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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Islamic Terrorist Tries to Blow Up a NW Airlines Plane over U.S. Soil
DETROIT (AP) – A man who claimed to be an agent of al-Qaida was charged Saturday with trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight on Christmas Day as it was preparing to land in Detroit, officials said.
The Justice Department said 23-year-old Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had a device containing a high explosive attached to his body on Flight 253 from Amsterdam. As the flight neared Detroit’s airport on Friday, Abdulmutallab set it off – but it sparked a fire instead of an explosion, the government said. [278 passengers aboard the plane.]
A preliminary analysis of the device shows that it contained PETN, also known as pentaerythritol, according the affidavit filed in federal court in Detroit.
Abdulmutallab allegedly told passengers that his stomach was upset, then pulled a blanket over himself, the affidavit said. Passengers then heard popping noises that sounded like fireworks and smelled smoke before at least one passenger climbed over seats and tackled Abdulmutallab.
. . . Abdulmutallab claimed to have been instructed by al-Qaida to detonate the plane over U.S. soil, said a U.S. law enforcement official. But others cautioned that such claims could not be verified immediately. Another official said the U.S. had known for at least two years that that the Mutallab could have had terrorist ties and was on a list that includes people with known or suspected ties to a terrorist organization. . . . Full Story: Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up plane
But… Wait… He was “instructed by al-Qaida to detonate the plane over U.S. soil”? How can that be? I can’t believe this is the truth. I can’t believe al-Qaida would do such a thing, I seem to distinctly remember this being said: Obama declares US not at war with Islam
Didn’t Barack Hussein Obama recently say: The U.S. should reach out to Taliban? It seems to me that was what he was saying. After all, aren’t al-Qaida and the Taliban nearly one in the same?
. . . Expect continued attacks against America in 2010, expect them to pick up in intensity as well as in frequency. We have mid-term elections coming up and the warriors of Islam love to disrupt elections, just look at their actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Our Department of Homeland Security, and their associates, will work hard to protect America, of that I am sure. But will Barack Hussein Obama allow them to do a thorough job? Will Obama allow of protection agencies to actually DO the job they are intended to do?
I think not. Simply look at the ridiculous *rules of engagement* our troops have been saddled with since The Obamessiah rose to power.
by Matt Spalding, Morning Bell, Heritage Foundation: Christmas, 1776. Summer had begun with strong declarations of noble ideals, but by winter the cause of liberty seemed to be at low ebb. Having suffered defeat after defeat, many had all but given up hope. It looked like freedom would succumb yet again, as it had throughout history, to the forces of authoritarianism and tyranny.
Then, on Christmas Day, 1776, a small band of colonial forces under the command of Gen. George Washington, having retreated all the way from New York, again crossed the Delaware River and brought battle at Trenton, New Jersey. Washington not only won the battle but regained the initiative and turned the war in the patriots’ favor. One week later, Washington defeated the British at Princeton and forced the enemy to withdraw, preventing its advance on Philadelphia, seat of the Continental Congress.
When it announced itself to the world in 1776, the United States of America was little more than an alliance of 13 small colonies on a barren continent, thousands of miles from their ancestral homeland, surrounded by hostile powers.
Now, well over two centuries after winning independence from the British Empire, America is the freest, wealthiest, most powerful nation on Earth. Along the way it established sovereign nationhood, settled a continent and more and brought unprecedented prosperity to its citizens. It survived a devastating Civil War that threatened its very life, abolished slavery and raised up the emancipated to be citizens equal to their one-time masters. It triumphed in two world wars fought on foreign soil and a decades-long struggle against worldwide communism that, 20 years ago, led to the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of the Soviet Union.
What accounts for this monumental success? The founding of the United States was indeed revolutionary. But not in the sense of replacing one set of rulers with another, or overthrowing the institutions of society. John Adams queried:
What do we mean by the American Revolution? The revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people. . . . This radical change in the principles, opinions, sentiments, and affections of the people, was the real American Revolution.
Our revolution was about the ideas upon which a new nation was to be established. Permanent truths “applicable to all men and all times,” as Abraham Lincoln later said, proclaimed that principle rather than will would be the ultimate ground of government.
What is truly revolutionary about America is that, for the first time in history, these universal ideas became the foundation of a system of government and its political culture. Because of these principles, rather than despite them, the American Revolution culminated not in tyranny but a constitutional government that has long endured.
To this day, 233 years after Washington and his men crossed the Delaware, these principles–proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence and promulgated by the Constitution–still define us as a nation and inspire us as a people. These principles are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other. They are the highest achievements of our tradition, a beacon to those who strive for freedom but also a warning to tyrants and despots everywhere. Because of these principles, not despite them, America achieved greatness.
The Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson later recorded, was “neither aiming at originality of principle or sentiment, nor yet copied from any particular and previous writing, [but] was intended to be an expression of the American mind.”
As Americans, our aim must be a clear expression and forthright defense of the nation’s principles in the public square so that they become, once again, an expression of the American mind. Despite constant scorn by academic elites, political leaders and the popular media, most Americans still believe in the uniqueness of this country and respect the Founders’ noble ideas. They may fail a test of particulars – quick: when didWashington cross the Delaware? – but they overwhelmingly want to know about this nation and its meaning.
We must give voice to all those who have not given up on their country’s experiment in self-government, have not concluded the cause of liberty and limited constitutional government is lost and have not accepted America’s decline as inevitable. The goal must be to restore the liberating principles of the American Founding as the defining public philosophy of our nation. As it was for most of American history, so it can be again.
The joy of this wonderful season is about new beginnings and the eternal promise of redemption. We Americans have the immeasurable benefit, the providential gift, of having inherited a great country. We must never forget its confidence, optimism and promise, its endless capacity for renewal, are contained in our dedication to the enduring principles of liberty with which all men are endowed by their Creator. Tags:Christmas, 1776, George Washington, Heritage Foundation, liberty, Morning BellTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Wendi Lynn G, American Thinker: I, like many, have had those heart-pounding dreams where I'm battling evil. When trying to cry out, I cannot utter a sound. I try to get away, but my legs won't move. At the height of fear, I wake up, relieved that it was only a dream. I wake up every day realizing that the America in which I am currently living is this nightmare, and I wish it were only a bad dream. Instead, the real-life heart-pounding is leading me to post-traumatic stress syndrome. I pray to get to the "post" part already because my heart cannot endure the present part of living in ObamAmerica much longer. I'm not alone, as a recent Rasmussen poll revealed that 71% of Americans are angry with our government and 61%oppose ObamaCare.
Yes, yes, call us names like "astroturfer," "teabagger," and "angry mob." Such is the motif of our accusers in government who seem to think that we're angry because "our party" isn't in power, all the while neglecting the log within their own eyes that blocks their view of the truth. This hypocrisy and ignorance exemplify the reality behind why we're angry. Using the Saul Alinsky tactic of badgering serves only to pour gasoline upon the very fires of anger that they ignited. And this fire has only begun to burn. The Santa Ana winds are not far off over the mountains.
Our anger comes not simply because we are poor sports. We are not racists who abhor the idea of "a black manin the White House," because in truth, we have wanted to see that bridge crossed for years. We are not "just angry people" -- quite the contrary, which underscores the point. Conservatives are not usually angry, nor are we protesters. That we show up to a protest at all is a huge statement itself and expressive enough of our anger. When we do protest, we don't vandalize local merchants, topple cars and set them on fire, or require the police to control us or cart us off to jail. We're not violent people -- but we are human, and we do get angry. We're just regular folks who prefer to not protest or make a stink about anything. We just want to live our lives in peace. What lights our fire is any threat to that peace and the freedom that provides it.
In September 2008, before the financial crisis came to the fore, I fought on two fronts: I didn't want then-Senator Obama to win the election, and I didn't want the TARP bill to pass. For the first time in my life, I called my local elected officials and the McCain Campaign Headquarters. I begged, through tears of frustration, for Senator McCain not to support the TARP legislation. If ever I needed the "Maverick" to show up, it was then, for both the bill and the election. I was hugely disappointed on both counts. My frustration escalated to shouting matches at my TV set every time I heard the lies, spin, and audacious deception that, for the first time in our history, elected someone radically far left into the White House. On election night, I grieved from knowing, knowing what was to come: something utterly unlike the America in which I grew up with such hope and patriotic pride. I wasn't alone in this, but at the time, I didn't know it.
From day one of Obama's presidency, the dismantling commenced. We have continued to call and write to our elected officials. "We don't want the bailouts, spending, cap-and-trade, ObamaCare," etc. On April 15, 2009, I joined thousands across the country in attending our first protest. We wanted to be heard by our representatives. We believed that in addition to reading letters and fielding calls -- if they even did that -- perhaps our visibility would finally capture their attention. Then, at a town hall, the president un-presidentially and mockingly dismissed us, saying we were "waving tea bags around" like we're just a joke! As our disapproval and disagreement with the Obama agenda has grown ever louder, we have essentially asked, "can you hear us now?!" And the answer has been further dismissal, lack of acknowledgment, and blatant media attacks utilizing the aforementioned Saul Alinksy skill set.
We're trying in every way legally and officially possible to make clear that we don't want the radical meal we're being forced to eat. We fervently do not want to "fundamentally transform" America. But there is such a huge disconnect from our world to our representatives'. It's as if we are ghosts whom they can't see or hear! When someone refuses to listen, going so far as to ignore you, don't you shout louder? Doesn't it anger you? When you're attacked and belittled because you have to shout to be heard and you're still ignored, doesn't that infuriate you? These people miss that we passionately don't want what they want. The more they refuse to hear us, the more we try to make them. We are not going away.
We're justly and increasingly angry because our reps not only refuse to hear us, but they also chastise us for wanting to be heard. How else would they expect us to react when we feel so helpless and hopeless? No matter what we want, say, or do, our government is going to force us to eat a meal we never ordered. In addition, we keep saying, "no, we don't want this," but they keep putting affirmations in our mouths and proceeding with their radical agenda anyway. We are not enjoying the governmental rape of our country. We said "no," and "no" means "no" in every language. Why doesn't this matter? Every poll reflects the president's rapidly declining approval rating -- for good reason. And still, Robert Gibbs flippantly: dismisses it. How are "we the people" supposed to feel? Certainly we do not feel happy, or even just mildly upset, about being disregarded. Far-left ideologues who supposedly espouse "compassionate" causes have no compassion for how we feel, nor do they have a clue that we are an angry mob of their own creation.
We take comfort in knowing (if only for ourselves, because clearly, they have forgotten) that "we the people" hold the power of our votes. Our elected officials will hear us in 2010 and 2012. Even so, if we do not stop this train wreck now; we may never be able to undo the damage being forced upon us.
Yes, my heart is pounding, and I feel like I'm living the nightmare in fighting to be heard. I want more than anything to finally wake up and say, "Oh, thank God...it was only a dream." I want to return to a life where I'm not concerned about the uncertainty of a future where I can still pursue dreams. Once at the "post" part of PTSS, I can return to being part of the regular folk, peacefully living life. But as long as I live in this nightmare, this "angry mobstress" will continue to fight against the radical "remaking" of America so that we can remain America, with liberty and justice for all. As one of the "regular folks," I really wish I had another choice. Wendi is a writer and blogger residing in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is currently working on her first book. Her blog can be found at rightmakesmight4all.blogspot.com Tags:Angry Mob, citizens, cost of government, government corruption, National DebtTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Arkansas Senators Lincoln & Pryor Turn Another Deaf Ear to the Voice of Arkansans
Arkansas AFP - Little Rock, AR – This Christmas Eve, while most Arkansas families are getting ready for the holidays with their children, Senator Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor voted this morning to saddle the next generation of Arkansans with massive debt to pay for their out of control government spending.”
“Over the last week the corruption, secrecy, and political payoffs that Arkansans have watched in the U.S. Senate surrounding the health care debate, shows that health care reform is about ramming a bill through instead of about getting it done right,” stated Teresa Crossland-Oelke, Arkansas State Director for Americans for Prosperity. “Even today, new information from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) makes it clear that this bill is not deficit neutral as our Arkansas Senators allege.”
Oelke, referring to the CBO letter release December 23 stating, “Unified budget accounting shows that the majority of the HI trust fund savings would be used to pay for other spending under the PPACA and would not enhance the ability of the government to redeem the bonds credited to the trust fund to pay for future Medicare benefits. To describe the full amount of HI trust fund savings as both improving the government’s ability to pay future Medicare benefits and financing new spending outside of Medicare would essentially double-count a large share of those savings and thus overstate the improvement in the government’s fiscal position.”
Oelke commented, “Basically our Senators are trying to spend the same money in two columns. This information from the CBO is the type of information that is important to wait on, instead of rushing changes through with just 40 hours consideration to meet an arbitrary deadline.”
In addition, Senator John Cornyn of Texas has pointed out that this health care bill has an unfunded Medicare mandate of $230 million for Arkansas . “With a balanced budget amendment in our constitution, the Arkansas budget cannot afford this unfunded mandate with out cuts to infrastructure, education, or public safety and/or tax increases,” said Oelke.
“Senator Lincoln and Senator Pryor ignored the common sense voice of the people they represent. Instead of taking this great opportunity to make changes such as tort reform, increasing competition for insurance companies across state lines in a bi-partisan manner, they played pork barrel, partisan politics and voted with their extreme party leadership instead of the people they represent. They took this great opportunity and used it to spend every opportunity our children and grandchildren have,” concluded Oelke. Tags:AFP, Arkansas, Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor, National Debt, nationalized health careTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
2.SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL): “I Would Say To The Senator From Arizona, That I’m In The Dark Almost As Much As He Is. And I’m In The Leadership.” (Sen. Dick Durbin, Floor Remarks, 12/11/09)
3.SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN (ID-CT):“I Wonder If I Could Ask Unanimous Consent For Just An Additional Moment.”SEN. AL FRANKEN (D-MN):“In My Capacity As Senator From Minnesota, I Object.”LIEBERMAN:“Really? Ok. Don't Take It Personally.”(Sens. Lieberman & Franken, Floor Remarks, 12/17/09)
4.SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT):“I’ll Just Read. This Is From Wikipedia. It May Not Be Accurate.”(Sen. Baucus, Floor Remarks, 12/3/09)
10.SEN. SHELDON WHITEHOUSE (D-RI):“They Have Ardent Supporters Who Are Nearly Hysterical At The Very Election Of President Barack Obama: The ‘Birthers,’ The Fanatics, The People Running Around In Rightwing Militias And Aryan Support Groups.”(Sen. Whitehouse, Congressional Record, S.13570, 12/20/09)
14.SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT):“I Can't Do The Correct Math.”(Sen. Baucus, Floor Remarks, 12/4/09)
15.SEN. DICK DURBIN (D-IL):“The Establishment Of Social Security. … I Remember Those Days.” “It is a step consistent with the establishment of Social Security, which finally took the worry away from seniors and their families about what would happen to grandma and grandpa when they stopped working. I remember those days.” (Sen. Durbin, Floor Remarks, 12/11/09)
16.SEN. TOM HARKIN (D-IA):“I Have Said Many Times That The Two Biggest Winners Under Our Health Care Reform Bill Are Small Businesses And The Self-Employed.”(Sen. Harkin, Congressional Record, S.11852, 11/20/09)
17.SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV):“The American People Don't Get Weekends Off From This Injustice.”(Sen. Reid, Floor Remarks, 12/5/09)
SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): “I See No Reason To Punish Everybody This Weekend.” “I had one senator come to me and said that she hadn't been home now in two or three weeks and it was not a good situation. … I see no reason to punish everybody this weekend.” (Sen. Reid, Floor Remarks, 12/09/09)
19.SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT):Bill Will Cost “2.5 Trillion.” “Just for a second -- health care reform, whether you use a ten-year number or when you start in 2010 or start in 2014, wherever you start at, so it is still either $1 trillion or it's $2.5 trillion, depending on where you start…” (Sen. Baucus, Floor Remarks, 12/2/09)
This video takes you to the United Estates -- a gated community in sunny Florida -- to help you understand the impact of Congress decision to annually raise our nations debt limit without addressing the out-of-control spending that keeps us buried in debt. Tags:National Debt, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
[Source] Today is the pretty much the last day to stop Harry Reid's government takeover of the US health care system. Though 60% of Arkansans don't want this bill, their Senators aren't listening. Arkansas Democrat Senator Blanche Lincoln isn't even taking calls from constituents! Pick up the Dang Phone!H/T America You Asked For It! [video]
Tags:Arkansas, Blanche LincolnTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Michelle Malkin: The Democrats are right. Sleazy bribes and pork payoffs didn't start with their government health care takeover bill. They've been doling out taxpayer-funded goodies for votes all year. Harry Reid's latest Cash for Cloture deals are the culmination of Washington's 2009 shopping spree at our expense. Go back to January and February. The multitrillion-dollar stimulus bill was the mother of all legislative Christmas trees. The ruling party used the economic downturn to redistribute wealth from struggling Americans to favored congressional districts, phantom districts and special interests from golf-cart makers to fly-by-night beauty salons.
According to a new study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Democratic districts have raked in nearly twice as much porkulus money as GOP districts -- without regard to the actual economic suffering and job loss in those districts. In fact, the researchers found that far more stimulus money went to higher-income areas than to lower-income areas. That includes Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's backyard -- where a $54 million no-bid contract was awarded to a firm with little experience to relocate a luxury Bay Area wine train due to flood concerns.
And it includes Barack Obama's home state of Illinois, which reaped the single biggest earmark in the porkulus bill -- $1 billion for the dubious FutureGen near-zero emissions "clean coal" plant earmark championed by disgraced Democrat and former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin. And it includes Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's backyard -- where he secured billions in high-speed rail stimulus earmarks from which he plans to fund a pie-in-the-sky public transportation line from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. When taxpayers objected to business as usual masquerading as economic recovery, New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer sneered: "You lost." . . . . . . [Read More] Tags:corruption, Democrat, government corruption, Michelle MalkinTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
WORLDNETDAILEY:Beijing reluctant to keep bankrolling president's belt-buster budget. One day after the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao snubbed President Obama at the United Nation's Copenhagen Climate Summit, the Chinese warned the United States that China's ability to continue buying U.S. Treasury debt was limited. Zhu Min, the deputy governor of the People's Republic of China, told the Shanghai Daily that it is getting harder for the People's Bank of China to buy U.S. Treasuries because the shrinking U.S. current account is reducing the supplies overseas.
This was dire news for the Obama administration that in 2010 and for the foreseeable future will be dependent on China to buy U.S. Treasury debt in order to fund the trillion-dollar federal budget deficits projected over the next decade.
The Shanghai Daily reported that Zhu told an academic audience that it was inevitable the value of the dollar would fall in value given the increasing reliance of the Obama administration on issuing U.S. Treasury debt to finance deficit spending. "The United States cannot force foreign governments to increase their holdings of Treasuries," Zhu said. "Double the holdings? It is definitely impossible."
Tags:Barack Obama, bribes, Democrats, Obama administration, political cartoon, US Senate, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Congress: Inventing New Powers Not Granted by Constitution - Bribery, et al.
by Dr. Steve Maloney: Barack Obama, who has never established his eligibility to hold the office of President, is systematically violating the Constitution he has sworn to uphold. Nancy Pelosi recently called serious constitutional questions about the health legislation "a joke." Harry Reid has recently provided many bribes to Senators in order to secure their votes. (Bribery consists of more than just handing over bags-full of cash.) "Bribery" in the Constitution is an impeachable offense.
Republicans in the Senate have raised the issue whether the proposed health legislation is unconstitutional. Clearly, it does great violence to the Constitution.
Although it will come as a surprise to Nancy Pelosi, Congress does not have unlimited powers to do whatever it darn well pleases. It also does not have any authority to force people to spend money on any product, including health insurance.
The enumerated powers of Congress are contained in the Constitution's Article 1, Section 8. As you read through the following, notice how simple and understandable (except for an occasional old word or two) Article 1, Section 8 is. Have Pelosi and Reid ever read it? If so, they regarded it as basically meaningless.
The Constitution is the key document in American history. As the first Supreme Court Justice, John Marshall, said of Article 1, Section 8: "This government is acknowledged by all, to be one of enumerated powers. The principle, that it can exercise only the powers granted to it, would seem too apparent . . . [and] that principle is now universally admitted."
Universally admitted by all . . . except by Obama, Pelosi, Reid and their political cronies. It's impossible to establish socialism in the U.S. without shredding -- and obliterating -- the Constitution. The following material is Article I, Section 8 -- it's short and simple, and it list no power to rule over health care or impose mandates to buy insurance. If liberals want to do that, they must amend the Constitution (which requires 67 votes in the Senate, not just 60), as well as approval by three-quarters of the states. Good luck getting that.
Enumerated powers of Congress: Section 8: The Congress shall have power
To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States; but all duties, imposts and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;
To borrow money on the credit of the United States;
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
To establish a uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies throughout the United States;
To coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin, and fix the standard of weights and measures;
To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States;
To establish post offices and post roads;
To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;
To constitute tribunals [courts] inferior to the Supreme Court;
To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offenses against the law of nations;
To declare war, grant letters of marque and reprisal, and make rules concerning captures on land and water;
To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years;
To provide and maintain a navy;
To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces;
To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions;
To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States, reserving to the states respectively, the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;
To exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States, and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards, and other needful buildings;-And
To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this Constitution in the government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.
Congress has no other powers -- none -- other than the ones listed above. The Founders, unlike our modern "leaders," kept things short and sweet.
Again, why is it important that we adhere to the Constitution? As a legal expert writing in Wikipedia puts it: "The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States. It is the foundation and source of the legal authority underlying the existence of the United States of America and the federal government of the United States. It provides the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government to the states, to citizens, and to all people within the United States." Tags:bribery, Enumerated Powers, Steve Maloney, US Congress, US ConstitutionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Christmas, Grinch, Harry Reid, nationalized health care, political cartoon, US Senate, USA, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tony Perkins, Washington Update: In what columnist Michelle Malkin has dubbed " Cash for Cloture," Senator Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) ability to sway all 60 Democratic Senators to vote for his health care bill monstrosity wasn't an exploit of legislative prowess-but taxpayer-funded bribery. On the heels of the "Louisiana Purchase," a deal that saw Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.) pocket $300 million in pork, Senator Reid stuffed billions more into the Democrats' stockings in exchange for their crucial Sunday night vote. In the leadership's edition of "Let's Make a Deal," Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebr.) was the biggest winner of all. While Americans in the other 49 states will have to pick up the tab for the bill's expansion in Medicaid, the Nebraska Democrat made sure his state got off scot-free. He traded in his pro-life scruples for a guarantee that the Cornhuskers will never pay a cent toward the government's plan. And for what? An abortion "compromise" that may actually be worse than the actual bill.
Under Senator Nelson's opt-out plan, states can refuse to offer abortion coverage-but their taxpayers will still be subsidizing the states that don't! Meanwhile, the senators from Vermont and Massachusetts watched the Nebraska deal unfold and decided to negotiate for something similar. All together, these statewide exemptions could cost a minimum of $1.2 billion! Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida all protected their Medicare programs from cuts, while other states will have to find ways to manage with the scaled-back program in the underlying legislation.
Also, Senators Nelson and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) have made sure that certain insurance companies in their states are off the hook from a new $7 billion dollar tax. On page 328 of Senator Reid's manager's amendment, Senator Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), the master of illicit sweetheart deals, got his kickback-a $100 million bonus for the University of Connecticut to do with whatever they want. A staunch supporter of the public option, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) was "persuaded" to drop his concerns after Senator Reid offered his state a $10 billion grant for "community health centers"-money that could easily be funneled to facilities that perform abortions. Playing hard-to-get certainly has its advantages in this new political climate.
Yesterday, some of the Democrats who didn't get the same incentives are kicking themselves. When Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) couldn't get past the reporters swarming Ben Nelson on her way to the cloture vote, she quipped, "I know I'm not as important as Senator Nelson. I didn't get the money for my state. I was too stupid." To read more about how this bill could destroy American medicine, check out this excellent op-ed from Sunday's Wall Street Journal, "Change Nobody Believes In." We do have one quibble with the article though. Senator Nelson might think he got abortion restrictions (he didn't), but even he admits he isn't quite sure. Tags:bribery, Harry Reid, Tony PerkinsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
[Video] Senator Harry Reid has shown contempt for the American people and the people of Nevada. Now, "We The People" are fighting back, and the Tea Party Express (and its principal sponsor, the Our Country Deserves Better Committee) fights back with this TV ad campaign against failed Democrat Senator, Harry Reid. Tags:ad, failed leadership, failure, Harry Reid, NevadaTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Jim Meyers: Rep. Steve King tells Newsmax that a recent judicial ruling restoring federal funding for ACORN contains “outrageous claims,” and says a “junkyard dog attorney” will seek to play down links between ACORN and President Obama. The Iowa Republican also declares that a “diabolical” new financial overhaul bill reminds him of legislation that might be passed in Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela.
Newsmax.TV’s Kathleen Walter asked King — an outspoken critic of ACORN (Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now) and a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary — about Federal Judge Nina Gershon’s ruling that Congress’ move to cut off federal funding of ACORN is unconstitutional. King said his first reaction to the ruling was “it sounds outrageous but I better read the case, so I immediately downloaded it. It came out at the close of business on a Friday. If you want to hide something in the news media, that’s how to do it.”
ACORN claimed in its lawsuit that Congress' decision to cut off its funding was unconstitutional because it punitively targeted an organization. “I read the decision and there were just outrageous claims, such as the government failed to prove that there was a nonpunitive reason to cut off funding for ACORN,” said King.
“Well, how about we just don’t believe in them anymore? That was enough.
“Also, Judge Gershon found that ACORN has a right to future contracts that might be awarded to someone because in the past they have received some contracts. “This is judge-made law, blazing a new trail that the constitution never imagined . . .
“I do not believe that this administration aggressively defended the government’s position. This decision is weak, but it stands now until such time as we can take an appeal to the Supreme Court.” Following the ruling, King added, ACORN could qualify for part of the $10 billion being made available to similar organizations.
Asked if the Justice Department will appeal the judge’s ruling, King said: “Who knows? They will take their directions from the White House. They are not an apolitical Justice Department. “This is single party rule here in the United States capital. The White House is controlled by the most liberal president in history who has deep, deep ties with ACORN.”
Walter noted that Obama recently named Bob Bauer as White House counsel. Bauer in 2008 argued in a letter to the attorney general that the Department of Justice should not investigate election-related fraud allegations against ACORN.
“I put out a press release saying that Bauer was likely hired to scrub the tracks between ACORN and President Obama,” King said. . . . “Bob Bauer has deep ties with ACORN. Now he’s inside the White House protecting [Obama from], I think, any investigation that leads to the president himself.” . . . [Full Story]See Also:Stop ACORN NowTags:ACORN, Bob Bauer, corruption, federal spending, Obama administration, Steve King, Stop Acorn, taxesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Why is the Obama Administration stifling the Hasan / Fort Hood Investigation?
WORLDNETDAILY - A member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence is wondering why President Obama apparently is suppressing information assembled by an investigation into the Nov. 5 attack at Fort Hood by Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist who reportedly shouted "Allahu akbar," or "Allah is greatest," while killing more than a dozen soldiers and civilians.
Rep. Pete Hoekstra, R-MI, expressed his concern in a recent commentary, saying, "There has been a troubling refusal by Obama officials to acknowledge that the shooting likely was an act of homegrown terrorism." "How can it be that the House Committee on Homeland Security has launched an investigation and called hearings within a week to look into the couple who crashed a recent White House state dinner, yet a month after Fort Hood there has yet to be a single congressional hearing into the Fort Hood attack?" Hoekstra said. "I fear that our nation is returning to the naive security outlook of Sept. 10, 2001, when radical Islamic terrorist attacks were considered law enforcement and criminal problems and not threats to our national security."
Hasan, a Muslim of Palestinian descent, allegedly entered the Soldier Readiness Center at Fort Hood about 1:30 p.m. Nov. 5 and, according to witnesses, took a seat at a table, bowed his head for a few seconds, then stood up and started shooting. . . .
But Jamal Ware, a spokesman for the GOP members of the intelligence committee, told WND that the problem is while the investigation apparently has produced a report about Hasan, it's being suppressed by the White House. Hoekstra "had issued a call for the intelligence community to preserve all records relevant to looking at what happened at Fort Hood," . . . The serious national security implications of the Fort Hood shooting concern both a possible homegrown terrorist attack and a likely failure of U.S. intelligence agencies to cooperate, yet Congress has done nothing to investigate and the Obama administration has stonewalled requests by individual members of Congress for information," Hoekstra explained."The Obama administration seems to forget that it is a requirement, not an option, for the executive branch to keep Congress fully and currently informed. Instead of a healthy discussion with Congress on why this horrible event occurred, we have something akin to pulling teeth to get even basic information. This is wrong and it makes me wonder what Congress will find when the layers are pulled back,.. (Full Story) Tags:domestic terrorists, Ft Hood, Muslims, Obama administration, Pete HoekstraTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
London Times: The United Nations climate change conference ended in recrimination - without reaching a clear deal on emissions targets. After a stormy session in Copenhagen, in which a vociferous anti-American minority brought the talks close to collapse, most countries agreed simply to “take note” of a watered-down agreement brokered by President Barack Obama and supported by Britain.
This accord — which had been drawn up in discussions with China and 30 or so other countries on Friday — sets a target of limiting global warming to a maximum of 2C above pre-industrial times. Above this temperature, scientists say, the world would start to experience dangerous changes, including floods, droughts and rising seas.Critics pointed out, however, that the agreement failed to say how this limit on rising temperatures would be achieved. It pushed into the future decisions on core problems such as emissions cuts, and did not specify where a proposed $100 billion (£62 billion) in annual aid for developing nations would come from. . . .
Today in Washington D. C. - Dec 22, 2009 - Majorities Still Oppose Health Bills; One Democrat Rep. Changes to a Republican
the House is in recess. However, it will have one fewer democrat when it returns. Political is reporting that Democratic Rep. Parker Griffith will announce today that he is switching to the Republican Party because of the Democrats' health care reform efforts. The announcement is not good news for the Democrats as Republicans are sure to pounce on the development as another sign that the Democratic reforms are deeply unpopular. "Griffith, who captured the seat in a close 2008 open seat contest, will become the first Republican to hold the historically Democratic, Huntsville-based district. A radiation oncologist who founded a cancer treatment center, Griffith plans to blast the Democratic health care bill as a prime reason for his decision to switch parties—and is expected to cite his medical background as his authority on the subject. While the timing of his announcement was unexpected, Griffith’s party switch will not come as a surprise to those familiar with his voting record, which is one of the most conservative among all Democrats."
The Senate reconvened at 7 AM today and resumed consideration of the Reid substitute amendment to H.R. 3590, the vehicle for Democrats’ health care reform bill. Early this morning 60 Democrats voted to approve Majority Leader Harry Reid’s 383-page manager’s amendment to the health care bill. No Republicans voted for it. After that, all 60 Democrats voted to invoke cloture on the Reid substitute amendment, again with no Republican votes.
The Senate is now working through the 30 hours of post-cloture time on the Reid amendment demanded by Republicans. The next vote will likely be at 1 PM on Wednesday, on approval of the Reid substitute amendment, as modified. That vote requires a simple majority.
The New York Times has a good rundown of the expected times of the remaining votes, leading up to a final vote on the bill Thursday evening.
As more Americans learned yesterday what Democrats did to jam their unpopular health bill through over the weekend, the more they’re expressing their distaste for both the tactics Democrats used in distributing deals to various states and the substance of the bill.
In his Washington Post column today, Dana Milbank runs through some of the most prominent deals, noting “the ‘Louisiana Purchase,’ $100 million in extra Medicaid money for the Bayou State, requested by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.),” “the ‘Cornhusker Kickback,’ another $100 million in extra Medicaid money, this time for Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.),” and “that Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) had written into the legislation $100 million meant for a medical center in his state. This one was quickly dubbed the ‘U Con.’” Milbank continues, “Indeed, the proliferation of deals has outpaced the ability of Capitol Hill cynics to name them. Gator Aid: Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) inserted a grandfather clause that would allow Floridians to preserve their pricey Medicare Advantage program. . . . Iowa Pork and Omaha Prime Cuts: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) won more Medicare money for low-volume hospitals of the sort commonly found in Iowa, while Nebraska's Nelson won a ‘carve out’ provision that would reduce fees for Mutual of Omaha and other Nebraska insurers.” And he goes on to name more and more.
The Denver Post editors have seen enough. In an editorial that simultaneously reiterates support for a “public option,” they write, “We call on Colorado Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet to take a principled stand against the travesty the Senate legislation has become. We do so because the deal-making and the concessions made to reach 60 votes have created a bill so poisonous to the stated ideals of both senators that they should be unable to attach their good names to its passage when it comes up for a scheduled vote on Christmas Eve.”
But the American people seem to be the most appalled by this bill and the process through which Democrats collected 60 votes. The Omaha World-Herald writes today, “The phone lines were jammed and busy signals greeted callers to Sen. Ben Nelson's offices today in Washington and throughout Nebraska. Constituents were letting the Nebraska Democrat know what they thought of his decision to back the health reform package on the verge of passing the U.S. Senate. . . . The Democrat was also at the center of attention at a rally in downtown Omaha on Sunday that drew about 1,800 people. And much of the attention was unfavorable, as opponents of the health care legislation in Congress expressed outrage with his decision to cast the crucial 60th vote in favor of the bill.”
And there are two new polls, both showing, just as polls have for weeks now, that majorities disapprove of the Democrats’ health care bills and President Obama’s handling of the issue. A Quinnipiac poll today finds 53% disapprove of the plans and 56% disapprove of Obama’s handling of health care. “Voters also oppose 72% - 23% using any public money in the health care overhaul to pay for abortions,” Quinnipiac writes. Further, “By 73% - 18%, voters don't believe President Obama will be able to keep his promise to overhaul health care without increasing the federal deficit and by 56% - 37% they don't want the overhaul if it will increase the deficit.”
Meanwhile, a CNN poll, which Democrats are bragging about, amazingly, finds 56% oppose the Democrats’ health care bills. CNN notes, “[L]ess than 1 in 4 think the bill will make their own health care coverage better, 15 points lower than the 37 percent who say their health care will get worse if the bill becomes law. Nearly 4 in 10 say there will be no change in their or their immediate family's coverage.”
Clearly, Americans don’t like these proposals. Many share the disgust of pundits and Washington watchers at the process Senate Democrats have gone through to get 60 votes for their monstrosity of a bill. However, despite the votes cast this morning, there is still one more cloture vote, coming sometime tomorrow. What Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said just after midnight on Monday still applies: “Can all of these Americans be wrong? Don’t their concerns count? Party loyalty can be a powerful force. We all know that. But Americans are asking Democrats to put party loyalty aside tonight — to put the interests of small business owners, taxpayers, and seniors first And there’s good news — it’s not too late All it takes is one. Just one. One can stop it — or every one will own it.” Tags:Government-Run Health Care, Parker Griffith, polls, 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 votes are scheduled today as the Senate works through the post-cloture time on the manager’s amendment. Tomorrow morning, around 7 AM, a vote on approving that amendment is expected. It needs a simple majority to be approved.
The New York Times has a good rundown of the expected times of the remaining votes, leading up to a final vote on the bill Thursday evening.
For anyone still wondering what’s so bad about the Democrats’ bill, The Wall Street Journalhas a scathing editorial today detailing the increases in health care costs, the “[s]teep declines in choice and quality,” and massive increases in federal health care spending that will result from this bill. The WSJ explains, “These 60 Democrats are creating a future of epic increases in spending, taxes and command-and-control regulation, in which bureaucracy trumps innovation and transfer payments are more important than private investment and individual decisions. In short, the Obama Democrats have chosen change nobody believes in—outside of themselves—and when it passes America will be paying for it for decades to come.”
And how did Reid finally get all his fellow Democrats to support such an awful piece of legislation? Politico’s headline Saturday was rather telling: “Payoffs for states get Harry Reid to 60 votes.” The story explains how Democrat “senators lined up for deals as Majority Leader Harry Reid corralled the last few votes for a health reform package.” Politico writes, “[Sen. Ben] Nelson’s might be the most blatant – a deal carved out for a single state, a permanent exemption from the state share of Medicaid expansion for Nebraska, meaning federal taxpayers have to kick in an additional $45 million in the first decade. But another Democratic holdout, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), took credit for $10 billion in new funding for community health centers, while denying it was a ‘sweetheart deal.’”
Further, Politico notes, “Vermont and Massachusetts were given additional Medicaid funding, another plus for Sanders and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) Three states – Pennsylvania, New York and Florida – all won protections for their Medicare Advantage beneficiaries at a time when the program is facing cuts nationwide. All of this came on top of a $300 million increase for Medicaid in Louisiana, designed to win the vote of Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.”
But there’s more. The New York Times explains a how Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus included an “inconspicuous proposal expanding Medicare to cover certain victims of ‘environmental health hazards’” that applies to just one town in his state of Montana. In addition, the NYT points out, “Another item in the package would increase Medicare payments to hospitals and doctors in any state where at least 50 percent of the counties are ‘frontier counties,’ defined as those having a population density less than six people per square mile.”
But most interesting for many was, as ABC reported yesterday, “A Whodunit: The $100 million mystery hospital.” ABC explained, “Somewhere out there in the United States is a ‘Health Care Facility’ ‘at a public research university in the United States that contains a State’s sole public academic medical and dental school.’ We know this because in the bill Democrats released Saturday morning is a $100,000,000 check for that hospital (presumably there is only one).”
Well, late last night, someone finally took credit for this provision. According to the AP, “A $100 million item for construction of a university hospital was inserted in the Senate health care bill at the request of Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who faces a difficult re-election campaign, his office said Sunday night. The legislation leaves it up to the Health and Human Services Department to decide where the money should be spent, although spokesman Bryan DeAngelis said Dodd hopes to claim it for the University of Connecticut.”
So in the aftermath of this vote, we know that Democrats made deal after deal with taxpayer money in order to cobble together enough votes to pass a bill that will raise taxes, cut Medicare, raise premiums, and increase health care costs. As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said before the vote last night, “[M]ake no mistake: if the people who wrote this bill were proud of it, they wouldn’t be forcing this vote in the dead of night. . . . The fact is, a year after this debate started few people could have imagined that this is how it would end — with a couple of cheap deals and a rushed vote at one o’clock in the morning.”
This is not health care reform, and it’s certainly not the kind of reform Americans were looking for. The Wall Street Journal summarized things well, writing, “Never in our memory has so unpopular a bill been on the verge of passing Congress, never has social and economic legislation of this magnitude been forced through on a purely partisan vote, and never has a party exhibited more sheer political willfulness that is reckless even for Washington or had more warning about the consequences of its actions.” Tags:government healthcare, Harry Reid, 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!
Pro-Life Advocates Lambast Abortion Language in Reid Healthcare Bill
Latest Language In Health Bill “Is Not Acceptable” “Should Be Opposed”:
REP. BART STUPAK (D-MI): “While I appreciate the efforts of all the parties involved, especially Senator Ben Nelson, the Senate abortion language is table … A review of the Senate language indicates a dramatic shift in federal policy that would allow the federal government to subsidize insurance policies with abortion coverage.” (Rep. Stupak, Press Release, 12/19/09)
UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS: “This legislation should not move forward in its current form. It should be opposed unless and until such serious concerns have been addressed. … Despite repeated claims to the contrary, it does not comply with longstanding Hyde restrictions on federal funding of elective abortions and health plans that include them.” (United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops, Press Release, 12/19/09)
NEBRASKA RIGHT TO LIFE: “Senator Nelson had a chance to ensure that the longstanding principle of the Hyde Amendment against federal funding of abortion with narrow exceptions, would be placed in the Senate healthcare legislation. He dashed any hope of that with his late-night agreement with Senators Reid, Boxer and Schumer on unacceptable language that he claimed would address pro-life concerns.” (Nebraska Right To Life, Press Release, 12/19/09)
NATIONAL RIGHT TO LIFE COMMITTEE: “The manager’s amendment is light years removed from the Stupak-Pitts Amendment that was approved by the House of Representatives on November 8 by a bipartisan vote of 240-194. The new abortion language solves none of the fundamental abortion-related problems with the Senate bill, and it actually creates some new abortion-related problems.” (National Right To Life Committee, Press Release, 12/19/09)
FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL: “This so-called 'compromise' includes the accounting gimmicks that we have seen previously proposed. The new language also does nothing to protect individual consciences. Every purchaser of insurance will be forced to pay for other people's abortions in a more direct manner than ever before.” (Family Research Council, Press Release, 12/19/09)
AMERICANS UNITED FOR LIFE: “Majority Leader Reid’s amendment to the Senate health care bill absolutely fails to meet abortion and life protections that exist in current federal law and policy. It does not prevent federal funding of plans that include abortion coverage, it does not adequately protect health care providers who choose to exercise their rights of conscience, and it does not prevent government involvement in assisted suicide. A vast majority of the American people are opposed to these policies and will make themselves heard loudly over the coming days.” (Americans United For Life, Press Release, 12/19/09)
AMERICAN CENTER FOR LAW AND JUSTICE: “This legislation violates the long-standing policy of prohibiting federal dollars from funding abortion. Under this bill, millions of federal dollars from taxpayers and participants in the federally subsidized health plans will flow to abortionists for elective abortions. The accounting schemes in the bill do nothing to change this fact.” (American Center For Law And Justice, Press Release, 12/19/09)Tags:abortion, government healthcare, Harry Reid, pro-life, US SenateTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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