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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru] - editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

77% Prefer Free Market Economy Over A Government Managed Economy

Rasmussen Reports: 60% of U.S. adults nationwide say that capitalism is better than socialism. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey finds that 18% disagree, while 21% are not sure.

Adults under 30 are closely divided on the question. While Republicans and unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly say that capitalism is better, just 43% of Democrats agree; 24% of Democrats say socialism is better [with 33% of Democrats "out to lunch"]. While 76% of investors favor capitalism verses only 45% of non-investors.

[However], 77% of Americans prefer a free market economy rather than a government managed economy. That’s consistent with the 75% who say that business is better at customer service than government.
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In his new book, In Search of Self-Governance, Scott Rasmussen says, "In the political world today, advocates of big business and big government play the same game. … They pretend to fight so that one of them can rise to the defense of consumers or taxpayers. Big business leaders proclaim the virtues of the free market, and regulators talk about a mandate to protect consumers. Just as the guys reverse roles when it suits them, the elites take turns drifting back and forth between the business and government sides of the aisle. Voters have come to believe that capitalism means large, well-connected corporations keep the profits when times are good and get bailed out by taxpayers when times are bad. No wonder they prefer free markets over capitalism.”

Tags: Scott Rasmussen, Rasmussen Reports, free market economy, government managed economy, capitalism, socialism To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Is GM Running False Ads on Repaying Bailout Funds?

The last thing GM [Government Motors -- oops, General Motors] needs is be caught in a very public lie. May be the government can get away with lying; however, the public is sick and tired of being sick and tired of bailouts. Below is a Fox News Story:


GM Could Be in Hot Water With FTC Over Truth in Advertising
General Motors is running ads on all the major networks this week claiming it has repaid its bailout from the taxpayers "in full." But the claim isn't standing up to scrutiny from lawmakers and government watchdogs who have found that the automaker was able to repay the bailout money only by dipping into a separate pot of bailout funds.

General Motors is running ads on all the major networks this week claiming it has repaid its bailout from the taxpayers "in full." But the claim isn't standing up to scrutiny from lawmakers and government watchdogs who have found that the automaker was able to repay the bailout money only by dipping into a separate pot of bailout funds.

The TV spot may land GM in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission over its truth-in-advertising laws, which prohibit ads that are "likely to mislead consumers."

"We have repaid our government loans in full — with interest — five years ahead of the original schedule," says Ed Whitacre, chairman and CEO of General Motors Company, asking Americans to give the bankrupt company another look.

But a top Senate Republican has accused GM of misleading taxpayers about the loan repayment, saying the struggling auto giant was able to repay a $6.7 billion bailout loan only by using other bailout funds in a special escrow account.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley's charge was backed up by the inspector general for the bailout — also known as the Trouble Asset Relief Program, or TARP. Watchdog Neil Barofsky told Fox News, as well as the Senate Finance Committee, that General Motors used bailout money to pay back the federal government.

"It appears to be nothing more than an elaborate TARP money shuffle," Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a letter Thursday to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. . . .

"A lot of Americans didn't agree with giving GM a second chance," Whitacre said in the 60-second ad. "We invite you to take a look at the new GM."

Well, meet the new GM. Same as the old GM. The company is still majority-owned by the federal government, which has a 60 percent stake in the Detroit titan; the Canadian government owns another 12 percent.

GM is not yet solvent, continues to be racked by debt and is still unable to turn a profit — something that has eluded the company since 2004. GM filed for bankruptcy in 2009 but was saved from collapse by a $52 billion infusion from the federal government. . . .

Barofsky told Fox News that while it's "somewhat good news," there's a big catch.

"I think the one thing that a lot of people overlook with this is where they got the money to pay back the loan. And it isn't from earnings. ... It's actually from another pool of TARP money that they've already received," he said Wednesday. "I don't think we should exaggerate it too much. Remember that the source of this money is just other TARP money."

Barofsky told the Senate Finance Committee the same thing Tuesday, and said the main way for the federal government to earn money out of GM would be through "a liquidation of its ownership interest."

Grassley criticized this scenario in his letter.

"The taxpayers are still on the hook, and whether TARP funds are ultimately recovered depends entirely on the government's ability to sell GM stock in the future. Treasury has merely exchanged a legal right to repayment for an uncertain hope of sharing in the future growth of GM. A debt-for-equity swap is not a repayment," Grassley wrote.
We should give GM another look; a close look - WE WANT OUR MONEY BACK! And how much did they pay to make and run this ad? FTC will probably do nothing since the government is a major holder of the company - and we all know how much the government can prevaricate.

Tags: GM, General Motors, Government Motors, bailout repayment, ads, prevaricate To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Financial Regulation Bill Will NOT “Put a Stop to Taxpayer-Funded Bailouts”

NPR’s Planet Money: “I Cannot Find Any Experts – Of Any Party – Who Are Willing To Agree With Obama On This One”
“‘A Vote For Reform Is A Vote To Put A Stop To Taxpayer-Funded Bailouts,’ Obama Said In His Speech In New York On Thursday. I Cannot Find Any Experts -- Of Any Party -- Who Are Willing To Agree With Obama On This One.” (“Experts Say Bills Won't End 'Too Big To Fail',” NPR, 4/23/10)

“We At [NPR’s] Planet Money Did An Informal Survey Of Economists And Regulatory Experts On The Left And The Right. We Couldn't Find Any Who Fully Endorse The Reforms Backed By President Obama And Democrats In Congress. Everyone Thinks The Reforms Just Aren't Enough To Solve The Problem.” (“Experts Say Bills Won't End 'Too Big To Fail',” NPR, 4/23/10)

“‘We're Not Seeing A Very Forceful Step On The Too-Big-To-Fail Problem,’ Said Carmen Reinhart, An Economist At The University Of Maryland. ‘If there's any doubt that the crisis may be systemic, we will bail out again.’” (“Experts Say Bills Won't End 'Too Big To Fail',” NPR, 4/23/10)
Tags: financial regulation, democrats, bailout, banking To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Who Told The Truth on Health Care?

Dems Accuse Republicans Of Spreading “Lies” But The Facts Revealed Since Passage Of The Health Bill Tell A Different Story
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): “Bottom Line, On The Health Care Bill, We Allowed Too Many Lies To Get Out There Without Rebuttal, Because We Thought They Were So Obviously Untrue. But We've Learned Our Lesson.” (Sen. Schumer, Press Conference, 4/22/10)

THE CLAIM
PRESIDENT OBAMA: "The Plan I'm Announcing Tonight … Will Slow The Growth Of Health Care Costs For Our Families, Our Businesses, And Our Government.” (President Obama, Remarks To Joint Session Of Congress, 9/9/09)

REALITY
“But The [HHS] Analysis Also Found That The Law Falls Short Of The President's Twin Goal Of Controlling Runaway Costs, Raising Projected Spending By About 1 Percent Over 10 Years. That Increase Could Get Bigger, Since Medicare Cuts In The Law May Be Unrealistic And Unsustainable, The Report Warned.” (“Report Says Health Care Will Cover More, Cost More,” The Associated Press, 4/23/10)

“The Overhaul Will Increase National Health Care Spending By $311 Billion From 2010-2019.” “The report found that the president's law missed the mark, although not by much. The overhaul will increase national health care spending by $311 billion from 2010-2019, or nine-tenths of 1 percent.” (“Report Says Health Care Will Cover More, Cost More,” The Associated Press, 4/23/10)

MEDICARE CHIEF ACTUARY RICK FOSTER: “During 2010-2019, However, These [Cost Control] Effects Would Be Outweighed By The Increased Costs Associated With The Expansions Of Health Insurance Coverage.” (“Report Says Health Care Will Cover More, Cost More,” The Associated Press, 4/23/10)

THE CLAIM
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “This Plan Will Strengthen Medicare And Extend The Life Of That Program.” (President Obama, Remarks, 12/15/09)

REALITY
“In Particular, Concerns About Medicare Could Become A Major Political Liability In The Midterm Elections. The [HHS] Report Projected That Medicare Cuts Could Drive About 15 Percent Of Hospitals And Other Institutional Providers Into The Red, ‘Possibly Jeopardizing Access’ To Care For Seniors.” (“Report Says Health Care Will Cover More, Cost More,” The Associated Press, 4/23/10)

THE CLAIM
SEN. MAX BAUCUS (D-MT): “In Addition, As The President Promised, This Bill Does Not Raise Taxes On The Middle Class.” (Sen. Baucus, Floor Remarks, 12/9/09)

REALITY
“Taxpayers Earning Less Than $200,000 A Year Will Pay Roughly $3.9 Billion More In Taxes -- In 2019 Alone -- Because Of Healthcare Reform, According To The Joint Committee On Taxation, Congress' Official Scorekeeper For Legislation.” (“Healthcare Law Socks Middle Class With A $3.9 Billion Tax Increase,” The Hill, 4/12/10)

“Once The Law Is Fully Implemented In 2019, The JCT Estimates The Deduction Limitation Will Affect 14.8 Million Taxpayers -- 14.7 Million Of Them Will Earn Less Than $200,000 A Year.” (“Healthcare Law Socks Middle Class With A $3.9 Billion Tax Increase,” The Hill, 4/12/10)

“Nearly 4 Million Americans - The Vast Majority Of Them Middle Class - Will Have To Pay The New Penalty For Not Getting Health Insurance When President Barack Obama's Health Care Overhaul Law Kicks In, according to congressional estimates released Thursday. The penalties will average a little more than $1,000 apiece in 2016, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report. Most of the people paying the fine will be middle class.” (“Nearly 4M To Pay Health Insurance Penalty By 2016,” The Associated Press, 4/22/10)

THE CLAIM
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “Your Employer, It's Estimated, Would See Premiums Fall By As Much As 3,000 Percent … Which Means They Could Give You A Raise.” (“Will Health Care Bill Lower Premiums?” The Associated Press, 3/17/10)

REALITY
“Premiums Are Likely To Keep Going Up Even If The Health Care Bill Passes, Experts Say.” (“Will Health Care Bill Lower Premiums?” The Associated Press, 3/17/10)

“Fearing That Health Insurance Premiums May Shoot Up In The Next Few Years, Senate Democrats Laid A Foundation On Tuesday For Federal Regulation Of Rates, Four Weeks After President Obama Signed A Law Intended To Rein In Soaring Health Costs.” (“Senate Bill Sets A Plan To Regulate Premiums,” The New York Times, 4/21/10)

“New York’s Insurance System Has Been A Working Laboratory For The Core Provision Of The New Federal Health Care Law … Premiums For Individual And Small Group Policies Have Risen So High That State Officials And Patients’ Advocates Say That New York’s Extensive Insurance Safety Net … Is Falling Apart.” “New York’s insurance system has been a working laboratory for the core provision of the new federal health care law — insurance even for those who are already sick and facing huge medical bills — and an expensive lesson in unplanned consequences. Premiums for individual and small group policies have risen so high that state officials and patients’ advocates say that New York’s extensive insurance safety net for people like Ms. Welles is falling apart.” (“New York Offers Costly Lessons On Insurance,” The New York Times, 4/18/10)

THE CLAIM
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): “So This Bill Is Not Only About The Health Security Of America.  It's About Jobs.  In Its Life It Will Create 4 Million Jobs -- 400,000 Jobs Almost Immediately; Jobs, Again, In The Health Care Industry, But In The Entrepreneurial World As Well.” (Health Care Summit, The White House, 2/25/10)

REALITY
“A New Law That Cuts Banks Out Of The Federal Student Loan Business Is Costing 2,500 Workers At Sallie Mae Their Jobs. The nation's largest student lender has told 1,200 staffers in service centers in Killeen, Texas, and Panama City, Fla., they will lose their jobs by year-end. The remaining cuts will follow in 2011, resulting in nearly a third of the company's total work force of 8,000 losing their jobs.” (“Sallie Mae Job CUTS: 2,500 Jobs Slashed After New Student Loan Law,” AP, 4/22/10)

“A Dire Warning From Bay State Medical-Device Companies That A New Sales Tax In The Federal Health-Care Law Could Force Their Plants - And Thousands Of Jobs - Out Of The Country Has Rattled Gov. Deval Patrick , a staunch backer of the law and pal President Obama.” (“Beware The ‘Jobs Killer’,” Boston Herald, 3/25/10)

“AT&T Inc. Will Take A $1 Billion Non-Cash Charge In The First Quarter Because Of The Health Care Overhaul And May Cut Benefits It Offers To Current And Retired Workers.” (“AT&T Will Take $1B Non-Cash Charge For Health Care,” The Associated Press, 3/26/10)

“Salon Owners Predict Tanners Will Cut Back On Services. As A Result Salons Fear They Will Be Forced To Lay Off Employees.” (“Tanning Salons Feel Burn By Tanning Tax,” WNDU-NBC [South Bend, IN], 3/26/10)

Tags: health care, democrat lies, National health care, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, April 23, 2010

ObamaCare Flatlines: CMS Confirms Health Care Spending Will Increase

In reference to the previous Washington D.C. Update identifying that "CMS Study Shows Health Care Law Increases Costs $311 Billion In 10 Years,"  below are additional figures and points from the CMS Study on the impact of the new ObamaCare law. Let's pray for strength and unity for We The People to stop this nationalized health care mess before too many people really do flatline because of the Democrats destroying the best Medical system in the world:

“And it [the health reform plan] will slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government.” -- President Obama, September 10, 2009

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a new analysis of ObamaCare, confirming that our nation’s health care costs will increase rather than decrease under ObamaCare and violating a pledge President Obama made to the nation on September 10, 2009.  CMS concluded:

-- National health care expenditures will increase by $311 billion.

-- Health care increases to 21% of GDP by 2019.

-- ObamaCare spends more than $828 billion for health care coverage.  (CMS didn’t analyze all the tax increases, such as HSAs, FSAs, increasing the AGI threshold, etc.)

-- The government will spend $410 billion to expand Medicaid.

-- Medicaid enrollment increases by 20 million new beneficiaries.

-- 18 million people will be uninsured (excluding 5 million illegal immigrants).

-- Uninsured and those employers who don’t offer coverage will pay $120 billion in taxes.

-- 50% of seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage plans.

-- Some of the Medicare cost-control mechanisms may not be sustainable.

-- Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) will run a deficit in 15 years.

-- The $5 billion for High Risk Pools is not enough.

-- Doctors may drop out of Medicare because of the changes in Medicare reimbursement rates.

-- Medicare “savings” may be difficult to achieve.

Tags: CMS, ObamaCare, health care law, increased costs,higher premiums,  damage to medical community, senors, doctors, reimbursement rates, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, illegal immigrants, illegal aliens, community living assistance programs,   To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Today in Washington, D.C. - April 23, 2010 - CMS Study Shows Health Care Law Increases Costs $311 Billion In 10 Years

OF SPECIAL NOTICE: On Monday,  the Senate will reconvene at 2 PM. At 5 PM, the Senate will vote on cloture on the motion to proceed to S. 3217, the Dodd financial regulation bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid decided to force a vote on taking up the bill, despite the fact that bipartisan negotiations are ongoing. If the Republicans do not stand together, this bill could be another travesty rammed through over the concerns of Americans.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 98-0 to confirm Denny Chin to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

In Investor's Business Daily, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) addressed the Dodd financial regulation bill sends the wrong signal to Wall Street: "The American people are tired of the borrowing, spending and bailouts that have been advanced by the administrations of both political parties. It's time to end the era of bailouts and reaffirm our belief that the freedom to succeed must include the freedom to fail. Unfortunately, under the guise of financial services reform, congressional Democrats are trying to pass a permanent bailout bill for the financial services industry, ensuring that American taxpayers would be on the hook to bail out reckless Wall Street firms well into the future. Despite claims to the contrary, even some Democrats admit that it would be a permanent bailout."

Rep. Pence also added, "While Democrats perpetuate a scheme to make taxpayer-funded bailouts permanent, Republicans are offering better solutions. Last year, House Republicans introduced the Consumer Protection and Financial Regulatory Enhancement Act. The Republican bill would end bailouts once and for all, restore market discipline and keep taxpayers off the hook for Wall Street's bad decisions."

Last night, the chief actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released his long-awaited report on the Democrats’ health care spending bill. The report states, “[W]e estimate that overall national health expenditures under the health reform act would increase by a total of $311 billion during calendar years 2010-2019. . . .” This was an assessment that was requested by Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell prior to the final votes on health care in the House, but CMS told Republicans that they couldn’t complete an analysis in time for the vote. Given the report’s findings, it’s easy to see why Democrats decided to rush ahead with a vote before the report could be completed.

Reporting on the CMS analysis last night, the AP wrote, “President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law will increase the nation's health care tab instead of bringing costs down, government economic forecasters concluded Thursday in a sobering assessment of the sweeping legislation. A report by economic experts at the Health and Human Services Department said the health care remake will achieve Obama's aim of expanding health insurance — adding 34 million Americans to the coverage rolls. But the analysis also found that the law falls short of the president's twin goal of controlling runaway costs. It also warned that Medicare cuts may be unrealistic and unsustainable, driving about 15 percent of hospitals into the red and ‘possibly jeopardizing access’ to care for seniors.”

But in the run-up to the vote, indeed throughout the year-long debate on health care, Democrats and President Obama repeatedly insisted that their unpopular legislation would control costs and save the government money. In December, President Obama announced, “We agree on reforms that will finally reduce the costs of health care. Families will save on their premiums. Businesses that will see their costs rise if we do nothing will save money now and in the future.” Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) insisted at the beginning of debate in the Senate, “The Republican Leader just a few moments ago says that this bill raises costs. With all due respect to my good friend from Kentucky, that statement is false.” And Democrats repeatedly cited a CBO report saying that if all the Medicare cuts are implemented, the bill could save $130 billion over the next decade. This was pointed to by everyone from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to rank-and-file House Democrats like Ohio Rep. John Boccieri.

But as the AP story explains, “The [CMS] report acknowledged that some of the cost-control measures in the bill — Medicare cuts, a tax on high-cost insurance and a commission to seek ongoing Medicare savings — could help reduce the rate of cost increases beyond 2020. But it held out little hope for progress in the first decade. ‘During 2010-2019, however, these effects would be outweighed by the increased costs associated with the expansions of health insurance coverage,’ wrote Richard S. Foster, Medicare's chief actuary. ‘Also, the longer-term viability of the Medicare ... reductions is doubtful.’”

As Sen. McConnell said when President Obama signed the health care bill, “Most Americans out there aren’t celebrating today. . . . People oppose this bill not because they don’t know what’s in it, but because they know exactly what’s in it. . . . They know you don’t have to slash Medicare by half a trillion dollars to get lower premiums. . . . People know you won’t save money on health care by spending another $2.6 trillion on health care. . . . They know you don’t reduce the deficit by creating a massive new government program that even Democrats have described as a Ponzi scheme. They know you can go a long ways towards doing all these things without creating a brand new entitlement at a time when we can’t even cover the cost of the entitlements we have.”

Once again, studies by neutral observers have shown that Democrats’ claims about their health care bill just do not match reality. This was a flawed bill rushed through because Democrats wanted to “make history.” But Americans know better. At a time of record deficits and debt, this irresponsible health spending bill should be repealed and replaced with legislation that actually addresses health care costs.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, judicial nominee, CMS, government health care, higher premiums, financial regulation To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Today’s Health Care Consequences: Lost Jobs, Higher Taxes, & Higher Premiums

2,500 JOBS LOST IN FLORIDA
“A New Law That Cuts Banks Out Of The Federal Student Loan Business Is Costing 2,500 Workers At Sallie Mae Their Jobs. The nation's largest student lender has told 1,200 staffers in service centers in Killeen, Texas, and Panama City, Fla., they will lose their jobs by year-end. The remaining cuts will follow in 2011, resulting in nearly a third of the company's total work force of 8,000 losing their jobs.” (“Sallie Mae Job CUTS: 2,500 Jobs Slashed After New Student Loan Law,” AP, 4/22/10)

HIGHER TAXES FOR FOUR MILLION AMERICANS
“Nearly 4 Million Americans - The Vast Majority Of Them Middle Class - Will Have To Pay The New Penalty For Not Getting Health Insurance When President Barack Obama's Health Care Overhaul Law Kicks In, according to congressional estimates released Thursday. The penalties will average a little more than $1,000 apiece in 2016, the Congressional Budget Office said in a report. Most of the people paying the fine will be middle class.” (“Nearly 4M To Pay Health Insurance Penalty By 2016,” AP, 4/22/10)

HIGHER PREMIUMS PREDICTED
“New York’s Insurance System Has Been A Working Laboratory For The Core Provision Of The New Federal Health Care Law … Premiums For Individual And Small Group Policies Have Risen So High That State Officials And Patients’ Advocates Say That New York’s Extensive Insurance Safety Net … Is Falling Apart.” “New York’s insurance system has been a working laboratory for the core provision of the new federal health care law — insurance even for those who are already sick and facing huge medical bills — and an expensive lesson in unplanned consequences. Premiums for individual and small group policies have risen so high that state officials and patients’ advocates say that New York’s extensive insurance safety net for people like Ms. Welles is falling apart.” (“New York Offers Costly Lessons On Insurance,” The New York Times, 4/18/10)
“Meanwhile, [Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner Kim] Holland Said She Doesn’t See A Reduction In Insurance Rates. ‘If Anything, They’re Going To Go Up.’” (“Health Care’s Reform Gets Mixed Reactions In Oklahoma,” The Oklahoman, 4/18/10)

Tags: Government Health Care, consequences, lost jobs, higher taxes, higher premiums To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day: A Cloaked Celebration of Statism in Sodom But Not in the Ozark Mountains

Bill Smith, Editor: Today was Earth Day. I love the Earth because I believe God made the Earth for man to both subdue and to enjoy. I do not believe man is so independently powerful that God would let man destroy totally his creations be it mankind or the Earth. Last year, I spent Earth Day cutting down 20 trees. Don't worry folks, they needed cutting along with the couple hundred already cut as of that date because of damage from an Ozark Ice Storm.

This year the Ozark forests are rebounding from the prior years ice damage. Still a lot of damaged trees and brush to be eventually cleared but this will take several years if forest fires don't beat us to the cleanup effort. The trees this Spring seem to be most happy that this Winter was milder than the previous year and they appear to be trying to make up in new growth for the beating they took the previous year. So, on this Earth Day, I spent time pruning and cleaning up the branches.

By the way, the poor trees must be a little CO2 deprived with 2 people, some deer, turkey, foxes, cats, and other varmints sharing almost 200 acres of forests (not all mine). And across the river are a few thousand acres of trees in the Ozark National Forest with almost no one breathing any CO2 most of the time. It is great place to get an oxygen high walking or working among the trees. Since I was busy this fine day, I was glad that my young conservative friend Adam Bitely has expressed some sentiments about Earth Day. Poor Adam truly labors under the curse by living and working near Sodom (Washington, D.C.) amid lots of concrete and asphalt. I invite Adam to join in the spirit of the first Adam by visiting a close second to the Garden of Eden - the Ozark Mountains.

by Adam Bitely: Each year on April 22 Americans celebrate Earth Day. While the "holiday" is dressed up as a day to preserve the Earth, it serves little more as a day to attack the benefits of capitalism and modern society. Does anyone really know what Earth Day is really all about?

Not only is April 22 Earth Day, it is also the Birthday of Vladimir Lenin and the National Day of Communism in the U.S.S.R.. Obviously, the latter holidays are less celebrated, but consider that through Earth Day, the spirit of those days lives on. If you need to be persuaded, consider what Alexander Marriott wrote in Capitalism Magazine about the similarities between a Communism holiday and Earth Day:

Think of the parallels between Lenin and environmentalists. Lenin once said that, "It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed." Environmentalists second this wholeheartedly when they restrict the ownership and control of private property through the guise of saving the environment. The Endangered Species Act is used voluminously to take the property of anyone if an endangered species is living on it. President Clinton cordoned off thousands upon thousands of acres of land in the form of national parks with the alleged concern of saving the natural resources thereon from development. The federal government now controls nearly forty percent of all land in the continental United States. Lenin's goal was to destroy private property and this goal is obviously shared by environmentalists.
Marriott, of course, is exactly right. The parallels between these holidays are undeniable. And remember, these holidays were created by people with the same worldview as the communists of Soviet Russia. The green zealots of today are nothing more than thieves of property and promoters of irresponsible government and the regulations that come along with that.

If you celebrate Earth Day this year, please remember that with the creation of the automobile, you are able to travel efficiently and in a cleaner fashion than our ancestors who used horses. Also, remember that because of washing machines and driers, our clothes are clean and pleasant to those around us. And, don’t forget, because of modern plumbing, we have cleanlier living situations and disease is less prominent.

It is because of modern innovation that we have much more efficient, and health preserving, products to use. It is not through government controls that we are better off, rather, it is through the entrepreneurial spirit that drives us towards more efficient products and machines that allows us to live in a cleanlier society than that of our ancestors. Green zealots and other statists that promote Earth Day would rather remove these efficiencies and send us back to the days of cholera outbreaks and the bubonic plague, where such modern precautionary conveniences, which the greens and statists despise, did not exist.

See also: 40th Earth Day Birthday [Lenin photo from this article]
Tags: Earth Day, Bill Smith, Adam Bitely, Ozark Mountains, Ozarks, forests, Alexander Marriott, Capitalism, Communism, Environmentalists, Environmentalism, Green Zealots, U.S.S.R., Vladimir Lenin To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Naked Truth - WARNING: AL GORE NAKED

WARNING: AL GORE NAKED - LOL
by William Warren:


by Rick Manning: Al Gore may have another cause to champion.

In the wake of some whacky climate “scientists” declaring that the “thawing” Icelandic ice cap could cause future serious volcanic eruptions due to the reduction of glacial mass that is keeping the earth’s magma suppressed, the Daily Mail in the UK came up with an even crazier explanation of the seeming spate of earthquakes around the globe.

Scantily clad women. That’s right. Bikinis make the earth move. I’m not talking Carole King lyrics here, but actual, real live shorts and halter tops.

Well known Iranian earthquake predictor, President and resident mad man Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has predicted that a quake is certain to hit the capital of Tehran, urging residents to relocate. Mahmoud may have misread the geological tea leaves when it comes to predicting what is likely to make the ground move in Tehran, but that is another topic.

Taking up President Madman’s quake warning, Islamic cleric Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi (HKS for short) proclaimed in a prayer sermon that, “Many women do not dress modestly…lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which leads to earthquakes.”

Now, that explains the constant threat of earthquakes in California, but somehow I would guess that they were pretty bundled up during the Anchorage, Alaska quake on March 27, 1964.

It is suspected that Mahmoud and HKS have been taking lessons on the earth’s geological foundations from noted intellectual Congressman Hank Johnson. Johnson, you will remember, last month worried that Guam might capsize in Congressional questioning of the Admiral in charge of the entire Pacific Fleet.

That brings us back to Iceland - an island, using Johnson’s unique island flotation theory, even more in danger of suffering Guam’s feared fate with Mt. Lotsarandomletters billowing tons of ash into the air. Clearly, as all that lava and ash flows upward, the bottom of the island gets lighter, exponentially increasing the chances of it tipping over.

All of which goes to show you that whether you are in Europe, Tehran, Washington, DC or even Tennessee, if you just turn in enough box tops, you too can get a hockey stick shaped diploma certifying your expertise on the weather and other natural phenomena. And it comes with a handy decoder ring too.
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Rick Manning is the Director of Communications for Americans for Limited Government and the former Public Affairs Chief of Staff for the U.S. Department of Labor.

Tags: William Warren, political cartoon, Al gore, naked, truth, global warming, Rick Manning To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Lying left can't hide from the truth...

John Allison, III, Editor, America You Asked for It!: ...even with the mainstream media as a willing accomplice in their attempt to mislead the American people.

The Democrat party has long claimed to represent the "common man" while painting conservatives as being "in-the-pockets" of big business, or Wall Street. Liberals and their Jackass party claim to stand for constitutional freedoms. You know, like freedom of the press and free speech. All the while, they claim conservatives constrict the rights guaranteed by our founding documents. And the loony left loves to paint conservatives as rabid, violent, hatemongers filled with rage and always looking for an opportunity to gang up on a smaller, weaker opponent.

Partnering with the mainstream press, liberal Democrats have often been able to convince large blocks of voters to believe all of these things. But recent events are illuminating the absolute hypocrisy of these self-proclaimed peace-loving protectors of American freedom for the little guy. The lack of mainstream media coverage of these happenings shines an even brighter light on the obvious bias of the "4th branch" of government.

Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) recently introduced a bill to reform America's entire financial system. He and his Democrat colleagues have often blamed the entire financial crisis on a lack of regulation spawned by big business' ties with President Bush and other Republicans. Goldman Sachs took billions in bailout bucks from the American taxpayer in 2008. You know...one of those firms that was just too big to fail. But it wasn't Republicans who benefited from the generous political donations of Goldman's people. It was President Obama who received nearly $1 million as the company crumbled.

You might expect that to make the news. Something along the lines of "Obama Coffers Filled by Bailed Out Financial Giant." But don't hold your breath. Lachlan Markay at Newsbusters points out that Time and Newsweek were quick to tie President Bush to the failed energy company Enron when it failed. Bush's ~$150,000 in contributions paled in comparison to Obama's Goldman take. Obama hauled in nearly 7 times as much from Goldman as Bush took from Enron.

Liberals screamed as if their fingernails were being pulled out when they learned the Bush administration was (gasp!) listening in on phone calls between overseas terrorists and their contacts in the US. They acted as if the former President had dropped the US Constitution in the shredder when he set up a prison camp for captured terrorists on a remote base in Cuba.

But Democrats and conservatives usually agree the 1st Amendment protections guaranteed in the Bill of Rights are essential and must be preserved. At least, that's what they all say.

So when the TEA Party started gaining momentum, and Democrat politicians began labeling us un-American, we conservatives were somewhat taken aback. But even Obama's own backers were upset this week when, not once but twice, the President appeared upset by gay rights activists protesting his failure to drop the US military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy.

Obama challenged the hecklers who want the policy changed immediately. Apparently quite perturbed by their protest, the President yelled, "Barbara and I are supportive of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell. So I don't know why you're hollering!" Only a few days later, gay rights activists dressed in military uniforms chained themselves to the fence in front of the White House to draw attention to the President's unkept promise to end the policy. When reporters approached to interview the protesters and cover the story, they were forced to retreat by police officers.

So it appears the President and his liberal supporters only value the constitutional rights of those who agree with their positions 100% of the time. Obama seems to believe those who disagree should keep their mouths shut and have no real right to voice their opinion. Even the mainstream press, arguably his biggest ally in the 2008 campaign and these first 15 months of his tenure, loses their freedom to cover a story that might stain the President's image with his supporters.

And of course you'll recall the demagoguery of the TEA Party protesters in Washington by Democrat congressmen the day the Socialist sheep in jackass clothing voted to drive the final nail in the coffin of the world's greatest health care system. Charges of racism and homophobia were leveled by these elected officials based on their "claims" that protesters hurled racial and anti-gay epithets at black congressmen and Barney Frank.

The mainstream media, always a stalwart ally of the liberal left, ran with the story on the word of these Socialist snakes without a shred of evidence. What the Democrat allies in the press didn't tell the world was that Andrew Breitbart of BigGovernment.com offered $100,000 to anyone with video evidence to back up the claims of the congressmen. None materialized. In a literal sea of protesters packing video cameras, and the congressmen recording the entire event on their own phones and cameras, not even a few seconds of a lone protester were produced to exchange for $100K.

This leads me to believe the entire act was scripted and staged by these ruling Democrats for no other reason than to delegitamize the movement that drew such a large and vociferous crowd to oppose the crowned jewel of the Obama platform. Nancy Pelosi and her Democrat underlings rarely, if ever, enter the Capitol via the front steps. They pranced through the disgruntled crowd hoping to incite them to violence. And when that didn't work, they just lied about it.

The entire debacle was nothing more than a Democrat attempt to undermine the 1st Amendment rights of the opponents of the health care takeover. Pelosi and her pals hoped to instill the fear of being labeled a racist and/or homophobe in the hearts of concerned conservative American citizens for no other reason than to intimidate them into not participating in the rallies.

Now for perhaps the most egregious hypocritical hype from the loons on the left recently.

The Obama administration and other liberal Democrats have been trying to paint conservatives who oppose the President's march to a Socialist America as violent and dangerous. They've tried hard to link them to militia groups planning to overthrow the US government. But the only violence at TEA Parties thus far has been perpetrated by liberal counter protesters.

In St. Louis, SEIU thugs beat down a black TEA Party protester. Last month, more SEIU thugs tried to misdirect conservatives headed for the kickoff of the Tea Party Express III tour in Harry Reid's hometown of Searchlight, NV. When Breitbart stopped, thinking he had arrived at the TPX rally, he found himself amid a throng of SEIU goons who threatened him with violence when he attempted to question them.

Most recently, when the Southern Republican Leadership Conference gathered in New Orleans, the most violent of these liberal attacks occurred. Republican Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's top fundraiser, Allee Bautsch and her boyfriend were savagely attacked when they left an event at Brennan's Restaurant in New Orleans. Bautsch's leg was broken in four places and her boyfriend suffered a concussion.

Liberal protesters who apparently didn't believe conservatives have a right to hold conferences in New Orleans had gathered outside the restaurant as the fundraiser went on. It's been reported that conservatives (and even some patrons of the restaurant who weren't with the party) suffered verbal attacks much worse than those the Democrats accused conservatives of as they left the restaurant. And now it's come to light that what set the attackers off were "Palin pins" worn by Bautsch and her boyfriend.

A young woman and her boyfriend viciously attacked for their support of a conservative icon while Democrats consistently claim conservatives are prone to violence? You'd think everyone in the US would have heard of it by now. But no, the Democrat allies in the mainstream media won't tell this story.

Contrary to what you see in the MSM, big business is pumping piles of cash into the pockets of liberal Democrats to buy influence and favors. Those seeking to restrict constitutional freedoms wear the brand of the jackass. And the blood on the streets is spilled by the hands of left wing liberals.

Tags: MSM, Mainstream Media, Democrats, Liberals, Violence, Bautsch, Jindal, SRLC, 1st Amendment, Liberal Hypocrisy, Liberal Lies, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, Conservatism, TEA Party, John Allison To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

President Obama’s ‘TARP Forever’ Act

by Rep. John Boehner, House Republican Leader: We cannot restore confidence in our economy unless we fully address the root causes of the financial crisis and take definitive steps to ensure that taxpayers are never again forced to pick up the tab for bad bets on Wall Street. The legislation President Obama is promoting, however, does neither of these things and actually makes matters worse.

President Obama talks a big game when it comes to Wall Street, but his newest job-killing initiative would provide the nation’s largest financial firms with permanent bailouts ordered and overseen by unelected federal bureaucrats. Under his proposal, the largest Wall Street firms would become eligible for special treatment, including taxpayer-funded resources unavailable to smaller financial firms. These include exclusive access to a pre-existing bailout fund, a Treasury-backed line of credit and a government guarantee for any debt.

Such perks will benefit the likes of Goldman Sachs, President Obama’s top financial contributor during the 2008 campaign and a firm that just happens to be under investigation by the SEC for defrauding investors. The decision to designate Goldman and other giant banks as “too big to fail” won’t be made by taxpayers or their elected representatives. Under the Democrats’ plan, a new “Financial Stability Oversight Council” made up of unelected federal bureaucrats including representatives from the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, the CFTC, the FDIC and the SEC would have absolute power to seize any company and do whatever it wants with it.

That means Washington Democrats would force taxpayers to rely on the same government bureaucracies that were asleep at the switch the last time around. The commissioner of the SEC has warned that “there are no clear limits on the degree of government intervention that could be expected.”

This special treatment makes these large firms more attractive to investors than the smaller local banks, widening the gap between Wall Street and Main Street. Local banks will receive none of the perks of the Democrats’ permanent bailout bill while being forced to comply with all of its expensive, job-killing mandates at the worst possible time for small businesses across America.

Of course, the large banks won’t mind having their borrowing costs permanently lowered by government intervention. That is exactly how it was with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government mortgage companies that kicked off the crisis by giving high-risk loans to people who couldn’t afford them. Hoping to meet ambitious growth targets and reap considerable bonuses, Fannie and Freddie executives doubled down on their junk mortgage bet by investing heavily in the derivatives market, sparking a systemwide meltdown.

But don’t go looking through this 1,408-page bill that President Obama supports for any provisions that would reform Fannie and Freddie or get the derivatives market in order. This is unfortunate, but unsurprising: Washington Democrats have been enabling these government mortgage companies for years, giving them a free ride while the economy crumbled.

What’s worse, this legislation claims that it will fix derivatives, but in reality it will just end up sending this business overseas, hurting our economy and failing to fix the real problems. How can President Obama credibly argue that he has acted to prevent the next crisis when he won’t lift a finger to address the root causes of the last one?

Americans are right to be scared to death by the prospect of more open-ended bailouts for Wall Street. After all, our national debt ($12.7 trillion today) is on track to exceed the size of our entire economy (about $15 trillion) in just two years.

Permanent, unending bailouts for President Obama’s Wall Street allies and more job-killing mandates for Main Street is not reform. Republicans are standing with the American people by putting forward a responsible plan to end the bailouts, reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and hold Wall Street accountable for its actions.
----------
John Boehner, R-Ohio, serves as minority leader in the House of Representatives.  The above article was furnished by GOP House Leaders Press Office and was published in Investor's Business Daily.

Tags: US House, John Boehner, financial bailout, TARP forever, Wall Street, socialism, government takeovers, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Today in Washington, D.C. - April 22, 2010 - We have heard the Democrat rhetoric before and we've been burned

Yesterday, the Senate voted 72-24 to confirm Christopher Schroeder as Assistant Attorney General and voted 77-20 to confirm Thomas Vanaskie to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.  Today, the Senate began consideration of the nomination of Denny Chin to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and will vote on the nomination.

President Obama and Democrats in Congress are asking the American people trust them that their financial regulation bill ends bailouts, but over the last year Democrats have given Americans numerous reasons to be skeptical. When Congress passed President Obama’s $862 billion stimulus bill, the administration was assuring members that the bill would keep unemployment around 8% and create 3 to 4 million jobs. Yet late last year the unemployment rate was 10.2% and has since hovered at 9.7%. And over 3 million jobs were lost during the course of 2009.

Just after passing the stimulus bill, which was simply piled on to the nation’s debt, Obama said, “I refuse to leave our children with a debt they cannot repay. . . . We cannot and will not sustain deficits like these without end. ... We cannot simply spend as we please.” Yet this administration had a record deficit of $1.4 trillion for fiscal year 2009 and is on pace for a $1.3 trillion deficit for this fiscal year. And the administration’s budget for the next fiscal year could result in an unprecedented $1.6 trillion deficit.

Meanwhile, throughout the health care debate Democrats asserted that the process was open and transparent. Obama once promised that when he championed a health care bill negotiations would not be behind closed doors, but on C-SPAN. By January of this year, not even C-SPAN could take that claim seriously any more, when the station wrote a letter to congressional leaders asking that the remaining negotiations be open to cameras. As CBS News noted at the time, “Other significant parts of the health care debate, however, have remained behind closed doors, such as Mr. Obama's negotiations with the pharmaceutical industry which resulted in a deal committing the industry to a specific contribution to reform.” Responding to the letter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “There has never been a more open process for any legislation.” That might be the case if one ignores the fact that Democrat leaders wrote the final bills by themselves behind closed doors, wheeled and dealed in secret to secure Democrat votes (even leaving most Democrats in the dark at times), and voting on bills before many have had time to read them.

Given the Democrat bad track record on living up to these promises, it’s little wonder that a recent Pew poll reported, “Public confidence in government is at one of the lowest points in a half century, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center: Nearly 8 in 10 Americans say they don't trust the federal government and have little faith it can solve America's ills.” Do you believe the financial regulation bill “doesn’t allow for bailouts, that it won’t kill jobs, or that it won’t enable the administration to pick winners or losers"? Most Americans are very skeptical. We have heard the Democrat rhetoric before and we've been burned. It is time for the Government to prove what they are saying and doing!

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US Congress, judicial nominee, poll, financial regulation, national deficit, democrats, rhetoric To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The iPad vs the ObamaPad

By Nick D'Orazio, III and Nick D'Orazio, Jr., BulletPeople.com: If only the government passed a law to make sure that those people who can not afford an Apple iPad do not suffer the unfairness and indignity of living without access to tablet computing. Steve Jobs introduces the iPad and Barack Obama signs a health care law only days apart. Maybe the proximity of these two will remind the voters what a real game changer looks like.

Tags: iPad, ObamaPad, video, humor
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Democrats Ready Radical Agenda

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Democrats in the House and Senate are gearing up for a major push to advance their radical agenda while they still have an overwhelming advantage on Capitol Hill.  Last week, Roll Call reported that House Democrats plan to pass a major homosexual rights bill called ENDA by May. Reuters notes that cap and trade legislation will be unveiled in the Senate by the end of month, and Politico reports that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democrat Leader Harry Reid met late yesterday and agreed to bring up an amnesty bill for illegal immigrants this year. Each issue is a priority of the far Left.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) elevates homosexual behavior to the same protected legal status as race and religion. Business owners and institutions that adhere to Judeo-Christian values will be forced to compromise their beliefs if this legislation passes. And this year, Democrats have taken their extremism to a new level by including special protections for transgenderism and gender identity – whatever those are. With unemployment hovering near 10% and out-of-control deficit spending, why is appeasing the militant homosexual movement so high on the Democrats’ “to do” list?

If that radical assault on our values wasn’t bad enough, Obama’s allies in the Senate, led by Massachusetts liberal John Kerry, are pushing legislation to tax and regulate carbon. We live in a carbon-based economy, so when you hear “carbon,” think energy. Democrats want to tax and regulate energy production.

Think about everything you do in the course of a day that requires energy in any form.  How many of you flip a light switch first thing in the morning?  Do you drive to work?  Use a computer or other machines?  Do you like air condition in the summer?  All of it will be taxed more if the Left gets its way.  If you thought unemployment was bad now, wait until this massive job-killing tax hike leads to $7.00 a gallon gas.

And then there’s “immigration reform.” With this leftwing president and this liberal Congress, it can only mean one thing: amnesty. Reports indicate that President Obama has already started calling members of the Senate to push the issue. But I don’t think the public is in any mood for amnesty. In fact, the Arizona legislature just passed one of the toughest anti-illegal immigration laws in the country. A new Rasmussen poll finds that 70% of likely voters support the law, including 69% of Independent voters and even 51% of Democrats. Moreover, 73% say that securing the border is more important than legalizing “undocumented workers.”

With unemployment so high, there’s no shortage of workers – there’s a shortage of jobs. This is not the time to legalize millions of illegal aliens. But Obama and his allies may well need millions of new voters as the country turns against their radical agenda.
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 the above in an email to the ARRA News Service Editor. Bauer was a former Republican presidential candidate and served as President Ronald Reagan’s domestic policy adviser.

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, Democrats, radical agenda, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, tax, regulate carbon, regulate energy production, amsesty, immigration reform, illegal aliens, jobs. job shorttages
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Today in Washington, D.C. - April 21, 2010 - Surprise Everyone: Health Law Won't Reduce Premiums

Yesterday, the Senate voted 78-19 to confirm Lael Brainard as an undersecretary in the Treasury Department. The Senate also voted 66-32 to confirm Marisa Demeo to be an Associate Justice of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.  Today, the  Senate   began consideration of the nomination of Christopher Schroeder to be Assistant Attorney General. They are expected to vote today on the nomination.  They will then take up the nomination of Thomas Vanaskie to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals and again are expected to vote on the nomination today.

On Thursday, the Senate is scheduled to consider the nomination of Denny Chin to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

Throughout the health care debate, Democrats said over and over that if passed, their $2.6 trillion health care takeover would lower costs. At the health care summit President Obama called in February, he even got in an argument with Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander over whether the bill would reduce insurance premiums or not. Sen. Alexander was noting a CBO report from November which said premiums for individuals were likely to increase under the legislation. But Obama insisted “you're going to be able to get lower costs.”

Well, The New York Times reports today, “Fearing that health insurance premiums may shoot up in the next few years, Senate Democrats laid a foundation on Tuesday for federal regulation of rates, four weeks after President Obama signed a law intended to rein in soaring health costs.” So after a year of insisting that costs will go down if Democrats passed their unpopular bill, Democrats are apparently conceding that the health care legislation will not, in fact, keep premiums from going up.

According to the NYT, “After a hearing on the issue, the chairman of the Senate health committee, Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, said he intended to move this year on legislation that would ‘provide an important check on unjustified premiums.’ Mr. Harkin praised a bill introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, that would give the secretary of health and human services the power to review premiums and block ‘any rate increase found to be unreasonable.’” Do Democrats have so little faith in their health care plan that they feel the HHS secretary needs the power to review and block premium increases?

Perhaps Democrats think it’s inevitable that there will be premium increases. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durban said as much back in March: “Anyone who would stand before you and say, ‘Well, if you pass health care reform, next year's health care premiums are going down,’ I don't think is telling the truth. I think it is likely they would go up, but what we're trying to do is slow the rate of increase.” And a New York Times story from last weekend pointed out that similar regulations and restrictions in the Empire State have resulted in premiums spiraling out of control. “Premiums for individual and small group policies have risen so high,” The Times wrote, “that state officials and patients’ advocates say that New York’s extensive insurance safety net for people … is falling apart.”

After months of insisting that their health care bill would lower costs, Democrats seem to be laying the groundwork to prevent inevitable premium increases brought on by their ill-considered law. This once again shows that Democrats were simply ignoring smart policy in their rush to “make history.” Americans aren’t fooled, though. A Quinnipiac poll out today shows that 53% still disapprove of the health care law (only 39% support it). Fifty-five percent of respondents disapprove of Obama’s handling of health care and a stunning 71% disapprove of how the Democrat-controlled Congress is doing its job.

Republicans warned many times of the consequences of passing the partisan health care bill, but spurred on by the White House and Democrat congressional leaders, Democrats voted for it anyway. Now even those who cheerlead for it appear to be admitting it won’t work as advertised. The law needs to be repealed and replaced with commonsense reforms.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, judicial nominees, health care, higher premiums
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Spin Zone - Rebranding Cap and Trade

Senators Kerry, Graham & Lieberman discuss NEW names for cap and trade to trick the American people. Satire but true! [CEI.org Video]


Tags: Global warming, cap and trade, CEI, Pollution limits
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Bringing humanity back to the abortion debate

by Marc A. Thiessen, Contributing Author: Can an unborn child feel pain? That question will dominate the abortion debate in America for the next several years thanks to Gov. Dave Heineman of Nebraska. Last week, Heineman signed the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act into law, banning abortions in Nebraska at and after 20 weeks based on growing scientific evidence that an unborn child at that age can feel pain.

The legislation was enacted as a defensive measure. After the murder of late-term abortionist George Tiller, a physician named LeRoy Carhart declared his intention to carry on Tiller's work at his Bellevue, Neb., clinic. State legislators did not want Nebraska to become the country's late-term abortion capital -- so they voted 44-5 to stop him.

The new law will probably spark a Supreme Court showdown, because it directly challenges one of the key tenets of Roe v. Wade -- that "viability" (the point at which an unborn child can survive outside the womb, generally held to be at 22 to 24 weeks) is the threshold at which states can ban abortion. In defending the law, Nebraska will ask the high court to take into account scientific research since Roe and push the legal threshold back further.

In 1973, when Roe was decided, it was believed that the nervous systems of even newborn babies were too immature to feel pain -- so doctors generally did not provide anesthesia to infants before surgery. But 25 years ago, a young doctor at Oxford University named Kanwaljeet Anand noticed that babies coming to his neonatal intensive care unit from surgery suffered a massive stress response -- indicating they had been through extreme pain. His research into this phenomenon shifted medical opinion, and today even the most premature newborns are given anesthesia to alleviate pain during surgery.

Anand -- now a professor at the University of Arkansas and a pediatrician at the Arkansas Children's Hospital -- continued his research into infant pain, which has led him to conclude that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks, and possibly as early as 17 weeks when a portion of the brain called the "subplate zone" is formed. Indeed, according to a New York Times Magazine story on Anand's research, a fetus's "immature physiology may well make it more sensitive to pain, not less: The body's mechanisms for inhibiting pain and making it more bearable do not become active until after birth."

Other medical experts share Anand's assessment. Jean Wright, executive director and vice president of operations for Children's Hospital and the Women's Health Institute at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Ga., has testified before Congress that an "unborn fetus after 20 weeks of gestation, has all the prerequisite anatomy, physiology, hormones, neurotransmitters, and electrical current to 'close the loop' and create the conditions needed to perceive pain. In a fashion similar to explaining the electrical wiring to a new house, we would explain that the circuit is complete from skin to brain and back."

Not everyone in the medical community agrees. Just as there were skeptics about newborn pain a quarter-century ago, there are skeptics of fetal pain today -- and these views will be aired as the legal battle unfolds. But regardless of the legal outcome, a national discussion on the topic of "fetal pain" can only help the pro-life movement.

A Gallup poll last year found that, for the first time, more Americans called themselves "pro-life" than "pro-choice" by a margin of 51 percent to 42 percent. In 1995, the numbers were more than reversed: Fifty-six percent of Americans said they were "pro-choice" and just 33 percent said they were "pro-life."  How did the pro-life position gain 18 percentage points in just 15 years? For one thing, scientific advances have allowed us to see inside the womb as never before. Once-experimental medical procedures, such as fetal surgery to repair spina bifida, have become increasingly common. And a 1999 photo of baby Samuel Armas, then at 21 weeks gestation, reaching out of his mother's womb and holding his doctor's finger touched millions of hearts around the world. People have been able to witness with their own eyes the humanity of the unborn child.

As this window into the womb was opening, the pro-choice movement was busy defending the gruesome practice of "partial birth" abortion. A ban on the practice was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2007. Now, thanks to the people of Nebraska, the national debate will shift to the topic of "fetal pain," which once again underscores the humanity of the unborn.  As this debate unfolds, science will continue to advance, allowing us to see -- and save -- babies at earlier and earlier periods of gestation. And the consensus will continue to grow that pre-born babies are indeed human beings, deserving of our love, our compassion and, most important, our protection.
-----------------
Marc A. Thiessen is a conservative National Security / Public Policy Expert. He submitted this article to the ARRA News Service Editor which also appeared in his weekly column in The Washington Post. Thiessen is the author of The New York Times Best Selling Book - COURTING DISASTER: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama is Inviting The Next Attack. Thiessen is a visiting fellow at both the American Enterprise Institute and the Hoover Institution,  former member of the White House Senior Staff, and chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Tags: Marc Thiessen, pro-life, abortion, late-term abortion, fetal pain, humanity, abortion debate, pre-born baby, human being, fetus, Gov. Dave Heineman, Nebraska, Kanwaljeet Anand
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Today in Washington, D.C. - April 20, 2010 - UnConstitutional D.C. Voting Rights Bill Stalls In House - Healthcare Premiums Going Up Under ObamaCare

Today, the Senate is expected to hold the final vote on the nomination of Lael Brainard to be an undersecretary in the Treasury Department and to debate and vote on the nomination of Marisa Demeo to be a judge at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The Senate will then consider the nomination of Stuart Gordon Nash to the D.C. Superior Court.

In the House, the issue of granting the District of Columbia a voting member in Congress in violation of the Constitution of the United States, has again been removed from the House agenda. Earlier today, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced that the House will not take up legislation this week. He also said it was unlikely the bill would be considered in the House later this year. The bill had been previously passed the House in complete disregard of the US Constitution which says that only States may have voting representatives in Congress. The District of Columbia was to be a non-voting area. However, citizens living in District were previously granted voting privileges. The Senate then also passed the bill with the assistance of Senator Orin Hatch (R-UT) who was also seeking an additional congressional seat for Utah. Hatch when confronted with the unconstitutional aspects of the act, said let the Supreme Court decide verses opposing the bill.

Fortunately the Senate included in their provision of the bill the requirement for the District of Columbia to eliminate its tough gun control laws; some of which have already been Constitutionally challenged. As a result the House had to reconsider this change and has not been able to agree on the rights of citizens in the District of Columbia to own and to bear arms as provided by the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution. If the bill is not taken up again before the 2010 elections, it is expected that the unconstitutional bill will die. Note: if Congress, wishes for the District of Columbia to have a vote in Congress, let them submit a Constitutional amendment for consideration by the People of the United States. For more background info, read articles here and hear and an older 2007 ARRA News Service article: D.C. Voting Rights bill slowed down but not DOA -- What parts of the U.S. Constitution are "value voters" willing to give up?

Government Health Care: Though President Obama signed his unpopular health care takeover into law last month, most of the major provisions have yet to take effect. During this interim, news stories are surfacing all across the country about the expected impacts of Democrats’ partisan and hastily considered legislation.

Over the weekend, The New York Times wrote, “New York’s insurance system has been a working laboratory for the core provision of the new federal health care law — insurance even for those who are already sick and facing huge medical bills — and an expensive lesson in unplanned consequences. Premiums for individual and small group policies have risen so high that state officials and patients’ advocates say that New York’s extensive insurance safety net for people … is falling apart.”

Because of stringent requirements on insurance companies in New York State, the NYT explains, “Healthy people, in effect, began to subsidize people who needed more health care. The healthier customers soon discovered that the high premiums were not worth it and dropped out of the plans. The pool of insured people shrank to the point where many of them had high health care needs. Without healthier people to spread the risk, their premiums skyrocketed, a phenomenon known in the trade as the ‘adverse selection death spiral.’”

According to NYT, “Since 2001, the number of people who bought comprehensive individual policies through HMOs in New York has plummeted to about 31,000 from about 128,000, according to the State Insurance Department. At the same time, New York has the highest average annual premiums for individual policies: $6,630 for single people and $13,296 for families in mid-2009, more than double the nationwide average, according to America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry group.”

And it’s not just in New York this is expected to happen. Oklahoma’s state insurance commissioner, Kim Holland, told The Oklahoman she expects insurance rates to increase in her state. “Holland said she doesn’t see a reduction in insurance rates. ‘If anything, they’re going to go up.’”

Republicans warned of precisely this consequence throughout the health care debate. Back in November, the CBO explained that the Senate’s health care reform bill would result in higher insurance premiums. And just days before the final bill was passed press reports warned that premiums would go up. In fact, the AP wrote in a fact check piece, “Buyers, beware: President Barack Obama says his health care overhaul will lower premiums by double digits, but check the fine print. Premiums are likely to keep going up even if the health care bill passes, experts say.” Even Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Senate Democrat, acknowledged in March, “Anyone who would stand before you and say, ‘Well, if you pass health care reform, next year's health care premiums are going down,’ I don't think is telling the truth. I think it is likely they would go up, but what we're trying to do is slow the rate of increase.”

As said repeatedly by Republicans, “Higher premiums, higher taxes, and higher health care costs are not what [Americans] signed up for. This is not what they were promised. This is not reform.” Democrats were wrong to pass the bill over bipartisan opposition in Congress and the objections of the overwhelming majority of the American people. The health care law needs to be repealed and replaced before the negative consequences begin to pile up.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, judicial nominees, District of Columbia, voting member of Congress, US Constitution, health care, higher premiums
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