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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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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Commemoration of Juneteenth - The Celebration of Black Freedom

Frances Rice, Chairman, National Black Republican Association: As we celebrate Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, it is fitting that we pause to recognize the origin of this important part of our African American heritage. June 19th marks the day in 1865 when word reached blacks in Texas that slavery in the United States had been abolished. More than two years earlier, on January 1, 1863, Republican President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Delivered during the American Civil War, this proclamation ordered the freeing of all slaves in states that were rebelling against Union forces. The proclamation had little effect in Texas, where there were few Union troops to enforce the order. News of the proclamation officially reached Texas on June 19, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger, backed by nearly 2,000 troops, arrived in the city of Galveston and publicly announced that slavery in the United States had ended. Republicans had passed the Thirteenth Amendment on January 31, 1865 that was ratified on December 6, 1865 to abolish slavery in the United States.

Reactions among newly freed slaves ranged from shock and disbelief to jubilant celebration. That day has been known ever since as Juneteenth, a name probably derived from the slang combination of the words June and nineteenth. Juneteenth commemorations began in Texas in 1866. Within a few years they had spread to other states and became an annual tradition, celebrating freedom for blacks in addition to many other themes, including education, self-improvement, African American accomplishments throughout history, and tolerance and respect for all cultures.

The racial divisiveness prevalent today would not exist if the Democrats in control of the Southern states had left African Americans alone at the moment in history when blacks were freed from slavery and the Juneteenth celebrations began. Instead Democrats set for themselves the horrendous task of keeping blacks in virtual slavery.

Southern Democrats passed discriminatory Black Codes in 1865 to suppress, restrict, and deny blacks the same privileges as whites. The Codes forced blacks to serve as apprentices to their former slave masters. In 1866, the Ku Klux Klan was started by Democrats to lynch and terrorize Republicans, black and white, and the Ku Klux Klan became the terrorist arm of the Democratic Party.

To counter the discriminatory and terrorizing actions by Democrats, Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the Reconstruction Act of 1867 that was designed to establish a new government system in the Democrat-controlled South, one that was fair to blacks. Further, the Fourteenth Amendment pushed by Republicans was ratified in1868 that granted blacks citizenship. The Fifteenth Amendment also pushed by Republicans was ratified in 1870 that granted blacks the right to vote.

Undaunted, Democrats passed discriminatory Jim Crow Laws in 1875 to restrict the rights of blacks to use public facilities. In response, Republicans passed the Civil Rights Act of 1875 which prohibited racial discrimination in public facilities. Shamefully, Democrats fought against anti-lynching laws, and when the Democrats regained control of Congress in 1892, they passed the Repeal Act of 1894 that overturned civil right laws enacted by Republicans. Further, the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Democrats and issued a ruling in the case of "Plessy v. Ferguson" in 1896 that established the "separate but equal" doctrine. That opinion stated that it was not a violation of the Constitution to have separate facilities for blacks. It took Republicans nearly six decades to finally get the civil rights laws of the 1950's and 1960's passed over the objection of the Democrats.

To advance civil rights for blacks, Republicans started the NAACP on February 12, 1909, the 100th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln. The first black head of the NAACP was black Republican James Weldon Johnson who became general secretary in 1920 and wrote the lyrics to the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing". Republicans also founded the HBCU's (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) because Democrats were trying to prevent blacks from getting a good education.

During the civil rights era of the 1960's, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought to stop Democrats from denying civil rights to blacks. It should come as no surprise that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as a Republican as has been affirmed by his niece, Dr. Alveda C. King in a YouTube video.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would not have joined the Democratic Party, the party of the Ku Klux Klan and segregation. Dr. King fought against Democrat Public Safety Commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor in Birmingham who let loose vicious dogs and turned skin-burning fire hoses on black civil rights demonstrators.

Democrat Georgia Governor Lester Maddox famously brandished ax handles to prevent blacks from patronizing his restaurant. Democrat Alabama Governor George Wallace stood in front of the Alabama schoolhouse in 1963 and thundered, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." All of these racist Democrats remained Democrats until the day they died.

The so-called "Dixiecrats" remained Democrats and did not migrate to the Republican Party. The Dixiecrats were a group of Southern Democrats who, in the 1948 national election, ran a third party ticket that supported segregation and Jim Crow laws passed by Democrats. Even so, they continued to be Democrats for all local and state elections, as well as for all future national elections.

Unknown today is the fact that the Democratic Party supported the Topeka, Kansas school board in the 1954 "Brown v. Topeka Board of Education" Supreme Court decision by Chief Justice Earl Warren who was appointed by Republican President Dwight Eisenhower. This landmark decision declared that the "separate but equal" doctrine violated the 14th Amendment and ended school segregation.

After the Brown decision, Democrat Arkansas Governor Orville Faubus tried to prevent desegregation of a Little Rock public school. President Eisenhower sent troops to Arkansas to desegregate the schools and pushed through the 1957 Civil Rights Act. In 1958, Eisenhower established a permanent US Civil Rights Commission that had been rejected by prior Democrat presidents, including President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Ignored today is the fact that it was Franklin Roosevelt who started blacks on the path to dependency on government handouts during the Great Depression with his "New Deal" that turned out to be a bad deal for blacks. Even though Roosevelt received the vote of many blacks, Roosevelt banned black American newspapers from the military because he was convinced the newspapers were communists.

Much is made of Democrat President Harry Truman's issuing an Executive Order in 1948 to desegregate the military. Not mentioned is the fact that it was Eisenhower who actually took action to effectively end segregation in the military.

Little known is the fact that it was Republican Senator Everett Dirksen from Illinois, not Democrat President Lyndon Johnson, who pushed through the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. In fact, Dirksen was instrumental in the passage of civil rights legislation in 1957, 1960, 1964, 1965 and 1968. The chief opponents of the 1964 Civil Rights Act were Democrat Senators Sam Ervin, Albert Gore, Sr. and Robert Byrd, a former official in the Ku Klux Klan who is still in Congress. None of these racist Democrats became Republicans.

Democrats ignore the pivotal role played by Senator Dirksen in obtaining passage of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, while heralding President Johnson as a civil rights advocate for signing the bill. Notably, in his 4,500-word State of the Union Address delivered on January 4, 1965, Johnson mentioned scores of topics for federal action, but only thirty five words were devoted to civil rights. He did not mention one word about voting rights. Information about Johnson's anemic civil rights policy positions can be found in the "Public Papers of the President, Lyndon B. Johnson," 1965, vol. 1, p.1-9..

In their campaign to unfairly paint the Republican Party today as racists, Democrats point to President Johnson's prediction that there would be an exodus from the Democratic Party because of Johnson's signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Omitted from the Democrats' rewritten history is what Johnson actually meant by his prediction. Johnson's statement was not made out of a concern that racist Democrats would suddenly join the Republican Party that was fighting for the civil rights of blacks. Instead, Johnson feared that the racist Democrats would again form a third party, such as the short-lived States Rights Democratic Party. In fact, Alabama's Democrat Governor George C. Wallace in 1968 started the American Independent Party that attracted other racist candidates, including Democrat Atlanta Mayor (later Governor of Georgia) Lester Maddox.

Democrat President John F. Kennedy is also lauded as a civil rights advocate. In reality, Kennedy voted against the 1957 Civil rights Act while he was a senator. After he became president, John F. Kennedy opposed the 1963 March on Washington by Dr. King that was organized by A. Phillip Randolph who was a black Republican.

President Kennedy, through his brother Attorney General Robert Kennedy, had Dr. King wiretapped and investigated by the FBI on suspicion of being a Communist in order to undermine Dr. King. To his credit, Republican President Ronald Reagan made Dr. King's birthday a federal holiday, ignoring how the Democrats had smeared Dr. King.

Democrats denounced Senator Trent Lott for his remarks about Senator Strom Thurmond. However, there was silence when Democrat Senator Christopher Dodd praised Senator Byrd, a former official in the Ku Klux Klan, as someone who would have been "a great senator for any moment." Senator Thurmond was never in the Ku Klux Klan and, after he became a Republican, Thurmond defended blacks against lynching and the discriminatory poll taxes imposed on blacks by Democrats.

Democrats today castigate Republican Senator Barry Goldwater as anti-black. However a review of Senator Barry Goldwater's record shows that he was a Libertarian, not a racist. Goldwater was a member of the Arizona NAACP and was involved in desegregating the Arizona National Guard. Goldwater also supported the Civil Rights Act of 1957 and the Civil Rights Act of 1960, as well as the constitutional amendment banning the poll tax. His opposition to the more comprehensive Civil Rights Act of 1964 was based on his libertarian views about government. Goldwater believed that the 1964 Act, as written, unconstitutionally extended the federal government's commerce power to private citizens, furthering the government's efforts to "legislate morality" and restrict the rights of employers.

It is instructive to read the entire text of Senator Goldwater's 1964 speech at the 28th Republican National Convention, accepting the nomination for president that is available from the Arizona Historical Foundation. By the end of his career, Goldwater was one of the most respected members of either party and was considered a stabilizing influence in the Senate.

In the arsenal of the Democrats is a condemnation of Republican President Richard Nixon for his so-called "Southern Strategy." These same Democrats expressed no concern when the racially segregated South voted solidly for Democrats for over 100 years, yet unfairly deride Republicans because of the thirty-year odyssey of the South switching to the Republican Party that began in the 1970's. Nixon's "Southern Strategy" was an effort on his part to get fair-minded people in the South to stop voting for Democrats who did not share their values and were discriminating against blacks. Georgia did not switch until 2004, and Louisiana was controlled by Democrats until the election of Republican Governor Bobby Jindal in 2007.

As the co-architect of Nixon's "Southern Strategy", Pat Buchanan provided a first-hand account of the origin and intent of that strategy in a 2002 article. In that article, Buchanan wrote that when Nixon kicked off his historic comeback in 1966 with a column about the South (written by Buchanan), Nixon declared that the Republican Party would be built on a foundation of states rights, human rights, small government and a strong national defense, and leave it to the "party of Maddox, Mahoney and Wallace to squeeze the last ounce of political juice out of the rotting fruit of racial injustice."

During the 1966 campaign, Nixon was personally thanked by Dr. King for his help in passing the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Nixon also endorsed all Republicans, except the members of the John Birch Society. Notably, the enforcement of affirmative action began with Richard Nixon's 1969 Philadelphia Plan (crafted by black Republican Art Fletcher who became know as "the father of affirmative action enforcement") that set the nation's first goals and timetables. Nixon was also responsible for the passage of civil rights legislation in the 1970's.

Fletcher, as president of the United Negro College Fund, coined the phrase "the mind is a terrible thing to waste." Fletcher was also one of the original nine plaintiffs in the famous "Brown v. Topeka Board of Education" decision. Fletcher briefly pursued a bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1995.

Nixon began his merit-based affirmative action program to overcome the harm caused by Democrat President Woodrow Wilson who, after he was elected in 1912, kicked blacks out of federal government jobs and prevented blacks from obtaining federal contracts. Also, while Wilson was president and Congress was controlled by the Democrats, more discriminatory bills were introduced in Congress than ever before in our nation's history. Today, Democrats have turned affirmative action into an unfair quota system that even most blacks do not support.

For more details on the true history of civil rights please read the book "Blacks, Whites and Racist Democrats: The Untold History of Race and Politics within the Democratic Party from 1792-2009" by Wayne Perryman.

Just as Democrats built their economic power base on the backs of poor blacks during the time of slavery, Democrats today have built their political power base on the backs of poor blacks today. As author Michael Scheuer stated, the Democratic Party is the party of the four S's: slavery, secession, segregation and now socialism.

Democrats have been running black communities for the past 40 years, and the socialist policies of the Democrats have destroyed the economic and social fabric of black communities. A wise man once wrote that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

It is way past time for blacks to end their unfounded loyalty to the Democratic Party, stop having their vote taken for granted and seize control over their own destiny. Only then will blacks be truly free.
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Frances Rice, a retired lawyer and US Army Lieutenant Colonel, is chairman of the National Black Republican Association and may be contacted at: NBRA.info

Tags: Frances Rice, Black History, NBRA, Juneteenth, Freedom Day, Emancipation Day, Texas, civil rights, Democrats, Democratic party, Republicans, Republican Party To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Social Issues vs. Fiscal Issues

by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: The media are forever trying to create a division in the Republican Party between those who care most about so-called social issues and those who want priority for fiscal issues. Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is the most recent politician to fall into this trap by asserting that the next president "would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues."

The truth is that social and fiscal issues are locked in a political and financial embrace that cannot be pried apart. Those who emphasize runaway government spending and out-of-control debt and deficits must face the fact that those trillions of dollars are being spent by government on social problems.

Those who care about Big Brother's dictatorial intrusions into our daily lives and privacy must come to grips with how and why Big Brother has vastly increased his regulatory power. Government powers, as well as the money in government's hands, have expanded to deal with social problems. In order to reduce government's size and power, and restore the limited government sought by fiscal conservatives, they simply must address the social issues. It's the breakdown in our culture that has caused millions of Americans to depend on government for their living expenses and for solutions to their personal problems.

In the not-too-distant past, we had a society where husbands and fathers were the providers for their families. The 1.7 million out-of-wedlock babies born last year (41 percent of all births) and their unmarried moms now look to Big Brother as their financial provider. The decline of marriage is not only the biggest social problem America faces today, but it's also government's biggest financial problem.

It is encouraging that some grassroots groups are now searching for remedies to the marriage problem. A ten-point agenda for rebuilding our society based on traditional marriage has just been articulated by two author-activists, David R. Usher of the Center for Marriage Policy and Mike McManus of Marriage Savers.

Their agenda recommends waiting periods both for marriage and for divorce. The agenda includes replacing our current system of unilateral divorce with permitting divorce based on two methods: Mutual Consent or Necessary Dissolution for defined and proven reasons. Their agenda calls on churches to take the lead in fostering policies that promote and save marriage. This would include encouraging four to six months of marriage preparation so couples will know what they are getting into before they marry, and mentoring couples in troubled marriages.

Usher and McManus recommend effective shared parenting laws after divorce because all social studies show that children need parenting by both mother and father, unless a parent is found unfit. Usher and McManus urge reforming welfare and child-support policies to remove financial incentives for non-marriage. Present policies of welfare-to-perpetual dependency should be replaced with policies that promote welfare-to-marriage because marriage is one of the best routes out of poverty.

The famous 1965 Moynihan Report on how welfare handouts destroy families by giving financial handouts only to women, thereby making husbands and fathers irrelevant, is now recognized as one of the most prophetic government reports ever written. The many financial incentives written into federal appropriations laws which promote cohabitation rather than marriage, must be eliminated.

Even Obamacare contains a marriage penalty by reducing the insurance subsidy when cohabiting couples marry. Financial incentives that penalize marriage are a reason why unmarried cohabiting couples soared from 430,000 in 1960 to 6.8 million in 2008.

The ten Usher-McManus recommendations include the economic factor by urging us to bring back sustainable manufacturing jobs for working-class Americans. Jobs used to be available to the average middle-class guy which enabled him to support his wife and children in their own home, but millions of those jobs have now gone overseas.

The decline of marriage is the major cause of the growth of the welfare state. This year we the taxpayers are spending $350 billion to support single moms, and this amount increases every year.

That's only the start of the costs because social problems come out of female-headed households: crime, drugs, sex, teen pregnancies, suicides, runaways, and school dropouts. The left is content to let this problem persist because 70 percent of unmarried women voted for Barack Obama for president. They vote for the party that offers the richer handouts.

Abortion is another major factor in the social-fiscal controversy. The feminists who demand the right to abortion also demand that the taxpayers pay the costs, and the people who opposed Obamacare discovered that the abortion-funding issue almost enabled defeat of Obama's Health Control Law. Fiscal and social conservatives need each other. Remedying the culture and restoring a marriage society is the only way to reduce the size and costs of the welfare state.

Tags: Social Issues, Fiscal Issues, marriage, decline of marriage, abortion, Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Domestic Drilling That Democrats Support!

by Ron Russell at the TOTUS: There is a simple truth, the only drilling the democrats will ever support is the drilling into your wallets. They have little concern for the common man and his need for cheap energy. They could care less if you have to pay $5 a gallon for gasoline, if your utility rates go through the roof. They listen to the radical environmentalist and time and time again have sided with them against the interest of the working men and women of this nation. They have brought into global warming hysteria hook line and sinker and believe those who tell them the sky is falling. They have turned a deaf ear to common sense solutions and are trying to drag all of us over the cliff to what will invariably be the destruction of the world's great economy.  sadly the only way they can hope to advance their agenda is on the backs of those in this country who pay the bills --- the American tax-payer, who is quickly becoming a shrinking minority!

Tags: Domestic Drilling, Democrats, Ron Russell, political cartoon, American tax-payers, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

The Democrat's Real Problem

Bill Smith, ARRA Editor: While I do not agree 100% with the below extracted comments by Tom Jensen, it is interesting that the Public Policy Polling has noted this major shift in the Democratic Party. Where I disagree is in the degree of shift in the Democrat Party. The Democrat Party has more than shifted slightly left. It now no longer reflects the values of our grandparents. Most of our grandparents were not progressives or communists. They were traditional values people who supported the working man and objected to Rockefeller Republicans. However, the Democrat Party of the past has more than transitioned over time, it has in recent years morphed into the Progressive Socialist Elitist Party which many democrats can no longer support.

Fortunately, the majority of Republican Party has remained conservative to very conservative and have promoted values and beliefs as delineated in the party platform. However, a majority of its members would also agreed with our grandparents viewpoint regarding the elitist Rockefeller Republicans.   Unfortuantely, on some planes of political reality, Rockefeller Republicans elitists are RINOs and have aligned themselves with the Democrat Progressive Socialist elitists in an effort to control Americans.  These political elitist believe they are better than their the rest of the American people. Thus, they often believe they know what is best for the rest of us. And, in their efforts, they may find themselves at odds with the US Constitution; so, they either ignore or attempt to redefine it.
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Extract from Post by Tom Jensen at Public Policy Polling: One story that doesn't get told often enough when it comes to the potential doom for Democrats this fall is that there really just aren't that many Obama voters shifting toward the GOP. Our last national poll found only 8% of people who voted Democratic for President in 2008 planning to go Republican for Congress in 2010. If this ends up being a huge Republican year- and it may well be- it's going to have a lot more to do with Democrats staying home than Obama voters abandoning the party.

There's not much doubt what's driving those few people who are shifting from Obama to the GOP: the economy. 72% of them think the economy's gotten worse since Obama took office, and 64% of them say their own personal economic situation has worsened. They don't have much optimism looking forward either- only 11% think the overall economy will be better by November and just 7% think their own situations will improve. . . .


Tags: Democrats, Republicans, socialists, progressives, elitists To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Stopping the Spread of Progress

William Warren:


Tags: BP, Oil Spill, Cap-and-Trade, Energy Taxes, Barack Obama, Offshore Drilling, Political Cartoons, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Rasmussen polling for Arkansas 2010 US Senate Race: Boozman (R) 61%, Lincoln (D) 32%

Rasmussen Reports (7/17/2010) shows Republican John Boozman at 61% now holds a near two-to-one lead over Democratic incumbent Blanche Lincoln at 32% in Arkansas’ U.S. Senate race while just 3% remain undecided.

Voters in Arkansas have consistently opposed the health care bill more strongly than voters in much of the rest of the country: 65% of voters in the state now favor repeal of the health care bill, while 30% oppose repeal. This includes 57% who Strongly Favor repeal and 20% who are Strongly Opposed.

Both candidates are well-known in the state, but at this point in a campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of Arkansas voters favor offshore oil drilling, well above findings nationally. But 73% agree that the ongoing Gulf oil leak will have a devastating or major long-term impact on the environment.

Seventy-seven percent (77%) say the companies involving in drilling on the leak site should pay for the cleanup, but 20% more think the government should help with cleanup costs, too.

Thirty-two percent (32%) rate President Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan as good or excellent. Thirty-two percent (32%) also say he’s doing a poor job.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of voters in the state now approve of the job Obama is doing as president, while 61% disapprove.

Tags: Rasmussen Reports, poll, John Boozman, Blanche Lincoln, US Senate, Arkansas, 2010 Election To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Arkansas Attorney General Opposes Right to Keep and Bear Arms

by Steve D. Jones, Arkansas Carry: In May of this year, gun rights group Arkansas Carry requested an Arkansas Attorney General opinion concerning Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s authority to make firearm laws in Arkansas Game and Fish Wildlife Management Areas. This inquiry was made through the office of State Senator Denny Altes (Fort Smith).
In light of the Arkansas Supreme Court ruling of Arkansas Game and Fish Commission v. Murders (1997), does Amendment 35 of the Arkansas Constitution allow the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission the general power to regulate all “killing devices” in the Ozark National Forest, Buffalo National River and Wildlife Management Areas as they currently do per Arkansas Game and Fish Commission code 20.01?

If the answer to Question 1 is “yes”, would an Arkansas Supreme Court order be needed to keep this from happening again, or would a state constitutional amendment be required?
At first read, this question may seem pointless to some Arkansans. Many factors should be considered, however; Arkansas Wildlife Management Areas have grown and engulfed massive acreage in the state:
  • Wildlife Management Areas such as White Rock have been enlarged recently to encompass a great deal of the Ozark National Forest.
  • All of the Ozark National Forest, through negotiations with the U.S. Forest Service, is now a Wildlife Management Area.b
  • The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has worked in cooperation with the National Park Service to deem the Buffalo National River area a Wildlife Management Area.
  • Many WMAs are in the Ouachita National Forest in south Arkansas, and this National Forest is under negotiation to become a WMA in the near future, also.
As reported in previous articles, a large swath of northern Arkansas is now under the jurisdiction of AGFC gun regulations, not Arkansas state code. When traveling, hiking or camping in this vast area, visitors are under a virtual gun ban. Many highways and county roads cross the boundaries of the WMAs. If you carry a loaded long gun in your vehicle for self-protection (legal under Arkansas law), you are in violation of WMA regulations and could face prosecution. Also, open carry is legal in Arkansas while on a journey. While most consider a journey is taking place only while traveling in a vehicle, long hikes, canoe floats and backpacking could also be placed in the open carry category. But open carry becomes illegal when a person is within the boundaries of a WMA. Attorney General Dustin McDaniel’s opinion (which was issued today) now strengthens the AGFC’s power over the Second Amendment in a large part of Arkansas. At any time, the AGFC can even choose to ban concealed carry and the legislature of Arkansas can do little about it, barring a state constitutional amendment.
The Commission has a wide discretion within which it may determine what the public interest demands, and what measures are necessary to secure and promote such requirements. The only limitation upon this power to formulate these rules and regulations, which tend to promote the protection and conservation of the wild life resources of the state, and which tend to promote the health, peace, morals, education, good order and welfare of the public is that the rules and regulations must reasonably tend to correct some evil, and promote some interest of the commonwealth, not violative of any direct or positive mandate of the constitution.
Please read the previous quote carefully, and attempt to imagine the possibilities for corruption and misuse of our lands. The opinion issued today is not only a fight for Second Amendment rights in Arkansas, it is a fight against a monster we have created, one without any of the checks and balances our great nation was founded upon. A constitutional amendment IS needed in this state, one which narrows the scope of the Arkansas Game and Fish commission’s power to encompass only game management and proper land use, not the way we should be living our lives when using our state’s lands.

Related articles:
Open carry now legal in Buffalo River National Park?
Message to tourists with guns; don't come to Arkansas
Gun ban at Buffalo River National Park in Arkansas
Chicago-style gun ban in Ozark National Forest
Arkansas Game and Fish vs. Murders

Tags: 2nd Amendment, gun rights, right to bear arms, Arkansas, AG, Attorney General, Dustin McDaniel, AGFC, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Propping Up Public Broadcasting

By William Warren:


Tags: William Warren, political cartoon, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, NPR, PBS, taxes, federal spending 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. - June 18, 2010 - Free Speech Under Attack by Dems - FCC to Regulate Internet - Dems Forced To Cancel House Vote the "Disclose Act"

Yesterday, the FCC Moves to Regulate Internet--Even Though the Law Calls for Internet to be 'Unfettered by Federal or State Regulation' - the FCC voted to begin the formal process of bringing the Internet under greater federal control -- a move sought by both President Barack Obama and FCC Chairnman Julius Genachowski. The 3-2 party-line vote began the formal process of reclassifying the Internet as a telecommunications service instead of an information service. As a telecommunications service, the Internet would fall under a much broader regulatory scope.

Yesterday, the Senate voted 41-57 to reject a substitute amendment to H.R. 4213 (the debt-extending “tax extenders bill”) from Sen. John Thune (R-SD) to extend expiring tax breaks and unemployment benefits, cut spending to pay for them, and reduce the deficit by $68 billion. Also yesterday, Democrats failed again to get the 60 votes needed for the Baucus substitute that tried to take even more money from the oil spill cleanup trust fund to pay for ever more Democrat spending.

While the Democrats moved via the FCC to limit free speech on Internet, the Dems efforts to limit free speech related to campaigns has been momentarily stalled. Last night, the Speaker of the House pulled the alleged Campaign Finance bill, the DISCLOSE Act, which would have limited free speech except for special exempted groups like unions. Those standing for conservative values would have had their rights limited. Politico reports, " . . . after complaints from the conservative Blue Dogs and the Congressional Black Caucus, Pelosi was forced to pull the bill . . . . Democratic leadership aides said the vote would be rescheduled until next week, but it is still unclear whether Pelosi and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), . . . the author of the bill, will have enough votes to move forward then. . . . Democratic lawmakers were largely tight-lipped leaving Pelosi’s office late Thursday afternoon, although it was clear that momentum was clearly building against a Friday vote. By early evening, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-Md.) office formally announced that the vote had been cancelled."

The Washington Post reports today, “One of President Obama's top legislative priorities is in serious doubt after top House Democrats' attempt to satisfy the National Rifle Association backfired badly. Top Democrats abandoned plans for a Friday vote in the House on the legislation, known as the Disclose Act, after liberal groups and members of the Congressional Black Caucus rose up against the deal with the NRA. A lobbying blitz by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups also undermined support for the legislation, aides said.”

The bill, sponsored by Democrat Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen and former Democrat Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer (D-NY), is designed to overturn the January Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. FEC, which struck down limits on spending and advocacy for or against candidates in elections by unions and corporations.

The New York Times notes, “Congressional Democrats are pushing hard for legislation to rein in the power of special interests by requiring more disclosure of their roles in paying for campaign advertising — but as they struggle to find the votes they need to pass it they are carving out loopholes for, yes, special interests.”

According to The Post, “The NRA had threatened to muster its formidable lobbying power against the legislation unless it was exempted from key donor disclosure requirements. After Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) unveiled the resulting compromise, gun-control groups, environmental organizations and other linchpins of the liberal Democratic base voiced outrage with the deal. The anger boiled over Thursday afternoon during meetings between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and members of two crucial voting blocs: the CBC and the conservative Blue Dog Democrats. The Black Caucus objected to the bill's potential impact on the NAACP and other civil-rights groups, while the Blue Dogs are spooked by opposition from the business lobby ahead of the November elections, according to aides familiar with the meetings.” And the NYT adds, “The resulting uproar over special treatment for the pro-gun group led Democrats on Thursday to expand the exception to cover even more interest groups as they tried to secure votes for the measure, which is opposed by most Republicans.”

But it wasn’t just the Left that criticized the NRA’s deal to back the Schumer-Van Hollen bill. One of the NRA’s own board members, campaign finance lawyer Cleta Mitchell, blasted the NRA’s decision in an op-ed for The Washington Post yesterday. Mitchell wrote, “The cynical decision this week by House Democrats to exempt the National Rifle Association from the latest campaign finance regulatory scheme is itself a public disclosure. It reveals the true purpose of the perversely named Disclose Act (H.R. 5175): namely, to silence congressional critics in the 2010 elections. . . . For its part, the NRA -- on whose board of directors I serve -- rather than holding steadfastly to its historic principles of defending the Constitution and continuing its noble fight against government regulation of political speech instead opted for a political deal borne of self-interest in exchange for ‘neutrality’ from the legislation's requirements. In doing so, the NRA has, sadly, affirmed the notion held by congressional Democrats (and some Republicans), liberal activists, the media establishment and, at least for now, a minority on the Supreme Court that First Amendment protections are subject to negotiation.”

Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) described everything offensive about this bill well when it was introduced in April: “It should be beyond suspicious when the man in charge of electing Democrats in the House teams up with the man who held the same job in the Senate to tell Americans how they can express themselves in an election. Make no mistake about it, the campaign finance bill . . . is not about reform, transparency, accountability or good government. It is about election advantage plain and simple. An effort to disregard the First Amendment and defy the Supreme Court in order to limit the speech of those who may disagree with you is an effort that has no place in this country.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, free speech, DISCLOSE Act, FCC, Internet To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Georgia Law Protects Georgian's Right To Make Their Own Health Care Choices

from Georgia Senator Judson Hill newsletter:  In case you have not heard ...

A few days ago Governor Sonny Perdue signed Senator Judson Hill's legislation into law to protect Georgian's right to make their own health care choices. Senate Bill 317, authored by Hill and passed by the Georgia Senate, was added as an amendment to Senate Bill 411 to prohibit mandatory participation in federal health care.

SB 317 simply protects the basic rights we all enjoyed before President Obama signed into law the federal take-over of health care. Senate Bill 317 prohibits the federal government from forcing an unconstitutional mandate on Georgia's citizens or punishing anyone for not buying heath insurance. Georgians do not want federal bureaucrat involvement in our health care decisions, said Senator Hill. "Every Georgian should have the right to purchase private health care, purchase government health care, or exercise their right not to participate in a health plan without being fined," said Hill. Existing private and government programs would not be affected by this new law. SB 317 also prohibits any government from punishing a business that does not participate in a federal health plan, as well as it protects health care providers from being forced to perform mandated medical procedures such as abortions.

When Senator Hill opposed a tax increase this Session, Senate Bill 317 was stopped in the House. Senator Hill successfully had SB 317's language amended into Senate Bill 411. SB 411, which is similar to Senate Hill Senate Bill 445 and his 2009 legislation, expands Hill's 2008 Bill that allows health insurance companies to partially refund HSA health insurance premiums for people who stay healthy.

SB 41, as introduced, will now allow wellness incentives in other health insurance plans to reward Georgians for good health or following preventative health measures.

Judson Hill has been a longtime champion of incentivizing good health practices as a common-sense solution to lowering health costs and helping Georgians live healthier lifestyles. Senator Bill 411, as amended with SB 317, will become law in Georgia on July 1, 2010.

Georgians will now have the legal right to exercise their freedom to choose the best health insurance options without being fined or punished by the federal government. Senator Hill's Freedom of Choice in Health Care Act has been introduced in 42 states and passed in 7 states across the country.

Tags: Georgia, health care protection, law, freedom to choice, insurance options, SB 317, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

House To Vote On Unconstituionally Killing Free Speech

[Update: 6/17/2010 - 9:42 pm] -- Pelosi yanks campaign finance bill: . . . after complaints from the conservative Blue Dogs and the Congressional Black Caucus, Pelosi was forced to pull the bill on Thursday night. Pelosi's office declined to comment on Thursday evening's decision to pull the bill from the floor. Democratic leadership aides said the vote would be rescheduled until next week, but it is still unclear whether Pelosi and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), . . . the author of the bill, will have enough votes to move forward then. . . . Democratic lawmakers were largely tight-lipped leaving Pelosi’s office late Thursday afternoon, although it was clear that momentum was clearly building against a Friday vote. By early evening, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer’s (D-Md.) office formally announced that the vote had been cancelled.

[Update: 6/17/2010 - 4:42 pm] -- Vote has been temporarily postponed; keep up the heat! Bloggers and editorial writers around the country have lit up the Internet  alerting you to over the past 48 hours. It is imperative that we continue hammering the Congress.  Please call your congressman today and urge him or her to oppose HR 5175. Again,on the eve of another potential vote, it is crucial that the phones ring off the hook. If they’re not ringing, they won’t be worried.
----- Talking Points for contacting your Representative -----
1. I stand in opposing the DISCLOSE Act (HR 5175).
2. The Bill of Rights is clear in saying that Congress has no authority to pass legislation like this. Just like the Second Amendment says our gun rights “shall not be infringed,” the First Amendment says “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.”
3. The Supreme Court was right earlier this year in the Citizens United case. The Campaign Finance Reform law (otherwise known as the Incumbent Protection Act) was wrong. Americans, and the groups they choose to associate with, should be able to criticize Congress in the days and weeks leading up to an election WITHOUT BEING GAGGED OR FORCED TO JUMP THROUGH HOOPS that are mandated by Congress.
----------------------
[6/16/2010] ACTION ALERT:  The House of Representatives will be voting tomorrow, Thursday, June 17, 2010, on HR 5175--the DISCLOSE ACT (Democracy Is Strengthened by Casting Light on Spending in Elections Act).

The DISCLOSE ACT will give the FEC (Federal Elections Commission) jurisdiction over speech--in particular, speech over the internet.

If Congress votes to pass the DISCLOSE ACT, they will be voting to illegally alter the US Constitution by limiting our First Amendment Rights of FREE SPEECH! The DISCLOSE ACT does NOTHING to protect to protect American citizens, as those in favor of this bill would have us believe. What it will do is silence anyone whose opinions differ from the current administration!

Don't even think about getting involved in the November elections. Unless you're Big Labor. Or the trial lawyers. Or MoveOn.org.

At least, that's what the majority leaders in Congress want. They're hoping to pass their wrongheaded "DISCLOSE Act" as early as this Thursday. This bill slaps duct tape over the mouths of American employers -- while giving free reign to the extremist groups who fund the liberals' campaigns.

How is that Constitutional? It isn't.

The American people have rejected the liberals' extremist agenda. The polls are against them, and they're counting on Big Labor to ride to their rescue in November.

So they're trying to re-write the Constitution to stack the deck in favor of the liberal special interest groups -- and shut out American workers and employers.Don't let it happen: email Congress today and tell them to OPPOSE the DISCLOSE Act.

Please put the pressure on your elected representatives. Call Capitol Hill at 202-224-3121 and urge your representative to oppose this legislation. If you can’t get through to your representative’s Washington office, look up their local office numbers. Firmly but respectfully tell them to oppose HR 5175 - the DISCLOSE Act
Other Related Source Info:
Guns and Free Speech - NRA sells out to Democrats on the First Amendment
Pro-Life Group Still Opposes Disclose Act Despite Democrats' Deal With NRA
The Democrats v. the Constitution: The DISCLOSE Act

Tags: US House, USCongress, Action Alert, HR5175, DICLOSE Act To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Crisis Management - The Obama Plan To Take Over America

Following Rahm Emanuel's advice that "you never want a serious crisis to go to waste," President Obama and Congressional Democrats hope to use the gulf oil spill crisis to implement a BP-approved national energy tax, just like they used the economic crisis to pass the budget-busting stimulus and health care bills.

[Video]

AUDIO

VIDEO/TEXT

RAHM EMANUEL: You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” (“In Crisis, Opportunity For Obama,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/21/08)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “We are experiencing an unprecedented [perhaps] economic crisis that has to be dealt with and dealt with rapidly.” (“Obama Sees Stimulus Package By Mid-February,” MSNBC, 1/23/09)
RAHM EMANUEL: “What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things [that you think] you couldn’t do before.” (Editorial, “A 40-Year Wish List,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/28/09)
BILL PLANTE, CBS: “The seven hundred and ninety billion dollar stimulus bill gives the President pretty much what he asked for…” (CBS’ “The Early Show,” 2/12/09)











RAHM EMANUEL: You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” (“In Crisis, Opportunity For Obama,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/21/08)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “[O]ur current economic crisis has only heightened the urgency of our health care challenge.” (President Obama, Remarks In The East Room, The White House, 3/2/09)
RAHM EMANUEL: “What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things [that you think] you couldn’t do before.” (Editorial, “A 40-Year Wish List,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/28/09)
DIANNE SAWYER, ABC News: “[B]reaking news, that this has been a historic night. A sea change in the healthcare system in America, affecting nearly every American family.” (ABC’s “Special Report,” 3/21/10)





RAHM EMANUEL:You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” (“In Crisis, Opportunity For Obama,” The Wall Street Journal, 11/21/08)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: “The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now.” (President Obama, Remarks By The President To The Nation On The BP Oil Spill, 6/15/10)
RAHM EMANUEL: “What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things [that you think] you couldn’t do before.” (Editorial, “A 40-Year Wish List,” The Wall Street Journal, 1/28/09)


JOE KERNEN, CNBC:“Is this another crisis where you use it as an opportunity to further some of your long-term, you know, socially transforming goals?”
JOHN HARWOOD: “You know, if you say hi to Rahm Emanuel on the street, he will say, never let a crisis go to waste.”
KERNEN:“I know, I know. That gets old for some people.” (CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” 6/15/10)












NEARLY $ 1 TRILLION SPENT
·         CBO: Stimulus Will “Increase Deficits By $862 Billion Between 2009 And 2019.” “Looking ahead, it appears that ARRA will have larger effects in later years than originally estimated. All told, CBO now anticipates that the law will increase deficits by $862 billion between 2009 and 2019 (see Table A-1).” (“The Budget And Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 To 2020,” The Congressional Budget Office, P.113, 1/10)

3,000,000 JOBS LOST







“AMERICANS DON'T LIKE HEALTH CARE BILL” CNN POLL
·         “CNN poll: Americans don't like health care bill” (“CNN Poll: Americans Don’t Like Health Care Bill,” CNN, 3/22/10)

“HEALTHCARE LAW TO SOCK MIDDLE CLASS WITH A $3.9 BILLION TAX INCREASE -THE HILL (4/12/10)
·         “Healthcare law to sock middle class with a $3.9 billion tax increase” (“JCT: Healthcare Law To Sock Middle Class With A $3.9 Billion Tax Increase In 2019,” The Hill, 4/12/10)






“DEMOCRATS TO W.H.: DROP CAP AND TRADE”
·         “Democrats to W.H.: Drop cap and trade” (“Senate Democrats To White House: Drop Cap And Trade,” Politico, 12/27/09)

Tags: Crisis, crisis management, Rahm Emanuel, Barack Obama, Obama Administration, take over, gulf oil spill, BP, national energy tax, budget-busting stimulus, health care 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. - June 17, 2010 - GOP To Obama: Don't Use Oil Crisis To Push Cap-and-Tax

The Senate resumed consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 4213, the debt-extending “tax extenders bill”.  Then they voted 41-57 to reject a substitute amendment from Sen. John Thune (R-SD) to extend expiring tax breaks and unemployment benefits, cut spending to pay for them, and reduce the deficit by $68 billion.

Yesterday, after Democrats failed to get 60 votes to waive a budget point of order against the Baucus substitute amendment, which adds at least $54 billion more to the $13 trillion debt, they moved on to other amendments. The Senate approved an amendment from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to extend the new homebuyer tax credit until October, offset by raising certain business taxes. The Senate rejected an amendment from Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) to do the same thing, but pay for it with unspent stimulus funds.

This morning, Senate Republicans released a new video, examining how President Obama and his administration have followed White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s famous advice to “never let a serious crisis go to waste” in using the economic crisis to sell their $862 billion stimulus bill and their unpopular health care law to lawmakers and the public. And now, the video points out, Obama is using the crisis in the Gulf to push his stalled cap-and-trade bill, which would amount to a national energy tax if passed.

The Hill explains the video “takes aim at White House Chief of Staff's admonition to ‘never let a serious crisis go to waste,’ in order to warn Obama against using the Gulf of Mexico oil spill to pivot and push for energy legislation including strong measures to rein in climate change. ‘Americans need you to solve this crisis,’ the GOP warned in the new web video, ‘not use it.’”

But, based on a number of news reports today, using this crisis to sell cap-and-trade might be a harder sell among Democrats than the stimulus and health care. According to Politico, “Senate Democratic Policy Committee Chairman Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, who talked about energy with Obama during a meeting in the White House last week, continued to argue that an energy-only approach has a better chance of passing. ‘The question is always are there 60 votes for some sort of cap-and-trade bill,’ he said. ‘I think the answer in the Senate is, at this point, no.’”

The Hill reports, “[O]ther lawmakers said a nationwide cap on emissions is now substantially less likely. ‘It’s going to be difficult,’ said Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.).” Further, The Hill notes, “A senior Democratic senator said Obama knows the chances of passing climate change legislation are slim and wants to avoid a public failure.”

And Roll Call points out skeptical comments from Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Ben Nelson (D-NE): “‘I don’t think it moved the discussion that much,’ said Sen. Mark Pryor, who predicted the administration will quickly back off the idea of a comprehensive climate bill. ‘At the end of the day, my guess is they won’t push it that hard,’ the Arkansas Democrat said. ‘I think the president wants it. ... I just don’t think there’s 60 votes to do that, even with the oil spill.’ . . . ‘His call to action may not have been about any specific piece of legislation. ... I accepted it more in the spirit of, “We have to do something,”’ said Nelson, who called anything resembling cap-and-trade, which he opposes, ‘implausible’ in the current political environment.”

Democrats weren’t very enthusiastic about the prospects of cap-and-trade yesterday, either. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) told Bloomberg News, “There’s not a great call for it in the Democratic caucus . . . .” And Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said, sensibly, “The climate bill isn’t going to stop the oil leak. . . . The first thing you have to do is stop the oil leak.”

So far, Democrats don’t seem to be buying the administration’s crisis pitch on their cap-and-trade scheme. As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday, “Every time we face a crisis, it seems, this administration takes us on another ideological tour of the far-left to-do list, when all the American people want from it are some straightforward practical solutions. So the White House may view this oil spill as an opportunity to push its agenda in Washington, but Americans or more concerned about what it plans to do to solve the crisis in the Gulf. Americans have had enough of the crisis rhetoric coming out of this White House. They want real answers to real problems.”

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, Oil Crisis, Cap-and-tax To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Analysis of the President’s Oval Office Address on the Gulf Oil Spill

Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Obama’s Address - Last night, President Obama spoke to the nation about the Gulf oil leak in his first Oval Office address. It was an appropriate setting given the seriousness of the situation. The speech, however, sounded familiar in many ways and fell far short of expectations. Here’s my analysis of the president’s address.
  • Consider this line: “Countries like China are investing in clean energy jobs and industries that should be right here in America.”

    Holding China up as an example of “clean energy” is ludicrous. In recent years, China has been bringing a new coal plant online every 10 days. They are buying oil fields all over the world. China is a serious country. The Chinese know they will need carbon based fuels for decades and decades to come to fuel their booming economy. By the way, some of those “clean energy jobs” in China that should be “right here in America” were funded with your tax dollars thanks to Mr. Obama’s stimulus bill.
  • Throughout the whole speech there was not one mention of the things most likely to help us move away from oil – nuclear power and natural gas. Converting the trucking fleet to natural gas alone would be a huge savings in the amount of oil we use. But natural gas doesn’t make the hearts of leftwing ideologues beat faster because you still have to drill for it.
  • Last night, President Obama had the audacity to make this outrageous statement: “We consume more than 20 percent of the world’s oil, but have less than 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves.  And that’s part of the reason oil companies are drilling a mile beneath the surface of the ocean -- because we’re running out of places to drill on land and in shallow water.”

    We’re running out of places to drill because leftwing politicians like Obama keep putting more and more places off limits! Oil companies really don’t want to do deepwater drilling – it’s expensive and complicated. But one of the first things this administration did within days of taking office was to cancel domestic drilling leases.

    Does anyone think it wouldn’t be better to drill in Alaska, where if a major spill happens it could be more easily contained and where we would be dealing with caribou rather than the lives of millions of citizens on the Gulf Coast? (I’ll be hearing from the PETA folks for that one.)

    As for our supposed lack of reserves, read this 2008 column. The billions of dollars we are sending overseas for oil is completely unnecessary.
  • The one solution the president did offer, cap and trade, is incredibly divisive. He can’t get it through the Senate, even with a Democrat supermajority, because many members of his own party are against it.

    I have to remind you one more time of exactly what cap and trade is: “a great big tax,” “a huge and a regressive tax,” that may lead to $7.00 a gallon gasoline, higher food prices and, in Obama’s own words, skyrocketing utility rates.

    So here we are in the middle of a national emergency and the president decides to push an extremely controversial agenda. Another Washington power grab and a massive, job-killing energy tax won’t “plug the damn hole.”
  • The president spoke of America’s determination to put a man on the moon. I think Obama is the last person to be using “man on the moon” analogies. Because of decisions he’s made, NASA won’t even be able to put a man in low earth orbit next year.
  • The president made this statement: “One place we’ve already begun to take action is at the agency in charge of regulating drilling and issuing permits, known as the Minerals Management Service.  Over the last decade, this agency has become emblematic of a failed philosophy that views all regulation with hostility… When Ken Salazar became my Secretary of the Interior, one of his very first acts was to clean up the worst of the corruption at this agency.” He announced the appointment of new leadership at MMS.

    Here are the facts: On May 27th it was widely reported that Elizabeth Birnbaum, director of the Minerals Management Service, was fired. Was she a Bush holdover who had lobbied for Big Oil prior to her appointment? Not at all. Birnbaum is a Harvard educated lawyer who has worked for major environmental groups, Democrat congressional committees and for the Clinton Interior Department. Birnbaum was handpicked by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in June 2009 to be MMS Director. She wasn’t part of the “decade of corruption” that supposedly occurred during the Bush Administration. But Obama just couldn’t help himself from trying to score cheap political points.
The Same Old Script - In short, Obama’s Oval Office address wasn’t much more than his usual stump speech – the same script he reads from when he’s on the campaign trail. There were no answers, just blame. He blamed BP. Sure, BP deserves blame, but now what? He blamed Bush. But Obama’s guys have been running the government for 18 months. He is in charge of the executive branch. Where is the change he promised? Exactly why was Ken Salazar’s handpicked MMS director fired?

He left unanswered the questions being asked all over the Gulf. Where is FEMA? Why wasn’t more oil immediately burned off? Why did it take so long to approve the berms? Why did we turn down ships and other offers of help from our allies? If alternative energy is so important, why didn’t more of the trillion-dollar stimulus bill go toward that and more infrastructure, rather than political payoffs? Where is the presidential leadership?

What would real leadership look like? The former head of General Electric Jack Welch said this morning that when something gets screwed up in a corporation, the CEO does not start by forming commissions and holding inquiries about who is to blame. First they ask, “How do we clean up this mess?” Then they ask who was responsible.

Welch said the first thing Obama should have done was hold a White House meeting with every major oil company and say, “We have a disaster on our hands. Set up shop across the street at the Blair House now and bring in your top people. You’ve got a blank check to solve this problem. We’ll go after whoever caused this later.”

But Obama didn’t do that. In spite of claims that he was “in charge from day one,” he seemed detached, if not uninterested. Instead of going to the Gulf Coast, he frequently went to the golf course. BP was calling the shots. Even now, terrified of being tarred with “Obama’s Katrina,” he seems more interested in deflecting responsibility, creating more commissions and appointing more czars.

I’m Not Alone - I’m sure I’ll hear from a few folks who feel I’m being overly critical. I’m not alone in my assessment. The president’s address has been roundly thrashed today – even by many of his supporters on the Left.

Consider this from today’s New York Times editorial: “We know that the country is eager for reassurance. We’re not sure the American people got it from a speech that was short on specifics and devoid of self-criticism. …[Obama] was less than frank about his administration’s faltering efforts to manage this vast environmental and human disaster.” There’s more.
  • From the Los Angeles Times: “Obama’s speech: There’s a pipe spewing a gazillion gobs of oil into the gulf, so let’s build more windmills.”
  • Liberal economist Robert Reich: “The man who electrified the nation with his speech at the Democratic National Convention of 2004 put it to sleep tonight. President Obama’s address …was, to be frank, vapid. If you watched with the sound off you might have thought he was giving a lecture on the history of the Interstate Highway System. …With the sound on, his words hung in the air with all the force of a fundraiser for your local public access TV station.”
  • From Politico: “President Barack Obama’s Oval Office address on the Gulf Coast catastrophe is being greeted with a barrage of criticism from commentators and political analysts across the ideological spectrum—the most intense negative reaction to any major public appearance he has given as president …and not just among conservatives… ‘Junk Shot,’ blared the headline at Huffington Post. Salon took a similar theme: ‘Just words: Oval Office speech fizzles.’”
  • MSNBC’s Chris Matthews compared Obama to Jimmy Carter, and added, “I don't sense executive command.” Keith Olbermann went further, saying, “It was a great speech if you were on another planet for the last 57 days. … I don't think he aimed low, I don't think he aimed at all. It's startling."
As one pundit noted, “If you’ve lost Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann, what else is left?”
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, Barack Obama, Oval Office Speech, Oil Spill 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. - June 16, 2010 - Another Crisis, "Another Ideological Tour Of The Far-Left To-Do List"

Let me say first that America is angry. I have been overloaded with email since President Obama's Oval Office speech last night. Mr. President, yes, the people were listening and your performance was less than satisfactory. You again failed to provide the leadership needed, and you ratcheted up your effort to destroy the economy of one of the most free nations in the world.

The Senate will resume consideration of the House message to accompany H.R. 4213, the debt-extending “tax extenders bill”. This morning, Democrats failed, by a vote of 45-52, to get 60 votes to waive a budget point of order against the Baucus substitute amendment, which adds at least $54 billion more to the $13 trillion debt.

Yesterday, the Senate rejected an amendment rejected an amendment from Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) which would have prevented funds added to the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund from being raided to fund other spending projects by a vote of 48-49. Also rejected, by a vote of 35-61, was an amendment from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that would have raised taxes on oil and gas companies.  The Senate agreed to an amendment from Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to create an Office of the Homeowner Advocate in the Treasury Department to assist in resolving problems when modifying mortgages. Also yesterday, the Senate unanimously approved three district court judges.

Responding to President Obama’s speech about the Gulf oil spill this morning, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “The immediate issue here is a broken pipe that’s been spewing hundreds of thousands of gallons of oil a day into the ocean for more than eight weeks. And the fact that the White House wants to use this crisis as an excuse to push more of its legislative agenda on the American people with the same kind of arguments it used to push health care is really nothing short of startling.”

It all goes back to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s slogan, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” Sen. McConnell noted, “It’s a recurring theme out of this White House.” The president declares something must be done and the solution is always a massive government expansion. The American Spectator’s Philip Klein noticed the same thing, but points out that the White House’s solutions also tend to cost staggering amounts of money: “Last night, in pitching his idea for a new energy bill, President Obama said that we couldn't afford not to do something. If history is any guide, when Obama says we can't afford not to pass his preferred legislation, American taxpayers should brace themselves.

Indeed, President Obama declared inaction not an option on health care and the result was a $2.6 trillion health care law that cuts Medicare, raises taxes, and raises premiums for Americans, but doesn’t control government health care spending.

Then there’s the stimulus. Sen. McConnell said, “In the middle of a jobs crisis, Americans were told they needed to spend nearly a trillion dollars on long-standing Democrat priorities that Democrats called a Stimulus bill.” Klein adds, “The result? An $862 billion stimulus package, and double digit unemployment anyway.”

Sen. McConnell also cited the administration’s response to the financial crisis, saying, “Our financial crisis was caused in large part by recklessness at government-sponsored entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and their solution to that crisis was to pass a massive government intrusion into Main Street without even addressing Fannie or Freddie.”

So of course, the Obama administration is using the crisis of the oil spill to push its job-killing national energy tax plan, usually referred to as carbon cap-and-trade. As The Wall Street Journal observes, “[T]his being a crisis, [Obama] naturally took the opportunity to put his moribund climate legislation back in play.”

But it seems Democrats in Congress aren’t quite as eager for this solution as they were on the stimulus, financial regulation, or health care. According to Bloomberg News, “The BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is unlikely to create enough momentum to pass a comprehensive climate bill sought by President Barack Obama, say leading Senate Democrats.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) actually said, “The climate bill isn’t going to stop the oil leak. . . . The first thing you have to do is stop the oil leak.”

And even key sponsors of the cap-and-tax scheme acknowledge the votes aren’t there. “Senator John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who introduced similar legislation in his chamber last month, said yesterday that it doesn’t have the votes yet needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. ‘We don’t have the 60 votes yet, I know that,’ Kerry told reporters.” And Politico noted, “But even with the outreach [from the White House], many Democrats remained skeptical that the spill would spur a popular movement to pass energy reform.”

A number of Democrats are outright unenthusiastic about the bill. According to Bloomberg, “‘There’s not a great call for it in the Democratic caucus,’ said West Virginia Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller, who has argued against taking up the bill.” Politico writes, “Asked whether the Gulf disaster had turned any nays to yeas, Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, a vocal Democratic ‘no’ vote, said, ‘Nope. None that I’m aware of.’”

Of course, the votes weren’t there for the health care bill at first either, so a lack of enthusiasm for a bill among ran-and-file Democrats doesn’t necessarily mean the Obama administration won’t pursue it.

As Sen. McConnell said, “[I]n the midst of the worst environmental catastrophe in American history, [the president is] talking about a new national energy tax to achieve their ideological goal of passing global warming legislation. Americans are pleading with the administration to fix the immediate problem in the Gulf, and the White House want to give us a new national energy tax instead. Every time we face a crisis, it seems, this administration takes us on another ideological tour of the far-left to-do list, when all the American people want from it are some straightforward practical solutions.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, oil leak, Gulf of Mexico, cap-and-trade To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!


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