would establish a bipartisan commission to look at all federal spending -- constitutionally mandated expenditures, entitlement programs, tax policy, and more. The Commission, modeled after the federal base closing process, would hold public meetings across the country to hear from the American people and then develop a series of recommendations to improve the nation’s financial health. Then Congress would be required to vote up or down on the panel’s proposals.
Congress has shown itself to be incapable of tackling overspending, and it will take a mechanism with teeth to ensure action. SAFE has more than 100 co-sponsors, yet the congressional leadership has failed to bring this critical measure to the floor for a vote. Click here to see if your representative is co-sponsoring the SAFE Act. Then call Congress at 202-224-3121 and urge the leadership to act in the best interest of the country. Tags:American jobs, jobs, Campaign for Working Families, federal spending, Gary Bauer, unemploymentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Also yesterday, the Senate voted 61-39 to adopt an amendment from Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) to include preventive services for women in the bill but voted 41-59 to reject one from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on the same issue.
The AP reported yesterday, “Senate Democrats closed ranks Thursday behind $460 billion in politically risky Medicare cuts at the heart of health care legislation, thwarting a Republican attempt to doom President Barack Obama's sweeping overhaul.” Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell explained earlier today, “We’ve now had a very clarifying vote on the Senate floor about the direction that our friends on the other side intend to take our health care system. Yesterday, all but two of them voted to preserve nearly half a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicare, the health care program for seniors.” Among the cuts Democrats voted to preserve is $135 billion from hospitals serving seniors, $40 billion from home health agencies, $15 billion from nursing homes, and nearly $8 billion from hospices.
A key component of the cuts Democrats voted for yesterday is $120 billion cut from Medicare Advantage. As Sen. McConnell noted, “they expressly voted to violate the President’s pledge that seniors who like the plans they have can keep them … Because you can’t cut $120 billion from a benefits program without cutting benefits. The Congressional Budget Office has been crystal clear on this. When asked about the effect these cuts would have on Medicare Advantage, the director of the CBO was unequivocal. He said that ‘approximately half’ of Medicare Advantage benefits will be cut for nearly 11 million seniors enrolled in this program under this bill.”
In fact, a Democrat senator admitted that these cuts would mean Democrats are breaking Obama’s promise about Americans being able to keep the coverage they have. Bloomberg reported last night, “Should Congress scale back the program, ‘We’re not going to be able to say “if you like what you have, you can keep it,”’ said Senator Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat. “And that basic commitment that a lot of us around here have made will be called into question.”’” Further, the Bloomberg story notes, “A Kaiser Family Foundation poll released last month found that 60 percent of seniors said they would be better off if Congress didn’t change the health-care system . . . .” Americans want Congress to reject this 2,000-page bill stuffed with Medicare cuts and tax increases and start over. Senators would do well to listen.Tags:government healthcare, 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!
Today in Washington D. C. - Dec 3, 2009 - Is Obama's Jobs Summit Simply A PR Stunt, A Political Event, Or What?
The Senate reconvened ; and resumed consideration of the Reid substitute amendment to H.R. 3590, the vehicle for Democrats’ health care reform bill. The Senate will vote on an amendment from Sens. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and one from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), both concerning health services for women. Then the Senate will vote on an amendment from Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) designed to give Democrats cover for their cuts to Medicare. As Sen. McConnell explained this morning, that amendment will still allow the cuts to go forward.
Following that vote, though, senators will have the opportunity to actually prevent Medicare cuts with a vote on the McCain motion to recommit the bill to committee and have it reported back without the half trillion dollars in Medicare cuts.
Today’s big news is that the White House will be hosting a “jobs summit” ostensibly to bring people together to brainstorm ideas on how to create jobs, a month after the unemployment rate topped 10%. But ABC News asks the most important question today, “Is the White House jobs summit an event that will spur tangible actions or simply a glorified public-relations stunt? . . . With the country dealing with its highest unemployment rate in 26 years, the administration is under pressure to get Americans back to work. . . . The jobs summit, announced a week after the Bureau of Labor Statistics said unemployment reached 10.2 percent, is the administration’s latest effort to do just that, but some critics say it’s little more than a publicity stunt. ‘We’re not going to get anything useful out of it,’ said Peter Morici, professor at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business. The president and his treasury secretary, Tim Geithner, ‘really don’t know what to do,’ Morici said.”
Or maybe it’s a political event? The Wall Street Journal editorializes today, “we’ll leave [politics] to the White House experts who today will stage a ‘jobs summit.’ We’ll go out on a limb and predict nothing of substance will come of this event—except maybe cheerleading for a second stimulus—though it does reveal the deepening political panic over the unemployment rate that rose to 10.2% in October and might stay high long enough to affect the 2010 election.” ABC adds, “Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist for the National Federation of Independent Business, echoed that criticism of the administration’s efforts, dubbing the jobs summit ‘a political show.’ Dunkelberg gave the administration a ‘D’ on creating new jobs. ‘There’s been a lot of money spent and authorized, but it really hasn’t been very effective at delivering job creation,’ he told ABC News’ business correspondent Betsy Stark.”
If the Obama administration really wants to promote job creation, they might want to reconsider the wisdom of pushing harmful legislation in Congress such as a government takeover of health care that features nearly $500 billion in tax increases and climate legislation that features a slew of new energy taxes and regulations.
House Leader Boehner will host a roundtable discussion with leading economists and GOP leaders today his office at the Capitol at 11:00 AM to discuss job-threatening policies moving through Congress that are creating uncertainty for small businesses, the engine of job creation in America. At the conclusion of the meeting, Boehner and meeting participants will hold a media availability to recap discussions. Tags:employment, job summit, Obama administration, The White House, 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!
Conn Carroll, Morning Bell, The Heritage Foundation: When President Barack Obama was trying to sell his $787 billion economic stimulus plan to the American people, there was no louder cheerleader for the plan than Mark Zandi of Moody’s Economy.com. Zandi confidently produced scientific tables purporting to prove that for every $1 the Obama administration gave to states, GDP would grow by exactly $1.36. Zandi later produced an analysis claiming that Obama’s stimulus would create 2.2 million jobs.
But as millions of Americans now know all too well, Zandi was very, very wrong. President Obama’s stimulus has completely failed to create any jobs and instead has witnessed more than 4 million jobs lost in 2009. Commenting on the state of the U.S. economy, Zandi now tells USA Today: “It’s getting increasingly unusual that we’re not seeing a hiring kick set in.”
If Zandi and his allies on the left want to figure out why the economy is not creating any jobs, they need to put down their failed Keynesians formulas and talk to real business owners and executives. Executives like Dan DiMicco, CEO of steelmaker Nucor Corp, who told the Wall Street Journal: “Companies large and small are saying, ‘I am not going to do anything until these things — health care, climate legislation — go away or are resolved.’” Or Porta-King CEO Steve Schulte who tells USA Today his company is not investing because “proposals in Congress to tackle climate change and overhaul health care would raise costs.” These businessmen have every right to be worried. As we’ve detailed before, the Senate Health Bill currently being debated in the Senate would be a disaster for the U.S. economy:
Kills Jobs: All told, the Reid Bill raises taxes by $370.2 billion over the next ten years with many of those taxes starting to be collected this year with unemployment at 10.2% and rising. Worse, the bill includes a job killing employer mandate which taxes companies for hiring people. Specifically, companies with more than 50 employees that do not offer a health plan approved by federal bureaucrats will be forced to pay a $750 per employee job tax.
Hurts Small Businesses: The Reid Bill acknowledges it is terrible public policy for small businesses and tries to address this problem by including a “small business tax credit” to minimize the impact of the job killing employer mandates and regulation-caused increases in private health insurance premiums. But the tax credit only lasts two years and largely excludes small business owners, small businesses with high-average payrolls, and firms with 25 or more workers. Essentially, after all exclusions, the only eligible firms are those firms with 10 or fewer workers as well as those with low-income workers—the least likely to offer coverage even with a significant price reduction.
Hurts Poor:The Reid Bill’s employer mandate is especially punitive on poor families. Firms that hire an employee from a low-income family who qualify for an insurance subsidy are charged a tax penalty of $3,000. So a company could save $3,000 by hiring, say, someone with a working spouse or a teenager with working parents, rather than a single mother with three children. Worse, companies only have to pay $750 an employee instead of $3,000 if one quarter of employees are low-income. This creates a situation where, if a company has a lot of low-income workers, they can actually save money by dropping their health plan and just dumping all their employees into the federal exchange at their own expense.
It is way past time for a new direction. Yesterday, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) outlined a seven point common sense plan for job creation here at the Heritage Foundation. Item number 1: “Halt Any Proposed Rule or Regulation Expected to Have an Economic Cost, Result in Job Loss, or Have a Disparate Impact on Small Businesses.” As Cantor explained in his speech, that means a merciful end to Obamacare. Tags:American jobs, jobs, recovery, economy, Eric Cantor, Harry Reid, Morning Bell, Obamacare, stimulus, The Heritage FoundationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by The Wire, Washington Insider Report: The mystery surrounding the White House “gate crashers” continues to grow – and with it so do doubts as to what really happened before, during, and since the unsettling episode. One thing is certain, however: the full truth has not yet been told. And, in fact, the “misstatements” continue to multiply.
First, the Obama staff contended that the couple was entirely unknown to anyone at the White House, and no one had any inkling who they might be. Then came the 2005 picture of a beaming Barack Obama posing with the lovely Salahi twosome, and that story evanesced.
Next came the news that Mr. Salahi, in fact, shared a very unique affinity with Mr. Obama – i.e., their mutual enthusiasm for the Hamas terrorist regime. That story, of course, was dropped by the mainstream media quicker than a Jeremiah Wright sermonette.
And finally, came the official Obama White House Blame Game laying it all at the feet of the Secret Service: they had failed their President and their country. Of course, being sworn to secrecy, the Secret Service has resolutely refused to utter a single word in its own defense. Nor, as Obama aides know, will it ever.
But truth will out. And as one decorated Secret Service agent who served under four presidents told The WIRE in strictest anonymity: “It is not now, nor has it ever been the job of the Secret Service to run around at White House social functions ‘carding’ the guests. Whatever went wrong at that party, it had nothing to do with the Secret Service failing to do its job. Someone is covering something up.”
What that “something” is remains to be seen. But, InqWIREing Minds now know, thanks to the Washington Post’s Roxanne Roberts, that top White House staffers knew the couple was not on the guest list as early as 7:35 in the evening. Which raises several vital questions: Why didn’t they have them removed? … How much earlier than that did they know? … and, Why the continuing cover-up? Tags:gate crasher, Obama administration, The White HouseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:climategate, global warming, global warming hoax, not enough heat,cartoon, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Senate resumed consideration of the Reid substitute amendment to H.R. 3590, the vehicle for Democrats’ health care reform bill. Votes are possible today on the McCain motion, a motion to recommit the bill to committee and have it reported back without the half trillion dollars in Medicare cuts, and the amendment from Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) concenring health services for women. Yesterday, the Senate voted 97-0 to confirm Jacqueline Nguyen to be district judge for the Central District of California.
Months after General Stanley McChrystal first made his request for more troops in Afghanistan, President Obama finally laid out his strategy in a speech at West Point last night. The president will order 30,000 more troops to the country to “target the insurgency and secure key population centers” and “train competent Afghan security forces.”
Speaking on the Senate floor this morning, GOP Leader Mitch McConnell said, “I support the President’s decision to follow the advice of Generals Petraeus and McChrystal in ordering the same kind of surge in Afghanistan that helped turn the tide in Iraq.” And the Los Angeles Times writes today, “In some ways, Obama’s new tack borrows directly from the ‘surge’ that his predecessor, George W. Bush, launched in Iraq in 2007 . . . .”
Yet the White House seems to have avoided making this comparison. Obama is facing serious problems with the left wing of the Democrat party, as The New York Times noted: “[S]everal senior Democrats took sharp exception to the president’s plan, illustrating the deep divide in the party over the conflict.” The Times described the reaction from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “noncommittal” and pointed out that “the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate, Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, a close ally of the president, said he was not yet ready to render judgment.” And, the NYT writes, “Other Democrats quickly weighed in against the troop increase, making it clear they were prepared to break with the president.”
It’s obvious that Obama doesn’t want to remind those in his party who dislike his decision to follow the advice of his generals that he is continuing many of former President George W. Bush’s policies in the Middle East. Perhaps that’s why he spent so much time attacking Bush policies in his speech last night.
It may also explain why Obama and his aides spent a lot of time emphasizing timelines and when the surge forces could begin to withdraw. As the L.A. Times notes, “where Bush’s escalation came wrapped in promises that U.S. forces would remain in Iraq until victory was achieved, no matter what the cost, Obama’s troop buildup is all about exit strategies . . . .” But last night Obama said, “Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground.” And The Wall Street Journal reports, “A year from now, the administration plans to assess progress in the war and decide how quickly to withdraw the 30,000 troops in the surge.”
Conditions on the ground are the right criteria to judge how quickly American forces can withdraw. General David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. Central Command, told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough this morning that transitioning to Afghan control based on conditions on the ground is important to focus on. And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly told a Senate panel this morning, “I do not believe we have locked ourselves into leaving.”
As Sen. McConnell also said today, “Once we achieve our objectives — an Afghanistan that can defend itself, govern itself, control its borders, and remain an ally in the war on terror — then we can reasonably discuss withdrawal, a withdrawal based on conditions, not arbitrary timelines.” Hopefully, the administration will stick with that plan and not let political considerations get in the way. Tags:Afghanistan, Barack Obama, troop surge, 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!
No matter what labels the "left wing" or current administration tries to put on you - the American citizen, please continue to speak out and to force the debate. None of us can "afford" anything less in these times. Tags:citizens, free speachTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
$135 BILLION IN CUTS TO HOSPITALS SERVING SENIORS (CBO, E-mail To Senate Leadership Staff, 11/20/09) $120 BILLION IN CUTS TO MEDICARE ADVANTAGE
“Setting Payment Rates In The Medicare Advantage Program… $118 Billion.” “Setting payment rates in the Medicare Advantage program on the basis of the average of the bids submitted by Medicare Advantage plans in each market, yielding savings of an estimated $118 billion (before interactions) over the 2010– 2019 period.”(CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Sen. Harry Reid, 11/18/09, P. 10)
1.9 Billion Cut To Medicare Advantage Resulting >From A Coding Intensity Adjustment: “Subtitle B—Improving Medicare for Patients and Providers; PART III—IMPROVING PAYMENT ACCURACY; Subtitle C—Provisions Relating to Part C; 3203; Application of Coding Intensity Adjustment… 2010-2019… -1.9 [Billion Dollars].”(CBO Director Doug Elmendorf, Letter To Sen. Harry Reid, 11/18/09, P. 28)
MORE THAN $40 BILLION CUT FROM HOME HEALTH AGENCIES (CBO, E-mail To Senate Leadership Staff, 11/20/09) $15 BILLION IN CUTS TO NURSING HOMES (CBO, E-mail To Senate Leadership Staff, 11/20/09) NEARLY $8 BILLION FROM HOSPICES (CBO, E-mail To Senate Leadership Staff, 11/20/09)
Tags:CBO, conservative democrat, senators, Fact Checking, health care, SenateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington D. C. - Dec 1, 2009 - Senate Bill - Higher Healthcare Costs
House returns at 6:30 PM. Today, at 11:30, the Senate will move to executive session to consider the nomination of Jacqueline Nguyen to be district judge for the Central District of California and at noon, the Senate will vote on the nomination. The Senate resumes consideration of the Reid substitute amendment to H.R. 3590, the vehicle for Democrats’ health care reform bill. Votes on amendments to the bill are possible. Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) offered the first GOP modification to the bill, a motion to recommit the bill to committee and have it reported back without the half trillion dollars in Medicare cuts it features.
In an important article today, Politico writes, “The White House has started to aggressively push back against a growing narrative that pending health reform legislation doesn’t do enough to control spiraling health costs.” The problem for the White House is that the narrative is correct: multiple studies show that Democrats’ health reform plans will not do what President Obama and others have claimed they will do. Indeed, Politico notes, “One of the most recent and damaging reports came from the administration’s own independent actuary. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported that the legislation passed by the House would increase health care costs by almost $300 billion over the next 10 years. Outside of the bill’s Medicare cuts — a savings that would be difficult to sustain — the legislation wouldn’t curb increasing costs, the report said.”
“And on the Senate side,” Politico writes, “the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s legislation would increase federal health outlays by $160 billion over the next decade.” According to Politico, “Democrats push back by arguing that the House and Senate bills would cut the deficit. Under the Senate bill, CBO estimates that the deficit would be reduced by $130 billion over the next decade.” However, this is comparing apples and oranges. Democrats have premised their health reform legislation on lowering both health care costs to the federal government and to individual Americans. Yet the CBO has found that Reid’s bill would do just the opposite. In addition to increased government spending, The Washington Post reports, “[b]y 2016, two years after the Senate reforms are to take effect, the CBO projected that premiums for 32 million people in [the individual] market would be driven as much as 30 percent higher . . . .” Democrats have been promoting the analysis of MIT economist John Gruber, who supports their plans for health care reform. But even he told The Washington Post today, “This is not delivering huge premiums savings to the insured.”
So, despite the promises of Democrats that their bill will lower health care costs, it’s clear that it will NOT lower health care cost. As Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell notes that “It’s pretty clear by now that the American people were sold a bill of goods when the administration and its allies here in Congress said their health care bill would lower costs and help the economy, because the plan that has been produced—that is before the Senate—won’t do either.” Tags:government run, health care, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.CTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
New CBO Report Confirms Latest Democrat Health Care Bill Increases Premiums on Families
Washington, DC - U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, released the following statement today after the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the Senate Democrat health care bill will increase individual insurance premiums by $2,100 or up to 13 percent in 2016:
"The CBO has confirmed what every American already knows, the Democrats' plan for a government takeover of health care will dramatically raise health care costs on working families. This latest CBO study reveals that the health care bill before the U.S. Senate will raise individual insurance premiums by up to 13 percent. That means every family that refuses the government's one-size-fits-all plan, will be forced to spend an additional $2,100 a year to keep their current health care.
"During last year's campaign, the president promised to deliver health care reform that would lower premiums by $2,500. In light of this new CBO report, I urge the president to call on Democrat leaders to start over or explain to the American people why lowering health care costs isn't a promise worth keeping."
Tags:Democrat, government healthcare, health care, insurance, Mike Pence, ObamacareTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families: Iran delivered another blow to Barack Obama’s appeasement foreign policy over the weekend. Iranian “president” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced in an interview with the official Islamic Republic News Agency that Iran will build ten new uranium-enrichment sites. While it would take years for Iran to complete such a project, the decision is a slap in the face to the Obama Administration. This announcement comes in the wake of Barack Obama’s futile attempts to “engage” with the radical mullahs on how to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program. Ahmadinejad called Obama’s bluff and upped the ante.
In his ten months in office, Obama has tried to reach out to the Iranian leadership multiple times. This included his personal “New Year’s greeting” to the Iranian people, his repeated condemnations of Israel and, perhaps most disturbing, his lack of support of the pro-democratic reformers who took to the streets after Iran’s flawed presidential election. The United States and the free world have become less secure because of these policies. It is safe to say that Ahmadinejad is making the leader of the free world look like a fool.
During the Bush Administration the liberal elites continuously pointed to poll numbers showing America’s popularity declining in the Muslim world. But, a new Pew Global Attitudes survey shows that Obama hasn’t changed Muslim views much, and in some cases he has made them worse. Here’s a summary from the Wall Street Journal:
“In the Palestinian territories, 15% have a favorable view of the U.S. while 82% have an unfavorable view. The Obama speech in Ankara didn’t seem to help in Turkey, where the favorables are 14% and those unreconciled, 69%. In Egypt, a country that’s reaped nearly 40 years of American aid, things stayed roughly the same: 27% have a favorable view of the U.S. while 70% do not. In Pakistan, a place of great consequence for American power, our standing has deteriorated: The unfavorables rose from 63% in 2008 to 68% this year.”Obama and the Left don’t get it. Muslims in these countries don’t like us because we’re American. The Left has convinced itself that the unfavorable views of the U.S. held by many Muslims are based on the president and his policies. None of that matters. Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton were not popular in the Middle East either. The average Muslim is captive to state-owned media and fanatical Islamic dogma. They are taught to hate everything that Western Civilization – and the United States and Israel in particular – stands for. It is time for the Obama Administration to stop bowing to these tyrannical thugs and to stand up for the principles that make this nation great. See also:Iran Defies International Community With Another Nuclear Announcement Tags:Barack Obama, Campaign for Working Families, Gary Bauer, Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Muslim, nuclear weapon, uranium enrichmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Kim Trobee, CitizenLink: Statement on Christian beliefs is a clarion call to reach out to the poor and suffering. The Manhattan Declaration was unveiled at a press conference Nov. 20. Now, more than 200,000 [Now 212791] people have signed the document that outlines Christian teaching on abortion, marriage and rights of conscience.
Chuck Colson, founder of The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, said on his daily Breakpoint commentary that the declaration was a proclamation that Christians will protect the tenets of their faith. "There, in front of all those cameras and lights, Christian leaders lovingly, winsomely and firmly took a stand," he said. "I will never forget the picture. I stood between Archbishop Wuerl of Washington and Cardinal Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia. I looked over at Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Jim Daly of Focus on the Family, and Ron Sider, president of Evangelicals for Social Action. It was a foretaste of what we're all going to see in heaven."
Other Christian leaders signing included Bishop Harry Jackson, senior pastor of Hope Christian Church, the Rev. Chad Hatfield, chancellor and CEO of St. Vladimir's Seminary, Robbie George, director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, and Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List.
Just four days after launching the Manhattan Declaration Web site, nearly 100,000 people had signed their support for the document, and that number continues to climb. Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, said it's the kind of communication that captures the spirit of the Christian faith. "Inviting and answering questions, engaging in civil discourse, acknowledging where we've fallen short and investing more energy in doing the right things for other to see," he said. "It's the language of cultural change."
Opponents have called the document a political tool to resurrect the "religious right." Colson said that couldn't be further from the truth. "This document is a clarion call to reach out to the poor and the suffering," he said. "It is, in fact, a form of catechism for the foundational truths of the faith. It underscores human rights, and calls on everyone to protect human dignity at every stage of life. The Manhattan Declaration was written for the common good and for justice." Tags:Christian, Christian Conscience, Christian Faith, Chuck Colson, CitizenLinkTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Czar of Lies - Obama Science Czar John Holdren - Climategate
Robert Romano, LG Senior News Editor: As the Climategate scandal unfolds and the manipulation and suppression of data disproving “man-made” global warming becomes more widely known, the fallout also continues to unfold as the Copenhagen Climate Summit prepares to promulgate another global treaty curbing carbon, energy-based emissions in the industrialized world.
Now, it has been discovered, Barack Obama’s Science Czar, John Holdren, is in the middle of the growing scandal that could change the very course of human history.As reported by the Canada Free Press, Holdren was also in regular contact with the UEA via email. In one email, he singles out solar physicists Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon who, according to Canadian climatologist Dr. Tim Ball “were authors of excellent work confirming the existence of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) from a multitude of sources. Their work challenged attempts to get rid of the MWP because it contradicted the claim by the proponents of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Several scientists challenged the claim that the latter part of the 20th century was the warmest ever.”
Dr. Ball continues, “They knew the claim was false, many warmer periods occurred in the past. Michael Mann ‘got rid’ of the MWP with his production of the hockey stick, but Soon and Baliunas were problematic. What better than have a powerful academic destroy their credibility for you? Sadly, there are always people who will do the dirty work.”
Enter John Holdren, who in one exchange wrote, “I’m forwarding for your entertainment an exchange that followed from my being quoted in the Harvard Crimson to the effect that you and your colleagues are right and my ‘Harvard’ colleagues Soon and Baliunas are wrong about what the evidence shows concerning surface temperatures over the past millennium.”
According to Dr. Ball, “Holdren provides lengthy responses on October 13, 14, and 16 but comments fail to answer [‘man-made’ climate change skeptic Nick] Schulz’s questions… He then demonstrates his lack of understanding of science and climate science by opting for Mann and his hockey stick over Soon and Baliunas. His entire defense and position devolves to a political position. His attempt to belittle Soon and Baliunas in front of colleagues is a measure of the man’s blindness and political opportunism that pervades everything he says or does.”
Fast forward to 2009, when Barack Obama has appointed Holdren, already a controversial figure, to be the nation’s so-called “Science” Czar. According to Americans for Limited Government research, since the 1960s Holdren has advocated draconian practices in order to control the world’s population and bring down the economy of the U.S.
In 1969 he wrote, “If…population control measures are not initiated immediately… technology… will not fend off the misery to come.” Holdren further states, “Some form of ecocatastrophe… seems almost certain… before the end of the century.” Holdren believes capitalism, the traditional family, and new achievements in energy production are propelling the world toward unmitigated disaster. Because of this in 1973 he advocated a “de-development” of the United States to keep the nation “in line with the realities… of the world’s resource situation.” He also has pushed for government mandated family sizes, government controlled energy distribution, and totalitarian government controls over every aspect lives—all in the interest of “equality”.
And of course, the redistribution of wealth from America and the West to the Third World. In 1971 Holdren called for a “massive de-development campaign of the United States” because of the “rapacious depletion of our fossil fuels.” He justifies this by saying, “Resources…must be diverted from frivolous…uses in overdeveloped countries to filling the genuine needs of underdeveloped countries.”
And, apparently, whatever it takes to achieve that agenda—including pushing flawed “man-made” climate change science and discrediting scientists who espouse contrary views—is fair game for Holdren and his buddies at the UN’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
For years, the IPCC has utilized the CRU’s data as the primary source that the world now knows was manipulated to implement a radical political agenda. And now, that includes White House officials, including Holdren. How far does this scandal go? In addition to discontinuing any involvement with treaties and abolishing any and all laws and government policies that have depended on CRU’s data, it is time for the House Oversight and the Senate Environment and Public Works committees to undertake a widespread investigation.
Today in Washington D. C. - Nov 30, 2009 - Public Opposes Dem Health Bills; Dems Don't Seem to be Listening
News reports indicate that "President Obama will announce a surge of 34,000 US troops in Afghanistan at the US Military Academy at West Point> on Tuesday, December 1st. General Stanley McChrystal, America's top general in Afghanistan requested 40,000 additional troops to quell the Taliban insurgency and stabilize conditions on the ground. Senior Defense Department officials believe the US is losing the war, the Taliban is gaining and increased troops are needed to turn the tide in the NATO forces' favor."
The House will reconvene Tuesday at 6:30 PM. The Senate reconvene today at 2 PM and will resume consideration of the Reid substitute amendment to H.R. 3590, the vehicle for Democrats’ health care reform bill. The first vote of the week is expected tomorrow on the nomination of Jacqueline Nguyen to be district judge for the Central District of California. Anyone notice, how the Democrats dragged out approving judges under President George Bush but now with Democrat President Barack Obama, the Senate runs confirmations through the Senate without delay.
As the Senate returns to begin floor debate on the Democrats’ health care bill today, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Democrats in Congress and the White House are pushing a health care reform on Americans that they do not want. A new Gallup poll out today finds once again, “Despite the considerable efforts of Congress and the president to pass health insurance reform, the public remains reluctant to endorse that goal. Over the past month, Gallup has found more Americans opposed to than in favor of healthcare legislation . . . .” More Americans want their members of Congress to vote against “a healthcare bill” than for it: 49%-44%. A majority of independent voters continues to oppose passage of the Democrats’ health care bill, by 53%-37%. Support from all 3 political affiliations has dropped for the bill since October, “falling by 6 points among Democrats, 8 among independents, and 12 among Republicans,” according to Gallup.
Further, Gallup finds, a majority of Americans continues to disapprove of President Obama’s handling of health care, 53%. Only 40% approve. Gallup points out that this “represents his worst review to date on this issue.” And “Independents are nearly twice as likely to disapprove (58%) as to approve (33%).”
And how are Democrats reacting to this? Apparently, they aren’t. Instead, they’re looking to make deals among themselves to pass a bill that most Americans don’t want.Politico reports today, “The next phase in the Democrats’ health care push will be waged in the privacy of the Senate leadership office, where Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will attempt to do something that has eluded him all year: negotiate a compromise on the public insurance option that can garner 60 votes and win over a public still leery of reform.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out Democrats’ apparent determination to plow ahead, telling CNN’s John King last weekend, “[Americans] are literally screaming -- many of them -- telling us, ‘Please don't pass this. Don't pass this bill.’ If the majority is hell-bent on ignoring the wishes of the American people, they have 60 votes in the Senate. You would think that they might be able to do this, but I believe there are a number of Democratic senators who do care what the American people think and are not interested in this sort of arrogant approach that everybody -- sort of shut up and sit down, get out of the way, we know what's best for you.”
Hopefully, those Democrats who say they oppose Reid’s bill will be more interested in what the American public is telling them than whatever deals are offered behind closed doors in the majority leader’s office. Tags:Afghanistan, anti-military, government run, health care, 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!
Huckabee Pardoned Suspected Shooter of 4 Police Officers
Maurice Clemmons has been identified as the man wanted for questioning for the murder of four police officers killed in an ambush in Lakewood near McCord AFB, WA. Clemmons was previously convicted of five felonies in his home state Arkansas and has been charged with eight felonies in Washington state.
Telegraph UK reports: In 1989, Clemmons, then aged 17, was convicted in Little Rock for aggravated robbery. He was paroled in 2000 after Mr Huckabee commuted Clemmons' 35-year prison sentence. Mr Huckabee, who took criticism during his run for the Republican presidential nomination for the number of pardons he issued, cited Clemmons' age at the time of the sentence. See also local story on police officers:Slain Lakewood Police Officers Were Four of City's Best
Video Background on Shooting: CNN Reports: Clemmons, 37, of Pierce County has an "extensive violent criminal history from Arkansas, including aggravated robbery and theft," the sheriff's department said in a statement. . . . Clemmons was sentenced to 95 years in prison in 1989 for a host of charges, including robberies, burglaries, thefts and bringing a gun to school. . . .
Huckabee cited Clemmons' young age -- 17 at the time of his sentencing -- when he announced his decision to commute the sentence, according to newspaper articles. Clemmons was paroled in August 2000, after serving 11 years of his sentence. "It was not something I was pleased with at the time," said Larry Jegley, who prosecuted Clemmons for aggravated robbery and other charges in Pulaski County, Arkansas. "I would be most distressed if this is the same guy."
Huckabee's office said Clemmons' commutation was based on the recommendation of the parole board that determined that he met the conditions for early release. "He was arrested later for parole violation and taken back to prison to serve his full term, but prosecutors dropped the charges that would have held him," the statement said.
CNN could not immediately confirm the account. But the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper reported that a year after his release, Clemmons was arrested for aggravated robbery and theft. He was taken back to prison for parole violation. But, said the paper, he was not served with the arrest warrants for the robbery and theft charges until he left prison three years later, in 2004.
His attorney argued the charges should be dismissed because too much time had passed by then. Prosecutors dropped the charges. Clemmons is thought to have moved to Washington that year, and for a while ran a pressure-washing and landscaping business. The license for the business expired last month, according to the secretary of state's office, with which businesses have to register. Unfortunately, making decision whether or not to grant pardons and clemency is a difficult decision for Governors. Former Governor Mike Huckabee has been criticized before for pardons of individuals who went on to murder, rape or harm other people. Until now the most infamous situation involved Wayne Dumond. This situation was previously reported on in a Jan 12, 2008 story:Review of Mike Huckabee & Wayne Dumond Issue Tags:Arkansas, CNN, Mike Huckabee, pardon, police officer, shooting, WashingtonTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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