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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, February 06, 2010
Open letter - Change is Coming - Nov 2010
Hope you liked this post. To share or to post to your site, click on the date / link for the post. Please mention or link to us. Thanks! http://arranewsservice.comTags:2010, 2010 Elections, Democrats, Open Letter, socialists, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Streiff at RedState: Back in 2005 the pro-life movement took a hit when judge after judge decided that an incapacitated woman could be killed by dehydration. At the time, we on the pro-life side were lambasted as some kind of mindless Neoliths who were incapable of understanding even the simplest biological concepts while those in favor of this abomination patted themselves on their all too often white- and black-clothed backs and congratulated themselves on successfully squaring the circle of a previously unsolved ethical conundrum. In short, it was a replay of the arguments over abortion except this involved a helpless woman who was inconvenient to her husband, not a baby who was inconvenient to its mother. We were right then to fight for the right of the defenseless to not be killed and today the science vindicated our position and especially the position of Terri Schiavo’s parents who claimed they detected lucidity beneath the paralysis.
Many of the patients were labeled with the same grim diagnosis: “vegetative state.” Their head injuries, teams of specialists had concluded, condemned them to a netherworld — alive yet utterly devoid of any awareness of the world around them.
But an international team of scientists decided to try a bold experiment using the latest technology to peek inside the minds of 54 patients to see whether, in fact, they were conscious. One by one, the men and women were placed inside advanced brain scanners as technicians gave them careful instructions: Imagine you are playing tennis. Imagine you are exploring your home, room by room. For most, the scanner showed nothing.
But, shockingly, for one, then another, and another, and yet two more, the scans flashed exactly like any healthy conscious person’s would. These patients, the images clearly indicated, were living silently in their bodies, their minds apparently active. One man could even flawlessly answer detailed yes-or-no questions about his life before his trauma by activating different parts of his brain.
“It was incredible,” said Adrian M. Owen, a neuroscientist at the Medical Research Council who led the groundbreaking research described in a paper published online Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine. “These are patients who are totally unable to perform functions with their bodies — even blink an eye or move an eyebrow — but yet are entirely conscious. It’s quite distressing, really, to realize this.”
Although Owen and other experts stressed that much more research is needed to confirm findings and refine the technology, they said the results could provide profound insight into human consciousness — one of the most daunting scientific mysteries — and lead to ways to better diagnose brain injuries and treat tens of thousands of patients. The technology also offers the tantalizing possibility of being able to finally communicate with some patients and ask, at the very least, whether they are in pain and need relief.
Imagine, indeed. While I can understand the selfishness of the husband and the addlepated behavior of judges in this case I’ve always been at a loss to understand the callous, if not gleefully anticipatory, behavior of the a substantial number of the medical profession when given the chance to off the helpless. When the Hippocratic Oath’s first rule is “do no harm,” great swaths of the medical profession lined up to sentence Terri Schiavo to a slow death. Yet another parallel this case has with the fight against abortion.
On issue after issue we, as a people, are being inveigled with the idea that we should submit the very important decisions in our lives to the experts. We are supposed to trust Michael Mann and his ilk to reorder our economy to prevent global warming. And we are supposed to rely upon the medical profession as authorities in just about every thing else.
What this study demonstrates is that science is not fixed but rather changes with time. We don’t know if Terri Schiavo was vegetative or conscious and we never will but what we know today is that no one at the time she was killed knew either. Instead selected members of the medical profession decided to support the idea of euthanasia when they had a moral and ethical obligation to oppose the idea. They were abetted in this killing by judges who decided that 5,000 or so years of Judeo-Christian tradition and Western jurisprudence was subordinated to convenience and quackery.
While science may inform our decisions, it is a pathetic society that allows science to order it. That is a society devoid of humanity. For the same reason we should oppose an expert commission to make tax and spending decisions we must demand that life decisions are properly within the purview of the people, not a clique of philosopher kings. In these discussions we must be guided by morality to choose the difficult right of preserving inconvenient life rather than the easy wrong of killing the weak, the defenseless, and eventually the unfortunate and unpopular. Back to the story.
Finding a way to communicate with brain-damaged patients has long been a goal of neuroscientists. It has also been the subject of literature and films, including the 2007 film “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” which told the story of French editor Jean-Dominique Bauby. Bauby, paralyzed in a “locked-in syndrome” by a stroke, could communicate only by blinking his left eye.
But some urged caution, saying that the new technique raised a host of thorny questions. “If a patient wanted to die, if they were asked, ‘Do you want to die?,’ could they explain themselves adequately?” said Joseph J. Fins, chief of the division of medical ethics at Weill Cornell Medical College. “If they say yes, what does that mean? If this person said yes but meant maybe, or it was ’sort of yes,’ we may not be able to understand that sort of nuance. You have to be very careful.”
Sure you have to be careful when you ask an ambiguous question. But why doesn’t Dr. Fins recommend the simple solution. Ask “do you want to die of thirst?” or “do you want me to kill you?”, which is what he’s really asking with his nebulous “do you want to die?” question? The reason is obvious. He knows that in most cases a person who is alive clings to life. And while some number of terminally ill people decide to end their lives the overwhelming majority fight tenaciously for every moment of life. Because so long as you are alive there is hope. Tags:euthanasia, medical research, neuroscience, RedState, Research, Right to Life, Terry SchiavoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
NYT Blames Corporate America Not Corrupt Haitian Government for Poverty in Haiti
By Kevin Mooney, Times Watch: Apparently, corporate America is to blame for the widespread suffering and acute poverty in Haiti that has only intensified in the aftermath of a major earthquake. This is the central message of The New York Times hit piece on the Rawlings Sporting Goods company that left the island about 20 years ago; external factors unrelated to Haiti’s government are the culprit here, according to the article.
Baseballs are very specialized products that require a highly trained work force. If Rawlings had its druthers, it would have preferred to keep an already well-trained trained workforce in place, equipped to handle a unique product. Yet, the company felt compelled to uproot itself thanks to government corruption, mismanagement and poor public policy decisions. The Haitian government imposed severe regulations and restrictions that made for an untenable business climate, but this story is untold.
Rawlings now has a moral obligation to re-invest in Haiti because the company was profitable there at one time, even though it has no ownership over any of the policy decisions made in the past two decades. This argument is made by a book author quoted in the story who has studied assistance programs to Haiti.
“Do they have an obligation?” Josh DeWind, a co-author of “Aiding Migration: The Impact of International Development Assistance on Haiti,” said Tuesday in a telephone interview, referring to Rawlings. “I suppose they did quite well in Haiti, so, yes, in a humanitarian sense, it would be morally right to go back and help out, given that they benefited from Haiti.”
There’s also a sop to organized labor. “He [DeWind] added that the despot Jean-Claude Duvalier helped foster the low-cost business environment “by making sure there were no independent unions.”
There’s no talk about The New York Times re-locating any of its facilities down to Haiti. Even this article concedes that aside from the public relations appeal it makes little business sense to make massive investments in Haiti just now.
“Companies willing to invest there know it will take substantial time to rebuild the infrastructure, institutions and housing needed to make major investments pay off in a country plagued by extreme poverty and sky-high unemployment,” The Times acknowledges.
The message should be “Haiti Heal Thyself,” but it’s just easier to bash corporate America. Rawlings has been operating in Costa Rica since about 1988 in response the political unrest that accelerated throughout Haiti in the late 1980s and accelerated into the 1990s. This write-up is reflective of the long-standing antipathy The New York Times has toward business owners who are understandably reticent to operate in a climate where the rule of law is not observed. Tags:Haiti, New York Times, poverty, Rawlings, Times WatchTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Ken Blackwell, Contributing Author: President Obama attended the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington yesterday. His own denomination — the United Church of Christ — has been teasingly described as “Unitarians considering Christ.” I don’t know how much he is considering Jesus, but he sure is quiet about it if he is. Even among Christians, the president seems to believe in a Christless Christianity.
He quoted President Kennedy’s inaugural—always a good idea. “Civility is not a sign of weakness,” he said. But as with omitting Jesus, the president skipped the rest of the JFK quote: “. . . but sincerity is always subject to proof.”
We are seeing little proof of his sincerity these days. Former Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson recognized Barack Obama’s great gifts—as all Americans once did. When he first appeared on the scene, it seemed Obama could be eloquent reading the telephone book. Of late, Gerson points out, more and more Americans think the president is just reading the telephone book.
Obama has told the world he is a Christian, not a Muslim. We have his word on it. We even have the word of his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, on it. There has never been a religious test for any federal office, including the presidency. In fact, the candidate elected in 1908—a full century before Obama—was not a Christian. William Howard Taft was a fine president. But as a Unitarian, Taft rejected the Holy Trinity; he rejected the divinity of Jesus Christ.
When President Obama took the oath of office last year, he made a stunning rhetorical shift in his inaugural address. He described America as a nation of “Christians and Muslims, Jews, Hindus and nonbelievers.” Where did that come from? This was the first time in U.S. history that the Jews had been so displaced.
Jews first arrived in America in 1654, in the New Netherlands colony that was then owned by the Dutch. Jews have been an integral part of our history as a people ever since. They have fought in all of America’s wars. Though a small minority, the influence of the Jews has been great. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin wanted the official seal of the United States to depict Moses leading the Children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. My fellow black Americans took inspiration from the Hebrews in our own 300-year struggle for freedom.
Even though a small percentage of America today, the Jewish people are by all counts a larger percentage of the American population than Muslims. And since Jews are, in the phrase of Pope John Paul II, “our elder brothers in the faith,” Jewish ideals and the Hebrew Scriptures have animated Christians in this country from the time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. So why has President Obama pushed them aside? It’s not just a rhetorical slip. A president’s inaugural address is freighted with meaning.
The president ventured deeper into theological confusion in his Cairo address. He referred to “the Holy Koran.” He described the Middle East as the region “where Islam was first revealed.” Muslims are certainly free to believe these things. But Christians cannot regard the sacred books of any other religion as holy or revealed. If they do, they are denying their own faith.
No one expects the president of the United States to use his state powers to Christianize the world. Previous attempts to advance Christianity with the sword have led to great discredit to the Church.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first U.S. president to meet with the King of Saudi Arabia. FDR met Abdul Azziz aboard the U.S.S. Quincy on Feb. 14, 1945. Because of this historic meeting, the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is known as Quincy House to this day. Roosevelt was described by his son Franklin Jr. as “a very religious man.” FDR found no need to bow to the Muslim king. The president attended Christian services on board the Quincy and made no apologies for his faith.
When President Obama makes theological statements about Islam that no Christian can believe or accept, he is not reaching out or simply engaging in diplomatic niceties. He is sending a most confusing message.
I am not questioning his beliefs, but I think the mixed messages he has sent only fuel speculation about those beliefs. These speculations then fly around the internet and undermine the sincerity of his own professions of belief. This has created a credibility gap for him with millions of Americans.
You can be diplomatic and culturally sensitive without surrendering your Christian faith. I spent years meeting with Arab and Muslim diplomats when I served as U.S. ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission. I never sought to give needless offense to those with whom I was meeting. Neither did I ever give up one iota of my own Christian beliefs.
President Washington set the pattern. He wrote in 1790 to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport, R.I. He welcomed the messages of support the American Jewish community had sent to him and to the new government. We should be proud, as Washington wrote, that “the government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance,” has set the highest standard for religious liberty in the world.
The Muslim-dominant states to which President Obama was reaching out have no such example of liberty. In none of the states where Islam predominates are the basic tenets of religious liberty honored. This is undeniable, as the president’s own State Department’s reports on religious freedom confirm year after year.
Washington was the first ruler in history to address the Jews as equal fellow citizens. His example helped to make this country a beacon for religious freedom. Our free churches and synagogues led the fight to end slavery, to stop segregation, and to protect human life. In this, we have nothing to apologize for. No American should bow to any monarch. And no one on earth should bow to the persecuting King of Saudi Arabia. Instead, let us stand tall for liberty.
----------------- Mr. Ken Blackwell is a conservative family values advocate. He submitted this article to the ARRA News Service Editor which also appears in World Mag.com. 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:Barack Obama, Christians, defamation of religions, Jews, Ken Blackwell, Muslim, Prayer BreakfastTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Politico quoted Gibbs telling reporters today: "I still think the senator owes law enforcement and people in this building" an apology.& Gibbs shouldn’t hold his breath; instead he should get his facts straight:
White House Irony: It’s ironic that a White House which stood by Democrat leaders in Congress last spring as they repeatedly threw the men and women of the nation’s intelligence community under the bus, would have the gall to claim Senator Bond – who has been one of our terror-fighters’ greatest defenders – now owes these same professionals an apology, particularly since Senator Bond’s letter was critical of the White House, not the Intelligence Community.
White House ‘Contextualizes’ Vital National Security Information:During yesterday’s briefing, Gibbs said: “Soon after that -- soon after that media reported, we felt it important to contextualize -- because many of you were e-mailing us --what this testimony meant.”
Here's some context - we are in a war that terrorists have declared on Americans at home and abroad; divulging the details of an interrogation to al Qaeda is not an effective terror-fighting strategy.
Mirandizing Christmas Day Bomber Gave Terrorists Time to Cover Tracks: I'm not sure if Gibbs misunderstood this point or if it was just conveniently ignored, but the hearing transcript shows that when Senator Kit Bond asked about the Christmas Day bomber not talking, he was referring to the five weeks the terrorist was silent after being Mirandized. As Bond has repeatedly pointed out, that's five weeks where terrorists got a free pass and a head start to cover their tracks. Bond took Director Mueller at his word that this should not be disclosed and therefore referred to lost “timely leads” rather than openly disclose the fact Abdulmutallab was now cooperating.
FBI Director Stressed Keeping Cooperation Secret Vital to Preventing Attacks: Sen. Bond spoke to and was briefed personally on the phone by Director Mueller and was told that the fact that he was cooperating should not be disclosed. In fact, Mueller told Bond keeping this information secret was vital to preventing future attacks against the United States. Bond’s staff was told the same thing by other high-ranking FBI officials. Also, if, as the Administration is now claiming, the information was not really sensitive, why was the briefing about Abdulmutallab’s renewed cooperation limited to the SSCI leadership. That would be an abuse of congressional notification processes.
White House Politicizing Intelligence: The only one making this political is the White House; Sen. Bond was not the one disclosing sensitive information to the press for political gain. Bond has one objective: preventing another terrorist attack on Americans here at home and our troops overseas.
White House Forgets to Read Letter Before Attacking: Before Gibbs questioned Vice Chairman Bond’s motives or demanded an apology he should have taken the time to read Bond’s letter and hearing statement. Bond criticized the disclosure of sensitive national security information, not classified information. White House officials themselves acknowledged in the briefing to reporters that the information was “exceptionally sensitive.” Also, after being briefed on Monday that Abdulmutallab had just started cooperating again, Bond remained critical of the fact that there was a lack of timely intelligence, something Bond believes is key to preventing future attacks. The Administration can’t have it both ways; it can’t tell Members not to discuss these things publicly and then cry foul because Members honor that request.
Who Should Apologize? Senator Bond-On-the-Record – “After telling me to keep my mouth shut, the White House discloses sensitive information in an effort to defend a dangerous and unpopular decision to Mirandize Abdulmutallab and I’m supposed to apologize?” Tags:bomber, Islamic terrorist, Kit Bond, Robert Gibbs, White HouseTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington D. C. - Feb 5, 2010 - "Scott Brown is seated and hell freezes over!"
The Senate and House are in recess. Most members fled D.C. ahead of the pending heavy snow storm. The Senate is scheduled to return Monday at 2 PM and Sen. Reid has scheduled at 5 PM a cloture vote on the nomination of former SEIU lawyer Craig Becker to the National Labor Relations Board. Becker’s nomination is controversial due to concerns Democrats want to enact parts of their stalled card check bill through the regulatory process on the NLRB. Craig Becker's background present a basis for numerous potential conflicts of interest on the NLRB. Yesterday, the Senate voted 60-37 to confirm Patricia Smith as solicitor for the Labor Department. The Senate also voted 96-0 to confirm the nomination of Martha Johnson to head the General Services Administration.
Yesterday, we mentioned Senator McConnell speech on terrorism policy at the Heritage Foundation. Again, McConnell said the Obama administration “has too often put symbolism over security. This is a very dangerous route. And it reflects a deeper problem; namely, the return of the old idea that terrorism should be treated as a law-enforcement matter. An administration that puts the attorney general in charge of interrogating, detaining, and trying foreign combatants has a pre-9/11 mindset.”
The decision by Attorney General Eric Holder to try 9/11 conspirators such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in civilian courts in New York City has been roundly criticized as dangerous and short-sighted. Now, a new article in the New Yorker reveals a very interesting situation. Apparently White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel opposed Holder’s decision in this case. An “informed source” told the New Yorker, “Rahm felt very, very strongly that it was a mistake to prosecute the 9/11 people in the federal courts, and that it was picking an unnecessary fight with the military-commission people.” Unfortunately, the article goes on to explain that Emanuel’s opposition stemmed largely from political reasons, since it would alienate key senators he thought might support closing Guantanamo Bay.
As suspected, the White House appears to be putting a priority on political concerns over the security issues in the War on Terror. Earlier this week, Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO), the vice chairman of the intelligence committee, says he was told by the FBI that the Christmas day bomber was apparently providing intelligence once again (after a 5 week gap that began when he was told he had the right to remain silent). In a letter to President Obama, Bond wrote, “FBI officials stressed the importance of not disclosing the fact of his cooperation in order to protect on-going and follow-on operations to neutralize additional threats to the American public.” Bond continued, “Twenty-four hours later, however, White House staff assembled members of the media to announce Abdulmutallab’s cooperation and to laud the events that led to his decision to cooperate with law enforcement personnel. This information immediately hit the air waves globally and, no doubt, reached the ears of our enemies abroad.”
As Sen. McConnell said, “Hasty decisions and sudden policy reversals rattle the confidence not only of the American people, but also the brave Americans who execute these policies. And they rattle the confidence of our partners overseas.” The Obama administration needs to put symbolism and political considerations on the back burner and put intelligence and successfully preventing terror attacks as the first priorities in the War on Terror.
Speaking of symbolism, let's end the week with some humor. The following humorous "Tweet" about Washington. D.C. made the rounds today: "28 inches of snow for DC? Scott Brown is seated and hell freezes over!" By the way, if conservative follow this twitter: @arra. Tags:Eric Holder, Mitch McConnell, Scott Brown, terrorism, 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!
Reduce Government Spending - Cut The Size of Government ! Some Ideas
Bill Smith, Editor: Before sharing my opinions on "cutting" government agencies and programs to reduce Federal Spending, lets view a short video. In a CNS video interview Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said there are "a number of federal agencies, or at least federal programs" that could be scaled back or ended to help trim federal spending. However, his passiveness and not really naming programs indicates he has served in Washington, D.C. for a very long time.
While we can all agree, we are tired of government corruption and government waste, it is the "size of government" that is the primary factor that contributes to the cost of the Federal Government and thus the Federal Debt. It is now time to truncate, stop, kill (add your favorite word) many of the government departments and programs which add a massive debt burden on the American people. Unlike, Sen Hatch in the above video who would continue to use diplomacy, I prefer the direct approach. The Federal Government is hereby placed on notice: YOU ARE BROKE and you are borrowing to the excessive multi-trillion dollars extremes WHICH PLACES US ALL AT RISK. It is time for tightening the belt on Government expenses and Spending. And this cannot be done by across the board cuts or a spending freeze.
First my bias: I do not believe that we should be cutting by attacking the senior retirees, military retirees and veterans. They followed the rules and should not suffer once again with the failures of the Government more than they already have suffered. I expect the citizens of States to assume there rightful place in caring for their citizens and not to be relying on the U.S. Government or funds from other States to care for the citizens that reside in their state. Also, due to our weak economic condition, our Nation is at increased risk of being attacked by others. Therefore, I do not support cutting National Defense. However, I do support reducing the use of military to help other countries with every imaginable national disaster. We need our military to protect the U.S. from invasion by terrorists, from being overrun by illegals, from external attacks, and to protect our access to global resources we need as a nation.
My initial list (not complete - so please add your ideas):
1. Close the U.S. Department of Education: The States have the responsibility for the education of their children and we cannot afford the continued wasteful spending and interference by this department which was created under the Carter administration.
2. Close the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: The States have the responsibility for the care and aid of people in their midst and this agency is a waste of federal money. We do not need big government looking out for the health and welfare of all American citizens. I understand that their may be a couple agencies within this department may be worth of continuance but for the most part this Department is just a burden on the people of America and is not needed. relocate the needed agencies.
3. Close the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD): Another wasted money pit. Both the housing and urban development are functions of the communities within each state and are not functions of the Federal Government. It is time for these programs to cease. The Federal Government must cease the redistribution of money from one state to other state via HUD programs. All Federal HUD properties and all moneys related to these programs should be turned over to the States. States wishing to abolish a program in their states should be able to do so. As an aside, many of the Federal Housing programs have trapped people into federally sponsored ghettos. It is time to stop the ghettoizing Americas citizens under the falsehood of assisting them.
4. In the above video the interviewer implied reduction of the Department of Commerce. First, this at least a department has some constitutional basis for its existence. However, all programs should be validated and those exceeding their Constitutional authority and those which are interfering with the internal operations of commerce in a State or its people should be abolished. The same could be said for all other agencies.
5. Close the Department of Labor: transfer any critical agencies still needed into the Department of Commerce.
6. All the other Departments and Agencies need to completely justify each and every function against the Constitution and their charter and where they have exceeded that authority and inter in any State operations they need to be curtained and staff eliminated.
7. All departments should be required to justify every employment position. All positions or duties contracted out to must also be reviewed and validated against the same standard.
8. Immediately, cut in half all funded positions on the White House Staff and on all Congressional Staffs. Also, reduce the number of interns. It is time to stop developing future bureaucrats and adding to the bottlenecks in Washington, D.C.
9. Travel Expenses: Stop the funding and support of all Congressional and Executive travel to NGO conferences and reduce the number of Congressional oversight trips overseas. Claiming oversight has gotten out of hand. We have a U.S. State Department for a reason. Stop the funding and the military tasking support requirements to fly family members of members of Congress or the Executive Branch (except for the immediate members of President and Vice Presidents families). Stop funding or providing military support for family travel for offices like the Speaker of the House and others in succession. When people sought election to Congress, they knew it was in Washington, D.C. Also, no one made a person opt to seek being Senate Majority Leader, Minority Leader or Speaker of the House, etc.. Therefore, anyone who hold these positions should like other members of Congress, pay for their trips to and from their home states. If you don't like the doing this - go home and let someone else be elected to do the job. You were elected and not your staff. Cut the number of staff members who get reimbursed travel to traveling around with the elected officials. Stop the imperialism!
10. Grants: Stop the earmarking and awarding of Federal grants for programs. If the people in a state need something they should decide if they wish to both have it and pay for it. And, while the Federal Government is at it, stop taking funds from the states to redistribute either back to the state or to other states.
11. To be Continued . . . . Please post your ideas as comments! Tags:government spending, Orrin Hatch, reduced government, U.S. CongressTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Barack Obama, economic stimulus, Harry Reid, Las Vegas, Nancy Pelosi, political cartoon, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Pence Decries Democrat Debt Limit Increase and PAYGO
American people long for this administration and this Congress to lead us away from the brink of fiscal disaster.
Washington, DC - U.S. Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, delivered the following remarks today on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives in opposition to H. J. Res. 45, Democrat legislation that will increase the national debt limit by a record $1.9 trillion:
"Time for a little bit of truth telling about their side and about our side. The truth telling about our side is that back when we were in charge we didn't do so well on controlling runaway federal spending. My colleagues, who know me well, know that I, many times, found myself at cross purposes in fighting the president of my own party and some leadership of my own party in some of those big spending fights. But under the last administration we doubled the national debt. I want to stipulate to that. But frankly, that's no excuse for what's happening today, Madam Speaker.
"Over the last three years, the Democrat majority has literally broken the ceiling on fiscal responsibility, and as I just admitted, that ceiling was pretty high. Since Democrats took control of Congress in January, 2007, the national debt had increased by $3.96 trillion, a 42 percent increase in three years. To keep up with this spending binge, Congress has increased the debt limit five times over the last 19 months. Three times since the current administration took office one year ago. And the statutory debt increase that comes before us today, $1.9 trillion, is the largest one-time debt increase in U.S. history.
"This is the fifth increase, as I mentioned, in the last 19 months. This one-time increase in the debt limit of $1.9 trillion is actually larger than the entire GDP of almost every country in the world. It's larger than the GDP of Canada, Russia, Spain, or Brazil. And it's larger than the GDP of Australia and Poland combined. The American people are looking at this extraordinary gusher of spending and debt and they are asking the question: ‘When will it stop?' And the answer is, as we look at the budget that the administration submitted earlier this week, no time soon.
"I hasten to add, the administration, just this week, announced plans for a budget $3.8 trillion in scope, with a $1.6 trillion deficit and $2 trillion in higher taxes. And let me say with respect, the American people looking in ought not to be deceived by the promises of fiscal discipline known as ‘PAYGO.' And the truth is, the bill before us today is 58 pages long and 32 of those pages are all the programs that are exempted from the PAYGO requirements. Forty percent of federal spending is exempted from the fiscal discipline fix that we're being told is encompassed in PAYGO. The truth is, PAYGO really means here in Washington: you pay and they go on spending.
"The fact is that what we see here is a failure of leadership. President Obama, as a United States Senator, said in March of 2006, when he came out against raising the debt limit in a vote, ‘The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can't pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government's recklessness. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.' So said then-Senator Barack Obama, March 2006. Let me suggest he was right, then, and his words are equally true today.
"The American people long for us to put our fiscal house in order. They long for us to embrace true fiscal discipline and reform. They long for this administration and this Congress to lead us away from the brink of fiscal disaster. This PAYGO, this debt ceiling vote, is no solution, and I urge its opposition." [To view this floor speech, Click Here]
Tags:Mike Pence, National Debt, PAYGO, US Congress, US House, Democrat, debt limitTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Gary Bauer shared this note today: If higher energy taxes, socialized medicine, failed stimulus bills, union bailouts and homosexual rights aren’t enough to get your blood boiling, get ready for amnesty. New York liberal Chuck Schumer reportedly struck a deal with Harry Reid and the White House to pass an immigration reform bill by April. It’s just one more part of Obama’s “Big Bang” agenda that Democrats are desperate to ram through while they control Congress. I don’t make a habit of giving Democrats advice, but in a column at POLITICO today, I suggest that they might want to avoid digging the hole even deeper with yet another risky legislative move.
------------------ by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author:Immigration reform may seem a distant priority for a ruling party that’s made the increasingly elusive goals of job creation and health care reform its primary focus in 2010. Nevertheless, President Barack Obama and top congressional Democrats have signaled that, as Obama said in his State of the Union address, “fixing our broken immigration system” remains at the top of their legislative To Do list before the midterm elections.
But Democrats push immigration reform legislation, which would include amnesty for illegal residents, at their own peril. With employment persisting at 10 percent, addressing immigration risks reviving the grass-roots backlashes that have thus far defined the Obama presidency.
Even before the president’s SOTU call to action, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), according to POLITICO, was “quietly spreading the word within the immigration community that he has the White House’s support to pass a bill by April.” Schumer reportedly struck a deal with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that he and other liberal Democrats would not push hard to include illegal immigrants under health care reform as long as the White House committed to starting an immigration overhaul effort this year.
Undertaking immigration reform now would only slightly delay Obama’s promise to tackle immigration in his first year. It might also energize America’s 11 million Latino voters, including the 3 million Latinos who voted for the first time in 2008, ahead of what look like very difficult elections for Democrats.
But it also would very likely provoke an intense grass-roots backlash. In 2007, when immigration reform was last debated, legislation that included amnesty looked likely to pass until many members of Congress went home to find deep opposition among their constituents. Concerned citizens — many of them conservatives, but also including independents and moderate Democrats — voiced their opposition to amnesty in town hall meetings across the country, insisting that enhanced border security was needed first. Largely because of the grass-roots pushback against amnesty, immigration reform failed.
Today’s anti-amnesty backlash could be even more potent. For one thing, the American people are already in the mood to protest. As the tea party and town hall meeting protests showed, Americans across the ideological spectrum are fed up with a ruling party that’s out of step with their values and priorities. Part of the dissatisfaction stems from government bailouts of various industries that forced already financially strained taxpayers to foot the bill.
In his SOTU address, Obama discussed reforming immigration laws in order to “ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.” That’s an approach most Americans can support. But the Democrats’ proposal includes an immigration amnesty that would reward those who by definition did not play by the rules.
Many Americans were furious over the bank and other industry bailouts because they intuitively understood that bailouts create moral hazards by rewarding bad behavior and incentivizing future bad behavior. Similarly, Americans recognize that granting amnesty to immigrants who entered the country illegally would reward an illegal act and offer future immigrants the incentive to do the same.
Then there is immigration reform’s effect on the economy. When grass-roots resistance killed immigration reform in 2007, the national unemployment rate stood at 4.5 percent. Today, unemployment is in double digits. Many economists believe large-scale immigration would make matters worse. Immigration exerts downward pressure on wages at the bottom of the labor market. And unemployment is highest among those groups that compete with new immigrants for entry-level jobs: blacks (30%), teenagers (27%) and those without a high school degree (15%t).
An influx of immigrants would also strain the welfare system. In 2006, Heritage Foundation immigration expert Robert Rector calculated that the net additional yearly cost to the federal government of benefits for new immigrants under the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, which included amnesty, would be $16 billion. “In the long run,” Rector concluded, “[the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act] would be the largest expansion of the welfare state in 35 years.”
The problem is that immigrants are disproportionately low-skilled (most illegal immigrants do not have a high school degree) and poor. Heritage research has found that such immigrants “receive, on average, three dollars in government benefits and services for each dollar of taxes they pay.” Those benefits and services include Social Security, Medicare, education and most of the more than 60 means-tested federal welfare programs, including food stamps, public housing, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and many more. In addition, Heritage research calculated that the cost of amnesty after amnesty recipients reach retirement would be $2.6 trillion.
Just as Americans reacted strongly to an attempt to overhaul health care because of its effect on their pocketbooks and the federal debt, many Americans would reject immigration reform legislation that aggravates an already perilous economic situation. Instead of taking seriously grass-roots resistance to amnesty, we can expect the left to react as it did when tea party protests and town hall pushback became obstacles to legislative success: to ignore or dismiss resistance to its agenda, then to attribute anger to ignorance or racism.
Far from being inspired by xenophobia or lack of compassion, however, opposition would come from Americans of all political stripes concerned about their jobs and a government increasingly willing to bail out those who do not play by the rules.
If Democrats are serious about reforming immigration, they should propose legislation that strengthens border security and cracks down on illegal hiring. A viable bill would also focus on promoting legal entry of highly skilled workers, who would be strong contributors to the government’s finances. It would also create a system of legalization that’s conditioned on verifiable reductions in the levels of illegal migration.
By pushing immigration reform, Democrats would provoke a grass-roots backlash that would build momentum going into the November elections. It would also allow conservatives to credibly argue that Democrats are placing partisan politics ahead of economic concerns, thus deepening the already pervasive disillusionment with Democratic-controlled Washington. ---------------- Gary Bauer is is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families. He submitted this article to the ARRA News Service Editor which also appears in his column in Politicol. Bauer was a former Republican presidential candidate and served as President Ronald Reagan’s domestic policy adviser. Tags:INSERT TAGSTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Welcome To A New Era: A "Transformed" Obama's America.
Bobby Eberle, GOPUSA: Welcome to hope and change. A new era. A "transformed" America. In Obama's America, not only does the spending increase at record levels, but the taxes are coming... like a snowball rolling downhill. With his new budget proposal, Obama picks up where he left off after his first year, and the losers are the American people.
As reported in the AP story on GOPUSA, "President Barack Obama urged Congress on Monday to quickly approve a huge new shot of spending for recession relief and job creation, part of a record $3.8 trillion budget that would boost the deficit beyond any in the nation's history while only slowly beginning to put Americans back to work."
The budget paints a remarkably dire picture of a federal government that will have to borrow one-third of what it spends next year as it runs a deficit that still would total some $1.3 trillion.
Obama's deficit salve mixed nearly $1 trillion in tax increases on higher-income people with $250 billion in savings over a decade from a partial freeze on domestic programs. But popular benefit programs like Medicare would remain untouched.
I've never seen a person get economics more backward than Obama. He should be impeached immediately for cause on the grounds that he's incompetent. One-third of next year's spending will be with borrowed money? Raise your hand if you think that's insane. Of course, there's a few big differences between the spending that cost Republicans control of Washington and what Obama and the congressional Democrats are doing. First, this spending is unprecedented. It's simply crazy. Second, with the spending comes taxes... lots and lots of taxes. . . . [Full Story] Tags:America, Barack Obama, Bobby Eberle, change, GOPUSA, Hope, more taxesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb 3, 2010 - Time for Brown to be Seated & for Eric Holder to Back Off!
Senate will vote at 12:30 PM on the confirmation of the nomination of Patricia Smith to be solicitor for the Labor Department. Following this vote, they will hold two hours of debate on the nomination of Martha Johnson to head the General Services Administration and will then vote on cloture on her nomination. If cloture is invoked, the Senate will vote on the confirming of Johnson.
Yesterday, Sen. Elect Scott Browns via his attorney sent a demand to to be seated in the Senate to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. Brown has met all the constitutional requirements to be seated. Various news sources are reporting that Brown should receive the mandatory signatures necessary to be seated from Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin and Governor Patrick this morning and that Scott hopefully will be sworn in by 5:00 pm today as U.S. Senator.; Back in 1962, Sen. Kennedy himself was seated just one day after winning his special election but now the democrats have not been in a rush to seat Brown who will become the 41st Republican vote in the Senate. Reid had previously promised not to proceed with issues until Scott was seated but this has not been the case. In addition, the appointed temporary Democrat Senator from Massachusetts has continued to vote even though his tenure in office representing the people of Massachusetts ended with the people's election of Scott Brown as their US Senator. "The people have spoken." It is time for Senator Brown to begin serving the people of Massachusetts.
The Washington Post writes today, “The Obama administration is aggressively pushing back against Republican criticism of its handling of terrorism suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, sharpening a partisan debate about national security policy . . . . White House press secretary Robert Gibbs issued a rare point-by-point critique of a statement by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) . . . . The rebuttal followed a hastily arranged briefing for reporters the previous evening by a senior administration official, who argued against GOP assertions that Abdulmutallab stopped providing his FBI interrogators with intelligence after he was read his Miranda rights. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. also weighed in Wednesday with a letter to Senate Republicans in which he said the legal decisions in the Abdulmutallab case were consistent with the strategy used during George W. Bush's administration.”
Despite the characterizations of The Post and some in the Obama administration, this debate is not about politics, but about the policies that will most effectively keep Americans safe from our committed enemies.
In a speech on terrorism policy at the Heritage Foundation yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Instead of addressing the substantive policy concerns many of us have expressed about this incident, the administration has put anonymous sources on the telephone with reporters to take shots at their critics. These anonymous sources have leaked information aimed at rehabilitating and justifying the administration’s mishandling of the Nigerian bomber. . . . Yet despite their best efforts the fact remains that all the intelligence he possessed concerning the locations, training techniques, and communications methods of Al Qaeda in Yemen is perishable. Yemeni forces needed that information on December 25th, not six weeks later. Meanwhile, the American people are left to wonder whether, in place of interrogations, their safety depends on terrorists having families who can persuade them to talk.”
McConnell went on to explain how the administration’s now well-documented mishandling of the Christmas Day bomber is indicative of a deeper problem: “namely, the administration’s apparent belief that terrorism is a narrow law enforcement — not a military and intelligence — matter. The fact is, the administration’s handling of the Christmas Day Bomber should come as no surprise to anyone. The events of December 25th may have focused many peoples’ minds on the practical consequences of a pre-9/11 mentality. But anyone who’s paid attention to the administration’s terror-related policies over the past year can see a clear pattern at play here.”
Sen. McConnell emphasized, “The bottom line is this: Treating terrorism as a law enforcement matter is precisely the attitude that kept us from seeing this threat when we should have. Reverting to it now is not only dangerous, it’s potentially disastrous.”
And even Eric Holder apparently understood this at one point. Steven Hayes of The Weekly Standard reported last night, “In an interview with CNN on January 28, 2002, Holder expressed concern that the U.S. government was unlikely to obtain valuable intelligence from American Taliban John Walker Lindh because he was in the United States and had a lawyer.” Holder told CNN, “it’s hard to interrogate him at this point now that he has a lawyer and now that he is here in the United States.” As Hayes says, “He was right in 2002.”
Holder should "Back Off" and not be chairing most of the various special committees on the War on Terror. he has no experience with dealing with foreign terrorist or protecting the United States from foreign terrorists. he and hsi staff are in the way of the lawfully constituted, CIA, FBI, The Military and even the Department of Homeland Security which is an a mess within itself. While there duties that AG Eric Holder and his office should be addressing, the relocation KSM and other Gitmo terrorists to places like Thompson, Illinois and then holding civilian trials with rights of US citizens is not among those duties. As expressed yesterday in a post addressing Perspective in Reality: KSM will never get a civilian trial, "Could the Obama Administration have been really so stupid in screwing up the the trial of KSM and his cohorts? If so, how can Americans ever trust this administration?" Tags:Eric Holder, Gitmo, Massachusetts, Mitch McConnell, Scott Brown, terrorism, 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!
President Obama has recently announced that there will be a budget freeze on a significant portion of the next 3 years worth of budgets. This video walks through what that budget freeze looks like and how much money is actually saved by implementing this policy.
Tags:budget, federal budget, President Obama, stimulus, videoTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Perspective in Reality: KSM will never get a civilian trial
by Dana M. Perino & Bill Burck, New York Post: Though New York City will apparently be spared the unnecessary expense and disruptions of a civilian trial of Khalid Sheik Mohammed & Co., President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are threatening to take the show on the road to some other unfortunate locale. But mark our words, it won't happen.
KSM and his cohorts will be tried in a military commission at Guantanamo Bay -- because the administration has made it almost impossible for them to get a fair trial in a civilian court. In a typical criminal case, the government says very little outside of court . . . as well as a reminder that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. This is for good reason: A defendant has a right to a fair trial, and pretrial publicity that is unduly prejudicial will deny the defendant that right.
And it's hard to imagine a trial that has had more prejudicial pre-trial publicity than the one planned for KSM. His lawyer will demand that the case be dismissed because it is impossible for him to receive a fair trial. It will be quite a challenge to argue the contrary. Administration officials seem to have gone out of their way to make life easy for KSM's lawyers. Attorney General Holder, the nation's top law-enforcement officer, has said KSM is guilty and should die. The president has said more or less the same, though he has tried to qualify his statements.
Most recently, the president's chief spokesperson has said that no matter where KSM is tried, he "is going to meet justice and he's going to meet his maker." Pros like US Attorney Preet Bharara have maintained their silence to protect the integrity of the trial, but that professionalism is undermined when the president's spokesperson goes out of his way to assert that KSM's "likely to be executed for the heinous crimes that he committed in killing and masterminding the killing of 3,000 Americans. That you can be sure of." . . .
The Obama administration can't afford even the remote possibility that a federal judge will rule that KSM cannot receive a fair trial. Indeed, one suspects that the administration's most recent guarantee of KSM's execution is a hint it is no longer concerned at all about pretrial publicity, because the decision to send the matter back to a military commission has already been made. There are similar concerns in a military commission -- but those are generally about "undue command influence," in which superior officers in the chain of command make statements that suggest they have a preferred outcome. . . .
In any event, the Obama administration runs a much higher risk that a federal judge, rather than a military judge, will throw out the charges against KSM because he cannot receive a fair trial. This is a risk the White House will not run. Read More
------------------- Fly on the Wall Questions: Could the Obama Administration have been really so stupid in screwing up the the trial of KSM and his cohorts? If so, how can Americans ever trust this administration? Being cynical, could the administration have deliberately botched things so that the Muslim terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay would never be convicted or at least never receive the death penalty? What agreements may have been made with others - like possibly the Saudis? Lots of questions - few answers! Tags:Gitmo, Islamic terrorist, KSM, Obama administration, trials, Eric HolderTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb 3, 2010 - Even Dems Saying To Admin: Put Security First On Terrorism
The Senate is in recess today due to the annual Democrat retreat. Will reconvene at noon on Thursday. At 12:30 PM, senators will vote on confirmation of the nomination of Patricia Smith to be solicitor for the Labor Department. Majority Leader Harry Reid has also filed cloture on the nomination of Martha Johnson to head the General Services Administration. The Senate is expected to turn to her nomination next.
This morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell gave a speech at the Heritage Foundation on terrorism and national security issues as the Obama administration continues to face criticism for its handling of the perpetrator of the attempted Christmas Day bombing and its approach to trying terrorist detainees. The speech was broadcast live via UStream on the Internet.
McConnell was very tough on the Obama Administration especially on Eric Holder. "Again and again, the administration's approach has been to announce a new policy or to change an existing one based not on a careful study of the facts, but as a way of conspicuously distancing itself from the policies of the past - even ones that worked," McConnell said. "It short, it has too often put symbolism over security." McConnell said the administration was more concerned about getting the alleged "underwear:"bomber an attorney rather than critical intelligence from him. And criticized the Obama administration for seeking to try accused terrorists in U.S. criminal court rather than at Guantanamo Bay, promising to do "everything we can to deny them the funds they'll need" if they avoid his suggested route. He also addressed that Attorney general Eric Holder should not be heading the "war on terrorism."
In an op-ed for The Wall Street Journal Monday, former Reagan and Bush administration officials David Rivken and Marc Theissen noted, “The Obama administration's decision to read the Christmas Day bomber his Miranda rights has rightly come under withering criticism. Instead of a lengthy interrogation by officials with al Qaeda expertise, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was questioned for 50 minutes by local FBI agents and then later advised of his ‘right to remain silent.’”
But it appears that the Obama administration is attempting to rebut this criticism by leaking information about the interrogation of Abdulmutallab. According to The Washington Post today, “Abdulmutallab, the man accused of trying to blow up a jet airplane on Christmas Day, has been providing FBI interrogators with useful intelligence about his training and contacts since last week, Obama administration sources said Tuesday.”
Is this wise, though? If his contacts can see in the press what Abdulmutallab is telling our interrogators, it stands to reason that those contacts are more likely to be able to evade our countermeasures. As Sen. McConnell said today, “The fact remains that all the intelligence he possessed… about al Qaeda in Yemen in perishable,” noting that American authorities needed that information the day he was captured, not weeks later.
More and more, this administration’s approach to the War on Terror, especially its focus on law enforcement over security and safety, is being questioned. Even Democrats are showing their uneasiness with these decisions, as Sens. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Jim Webb (D-VA), and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) joined with Republicans yesterday to introduce a bill that would “withhold funding the President requested to try terror suspects in civilian courts,” according to CNN. And, CNN, points out, “some Democratic senators who voted no last time said they're now inclined to support a measure blocking the administration's plans for Guantanamo detainees to be tried in civilian courts.” Even Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), the Majority Whip, acknowledged, “There are some Democratic senators who oppose using regular courts for our detainees.”
Prioritizing PR battles, whether with critics at home over interrogations, or with critics in Europe over trials in civilian courts for terrorists, over the security of Americans is not the right approach to the War on Terror. The American people understand this and even Democrats in Congress are beginning to understand it. It’s time for the Obama administration to reconsider its national security policy. Tags:Gitmo, terrorism, 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!
National GOP Committee Adopt Guidelines to be Used in Supporting Candidates
By Ralph Z. Hallow, The Washington Times: In an unprecedented move, the Republican National Committee on Friday unanimously called on its chairman, Michael S. Steele, to "carefully screen" candidates for their adherence to conservative values before granting them RNC financial help.
The resolution specifically calls on the national chairman to take into account the voting records and statements of all GOP candidates for evidence that they support the "core principles and positions" of the party's national platform, widely regarded as a highly conservative document.
"The brilliant part of the resolution is that it is tied to the party platform ... that has been thought out, debated and passed unanimously at our national convention," North Dakota GOP Chairman Gary Emineth told The Washington Times after he and his fellow RNC members passed the resolution. . . . even though it has no legally binding effect on Mr. Steele or on the chairmen of the GOP House and Senate campaign committees. But it does stipulate that candidates who fail the screening should not receive money and other campaign support from the RNC or its sister committees.
The resolution also calls on Mr. Steele and leaders of the House and Senate GOP campaign committees to deny financial and other support support to "candidates who clearly do not support the core principles and positions" of the national platform as adopted at the 2008 Republican National Convention. . . . Jubilant conservatives on the 168-member RNC -- the party's national governing body -- called passage of the resolution a "historic" step designed to make it difficult for Mr. Steele and future party leaders to help finance the campaigns of liberal Republicans.
"The importance of resolution's passage now is that it shows we have taken steps not only to welcome tea-party activists and other independent, small-government champions but also to solve problems within the GOP that caused many of them to abandon the Republican Party," said Morton Blackwell, a veteran RNC member from Virginia.
Opponents of the resolution disputed its importance and uniqueness. "This is not historic, nor is it binding," said Mississippi RNC member Henry Barbour, the nephew of Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former RNC chairman who is revered by most Republicans. "I also think it is important to note that this resolution was not amended. This resolution urges the GOP to be careful not to fund anymore [Dee Dee Scozzafavas], but that was an exception," said Mr. Barbour. "The resolution still gives the funding discretion to the RNC Chairman and state party leaders where it belongs." . . .
The resolution's passage represents the first time in memory that a philosophically conservative faction has not been crushed by the national party leadership. "Heretofore there hasn't been any instruction to the national chairmen as to how to allocate their committees' resources that's the big difference," said Mr. Blackwell. . . . [T]he resolution combines aspects of . . . two earlier proposed resolutions. One tagged as the Reagan resolution would have required that a candidate agree with at least 80 percent of the GOP's "core principles and policies" as laid out in the party's national platform. Many members regarded a fixed percentage as both unseemly and impractical. The second proposed Bopp resolution would have imposed "accountability" on candidates who receives RNC help and required them to return to the RNC any financial help if the candidate bows out of the race and endorses a Democrat. . . .
The abandoned motion would have directed Mr. Steele to stop touring the country to promote his book, redirected all proceeds from book sales to the RNC, and it would have banned speech-making for personal financial gain. Most RNC members thought the motion would have embarrassed Mr. Steele and given the Democrats ammunition against the Republicans in this fall's elections. . . . [Full Article] Tags:GOP, Michael Steele, RNC, RNC ChairmanTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Chris Slavens, ALG News: Perhaps the Obama administration and Democratic majority overestimated their ability to sell the American people on proposed radical changes to our political and economic systems, as the federal health care takeover has ground to a near halt, and an increasing number of administration officials are being exposed for far-left statists with a sinister, unconstitutional agenda. But those in power show no signs of being bothered by something as trivial as the will of the people, and could very well continue down a planned path of disaster, moving on from health care to tackle a vital instrument of free speech. ObamaCare has turned into a nightmarish legislative struggle; will ObamaNet be the next?
Most people have never heard of Cass Sunstein, despite conservative alarm at his 2009 appointment to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The Harvard-educated regulatory czar has, in addition to proposing other ludicrous ideas, called for a hunting ban in the U.S., claimed that exposure to sunlight is unhealthy, and proposed that Americans celebrate April 15 as a sort of tax holiday. As if those aren’t enough, Sunstein is also an advocate of a federally enforced Internet “fairness doctrine.”
Claiming that the uncensored World Wide Web, on which anyone can write or read the content of his or her choice, is a threat to level-headed democratic government, he wants to impose a 24-hour cooling off period for emails (to prevent the sending of angry missives), and create mandatory “electronic sidewalks,” which would display links to opposing views alongside all opinion-based content. Somehow, it seems unlikely that these state-controlled sidewalks would link to tea party or libertarian websites.
In addition, the constitutional law professor has stated that, “under imaginable conditions,” conspiracy theories might be banned, such as those related to the Kennedy assassination, or Obama’s country of birth, and has suggested a tax, “financial or otherwise,” on those who propagate such theories. What sort of tax would fall under “otherwise?” . . .
Sunstein believes the federal government should decide which conspiracy theories are appropriate, and then take action to counter those deemed to be nonfactual, marginal, or dangerous. Such an ideology, if legislated into reality, would depend on filtering substantial portions of the Web, as Communist China does with its “Great Firewall,” and would constitute a blatant violation of the First Amendment. The United States could become what is called an Internet black hole, joining the ranks of Cuba, North Korea, and Iran.
Support for such totalitarian tactics should come as no surprise to those who have uncovered similar ideas in the speeches and writings of Obama’s other hand-picked czars, who have significantly more power over policy decisions than any individual member of Congress, but it is still tempting to pinch one’s self. Surely, Internet censorship and suppression of free speech is only the province of foreign regimes, science fiction plots, and bad dreams. Right?
Don’t bet on it. This administration has shown little regard for the Constitution in its push for ObamaCare, and even less for public opinion. The increased power of the Executive Branch might mean that regulatory affairs, relating to the Internet and other forms of communications technology, could be kept out of Congress in the future, and controlled behind the scenes. It will bear a different name, and be kept as far under the radar as possible, but the coming of ObamaNet is imminent. It is up to the defenders of free speech to prevent it.Tags:ALG News, Cass Sunstein, censorship, internet, ObamaNetTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Shakeup in Stone County Arkansas GOP - Activism May Help Other Counties
Bill Smith, Editor: On many fronts, Arkansans is seeking to return Arkansas to its conservative roots abandoned by the controlling Arkansas Democrat Party. Not only has the Arkansas Democrat Party left its roots, it also has fostered many positions anathema to most Arkansans. At the same time, the Republican Party of Arkansas, which offers a big tent to conservatives, has needed people to serve even the grassroots precinct level. However, Change is Happening! People are getting active in the the GOP in counties which& have not offered much "resistance" to the liberal agenda of state democrats.
In the past, people voted on generational perceptions verses beliefs and values. Most Arkansans have conservative values in their worship, jobs and homes, but when voting, many vote for the candidate from the Democratic party which does not represent their conservative values. Why - because grandma and grandpa were Democrats. Folks, our grandparents wouldn't even recognize today's Democratic Party. It is now the party supporting the agenda of the east and west coast liberals.
Change is Happening! People have awakened via the TEA Party, grassroots movements, or just realizing that the President, Pelosi, Reid and others do not represent Arkansas. People are upset and are expressing a willingness to get involved in shaping Arkansas political future. While the long term effects of this involvement is unknown, it is expected that over the short term, 2 to 4 years, change can be expected in Arkansas politics.
Arkansas patriot group “We the People,” headed up by Stone County conservative Jim Diamond [an active Republican precinct member] is one of thousands of loosely associated patriot groups across the country, made up of local citizens who had become fed up with an increasingly intrusive and abusive government that seemed completely deaf to the will of the people it was established to serve. They were searching for a way to have a real impact.
As “We the People” member Chris Romero describes events, - “We were a group of angry citizens disgusted with the direction of our government, as well as both political parties.”—“I had pretty much given up on being able to save my country from a tyrannical government, and had certainly given up on the two political parties.”—“The group was committed to supporting only third party candidates as a result.”
But then National Precinct Alliance state coordinator Jacque Martin [a Republican committee precinct member in another county] entered the picture. Jacque had been engaged in patriot efforts across Arkansas for years. Back in early December ‘09, as the newly appointed State Coordinator for National Precinct Alliance, Jacque attended a “We the People” meeting in Stone County and presented the National Precinct Alliance strategy to Diamond’s “We the People” organization.
Diamond and his group studied the NPA strategy and when Mrs. Martin showed up at the group’s January 7, 2010 meeting, the group had decided to abandon the third party idea and focus on retaking constitutionally conservative control of the Stone County GOP. Martin asked for a volunteer and Chris Romero became the Stone County NPA Coordinator who would lead the charge.
Five days later, on January 12, 2010, Romero and Diamond led their “We the People” group into the Stone County GOP meeting, in which the existing GOP leadership agreed to resign and make room for constitutionally conservative leadership, determined to force change.
As Romero states, - “We walked in not knowing what to expect and walked out in control of the Stone County GOP.” Less than a month after first learning the NPA strategy, Arkansas patriots had success with the strategy. They elected a new Chairman on the spot and Romero now serves as the Stone County GOP vice-chair, as well as the Stone County Coordinator for National Precinct Alliance.
But this is just the beginning of the story . . . Martin, Romero and Diamond have already moved on to share the NPA strategy in five adjoining counties, and last night, they had a state-wide meeting of conservative activists from every county, as they move to take control of the Arkansas GOP.
Some items were not noted in the story. One was that the expansion of and growth of precinct members in Stone County and surrounding counties have been supported by Republicans from other counties. One such county is Baxter County, Arkansas - a conservative hotbed. To win elections, state-wide and US Senate and the 1st District conservative candidates must travel to Baxter County in North Central Arkansas which has one of the largest involved Republican committees in the state. Numerous members of the committee are involved in other support groups and patriot efforts in the state and nationally including the Ozark Tea Party which hosted the largest TEA Party events in Arkansas.
Two Baxter County Republicans committee members are leaders in the 1st Congressional District (which includes all counties previously mentioned). Benny Speaks, 1st District Republican Chairman, and Joe Leblanc, White River Region Republican Chairman have traveled thousands of miles each year helping other counties like Stone County organize and increase their precinct members.
While the NPA strategy is valid, the claim that being a precinct member of a political party committee means that you get to endorse who will be the party's candidate in a primary election is not correct - at least not in the Republican Party in Arkansas. Precinct members and County Committees do not dictate -- they serve! In Arkansas, the County Republican Committees do not decide who will can be or cannot be Republican candidates for office. Endorsements and financial support of candidates by the Republican committee are not permitted until after the Primary elections. Also, delegates to the RNC National Conventions are not picked by the precinct members of the committee. The process is much more complicated.
As conservatives, we expect "the people" to decide if they wish to run for elected office. To do otherwise would not represent the people. In Arkansas, voters do not register to vote by political party. We have open primaries. For a Primary Election, a voter may chose to vote in any political primary (but only one) - thus crossing party lines for the primary election. Precinct members represent their constituents; they do not control or dictate the lives of other free people. Thus the GOP remains a big tent of conservatives from varying conservative viewpoints.
People interested in representing their precinct as a Republican on their local Republican County Committee, should read the following items, The U.S. Constitution, What Republicans Believe, and the current GOP Party Platform. Then contact your local County Committee. In Arkansas, the filing period for office as a precinct member is next month.
Tags:Arkansas, Baxter County, GOP, National Precinct Alliance, precincts, Republicans, Stone CountyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Feb 2, 2010 - Obama Budget; "More Spending, More Taxes and More Debt"
Senate resumed post-cloture consideration of the nomination of Patricia Smith to be solicitor for the Labor Department. Majority Leader Harry Reid has also filed cloture on the nomination of Martha Johnson to head the General Services Administration. The Senate is expected to turn to her nomination next.
President Obama’s big-spending $3.8 trillion budget debuted yesterday and was greeted with nearly universal criticism in major news outlets today. In fact, there’s little that needs to be said about the president’s latest budget today that wasn’t said by the press.
Rep. John Boehner, House Republican Leader expresses that "Working families and small business owners understand that making government live within its means is essential to building confidence in our economy both at home and abroad. That’s why the American people have been saying to Washington: “stop spending money we don’t have.” Democrats still haven’t gotten the message and President Obama has proposed another budget that spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much." He put out a paper identifying 10 Things Every American Should Know About President Obama’s Budget
In a sobering editorial, The Washington Post writes, “‘We can no longer afford to leave the hard choices for the next budget, the next administration or the next generation,’ President Obama declared as he unveiled the budget. That was true. It was also last year. The fiscal 2011 budget, unveiled yesterday, falls similarly short.”
The Wall Street Journal editorializes, “One rule of budget reporting is to watch what the politicians are spending this year, not the frugality they promise down the road. By that measure, the budget that President Obama released yesterday for fiscal 2011 is one of the greatest spend-while-you-can documents in American history.”
The Journal notes, “All of this spending must be financed, and so deficits and taxes are both scheduled to rise to record levels. The deficit will hit 10.6% of GDP this year, far more than Ronald Reagan ever dreamed of. The deficits are then predicted to fall but still to only a tad below 4% of GDP on average for the rest of the decade.” And The Washington Post editors add, “Under the path laid out by the president . . . the national debt is set to rise to a staggering 77 percent of the economy by 2020. That year, interest payments on the debt alone will be $840 billion; by way of comparison, all nonsecurity discretionary spending in 2020 is estimated to be $537 billion. And these terrifying numbers reflect the optimistic scenario. They assume that Congress accedes to all of the president's suggested cuts and savings . . . .”
This vision of a tsunami of red ink is enough even to unsettle The New York Times. In an analysis piece today, the NYT writes, “By President Obama’s own optimistic projections, American deficits will not return to what are widely considered sustainable levels over the next 10 years. In fact, in 2019 and 2020 . . . they start rising again sharply, to more than 5 percent of gross domestic product.” The Times worries, “Unless miraculous growth, or miraculous political compromises, creates some unforeseen change over the next decade, there is virtually no room for new domestic initiatives for Mr. Obama or his successors. Beyond that lies the possibility that the United States could begin to suffer the same disease that has afflicted Japan over the past decade. As debt grew more rapidly than income, that country’s influence around the world eroded.”
Taken aback by these estimates, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor yesterday, “This budget provides a startling figure that should stop us all in our tracks. According to the administration’s budget, the interest on the federal debt is expected to be nearly 6 trillion dollars over the next decade. We’ve all heard about interest-only loans, but this is the equivalent of an average of $600 billion dollars in interest every year. That’s an astonishing number. . . . [I]t’s now crystal clear that this budget is more spending, more taxes and more debt. Anyone listening to the American people knows this isn’t what they support. It’s not what our country needs.”
While focus still is on the Obama budget, the importance of addressing terrorism, its threat and the present Obama administration confusion in terrorist detainee policy needs to be addressed. Tomorrow morning, at 11:00 AM EST, Leader McConnell will deliver a key address on terrorism and detainee policies at the Heritage Foundation, titled, “The War on Terror: An Assessment of the Obama Administration's First Year.” You may view his speech online via UStream or if you used FaceBook it will be run via UStream at The Heritage Foundation’s Facebook pageTags:federal budget, 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!
10 Things Every American Should Know About President Obama’s Budget
Rep. John Boehner, House Republican Leader: Working families and small business owners understand that making government live within its means is essential to building confidence in our economy both at home and abroad. That’s why the American people have been saying to Washington: “stop spending money we don’t have.” Democrats still haven’t gotten the message and President Obama has proposed another budget that spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much. Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) sums up Washington Democrats’ viewpoint best: “We are not going to save our way out of this recession. We are going to spend our way out of this recession.” How’s that approach been working out for families asking “where are the jobs?”
Here are 10 things every American should know about President Obama’s budget: INSIDE THE NUMBERS: SPENDS TOO MUCH, TAXES TOO MUCH, AND BORROWS TOO MUCH 1.President Obama’s budget spends too much. Under President Obama’s budget, the federal government would spend a record $3.8 trillion in the fiscal year beginning October 1. This represents a nearly 30 percent increase in outlays since 2008. The President’s budget would also maintain the size of government for a second year in a row at 25 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), well above historical levels of 20 percent.
2. President Obama’s budget taxes too much. The President’s budget includes more than $2 trillion in tax hikes, with a nearly 20 percent jump in the first year alone. This includes tax increases on small businesses, investors, and families earning less than $250,000 per year – a violation of the President’s campaign pledge. The last thing American families and small businesses need right now are new taxes that make it harder to save, invest, and hire.
3. President Obama’s budget borrows too much from our kids and grandkids. Under the President’s budget, the federal government will run up a record budget deficit of $1.6 trillion in fiscal year 2011. Deficits never fall below $700 billion, never fall below 3.6% of GDP, and end the decade at more than $1 trillion. The national debt would double over five years and triple by FY2019 from FY2008 levels. Paying the interest on this debt would set American taxpayers back roughly $6 trillion over the next decade.
SPENDING FREEZE A GOOD FIRST STEP, BUT WE NEED TO DO MORE – AND NOW 4.President Obama’s proposed spending freeze is a good step in the right direction, but we need to do more. Serious fiscal responsibility requires more than a few cuts here and there at the margins. Republicans have proposed adopting strict budget caps that limit federal spending on an annual basis and are enforceable by the President. These caps were a critical plank in the budget alternative Republicans proposed last year, led by Budget Committee Ranking Republican Paul Ryan, and they are notably absent from the President’s budget. Without these caps, the federal budget deficit will continue to spiral out of control.
5. President Obama’s budget green-lights more government ‘stimulus’ spending now while delaying any spending freeze. Last Friday, the President told House Republicans that delaying his proposed spending freeze represented the “consensus among people who know the economy best.” In December, Leader Boehner released a list of 222 economists who support getting runaway federal spending under control -- rather than adding more ‘stimulus’ spending -- in order to help create jobs and get the economy back on track.
6.President Obama turns over tough spending choices to a deficit commission “without teeth.” As the Associated Press notes, “the commission has yet to be appointed and there's no sure path to having its recommendations considered by Congress.”
OUT-OF-TOUCH: DOUBLING DOWN ON THE TRILLION-DOLLAR ‘STIMULUS’ AND COSTLY, JOB-KILLING POLICIES 7.President Obama’s budget contains a “secret sequel" to the trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ it concedes isn’t working as promised. A majority of Americans oppose the trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ and nearly three in four say it has wasted taxpayer dollars. What’s worse, President Obama’s budget projects that unemployment will remain near 10 percent through the end of this year. The Obama Administration promised the trillion-dollar stimuluswould create jobs ‘immediately’ and keep joblessness below eight percent.
8. President Obama’s budget fails to pivot away from costly, job-killing policies that are causing uncertainty and making matters worse. President Obama’s budget accounts for the implementation of both a government takeover of health care and a ‘cap-and-trade’ national energy tax, two job-killing bills the American people have rejected loudly and clearly. The President calls for a new national energy tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020 – a proposal which CBO has estimated would increase taxes by $870 billion, a full $224 billion more than President Obama’s proposal in the FY2010 budget.
BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR OUR TROOPS, BIPARTISAN OPPOSITION TO IMPORTING DANGEROUS TERRORISTS 9.President Obama’s budget spends hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to import dangerous terrorists to U.S. soil and give them the same rights as U.S. citizens. Republicans have stood with the American people from the beginning to oppose the Obama Administration’s severely misguided plan to try the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and his-co conspirators in civilian courts in downtown Manhattan. In recent days, more Democrats have followed suit. Yet, the President’s budget irresponsibly spends hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars on importing dangerous terrorists to U.S. soil, housing them at a ‘Gitmo North’ facility and trying them in civilian courts.
10. President Obama’s budget ensures our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have the resources they need to succeed in their mission. This is an area in which Republicans hope to continue finding consensus with the President. Tags:Barack Obama, federal budget, federal spending, John Boehner, National DebtTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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