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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, July 03, 2010

Fact Checking SCOTUS Nominee Elena Kagan

After viewing this week's Senate confirmation hearing for SCOTUS nominee Elana Kagan, it seems appropriate to FACT CHECK some more of her positions and statements. This is rather long so you may wish to skim first for items you may be most interested in reviewing.
Fact Check: “We Tried To Implement His Policy Views”
While Working In The Clinton Administration, Elena Kagan Claimed President Clinton’s Position On “Elective” Partial-Birth Abortion Was “A Problem” And Worked To Change It

ELENA KAGAN: “I Worked For President Bill Clinton And We Tried To Implement His Policy Views And Objectives. (Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Confirmation Hearing, 6/29/10)

Kagan Said President Clinton’s Opposition To “Elective” Partial-Birth Abortion Was “A Problem”

MEMO TO PRESIDENT CLINTON: “MR. PRESIDENT: Attached is a memo from Leon, Jack, George and Nancy-Ann Min on the partial birth abortion bill, setting forth four policy options and attaching a proposed letter to Senator Hatch. DOJ believes that only Option 4 is constitutional, while our Counsel’s office believes any of Options 2-4 are constitutionally sound. In essence these are the options:
1. No use of this procedure in pre- or post-viability stage unless the abortion is being performed because the pregnancy itself threatens life or serious adverse health consequences.
2. Same as Option 1 post-viability, but broader use pre-viability -- namely, if woman chooses an elective (non-health) abortion, she could choose to use this procedure as long as the procedure (as opposed to other procedures) were necessary to avert risk to life or serious adverse health consequences.” (Memo, KCL – 0089762, Clinton Library, 2/5/96)

6CLINTON: “Leon [Panetta] agree w/ #1.” (President Clinton, Note On Memo, 6 KCL-0089762, Clinton Library, 2/5/96)

KAGAN: “You’re right – this is a problem. It seems as if he wants Option 1 (which was also Leon’s preference). Call me whenever. Elena.” (Elena Kagan, Note Regarding President’s Decision, KCL – 0089758, Clinton Library, 2/96)

JACK QUINN: “E – HE DOES. JQ.” (Jack Quinn, Note Regarding President’s Decision, KCL – 0089758, Clinton Library, 2/96)

Fact Check: “Full & Good Access”
Military Said That Kagan “Stonewalled” Recruiters

ELENA KAGAN: “Senator, The Military At All Times During My Deanship Had Full And Good Access.” (Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Confirmation Hearing, 6/29/10)

IN 2004, KAGAN “BARRED MILITARY RECRUITERS” FROM HARVARD LAW

“In November 2004, The Appeals Court Ruled, 2 To 1, That Solomon Was Unconstitutional, Saying It Required Law Schools ‘To Express A Message That Is Incompatible With Their Educational Objectives.’” (“Potential Court Pick Faced Dilemma At Harvard,” The New York Times, 5/7/10)

“The Day After The Ruling, Ms. Kagan — And Several Other Law School Deans — Barred Military Recruiters From Their Campuses.” (“Potential Court Pick Faced Dilemma At Harvard,” The New York Times, 5/7/10)

“But The Ban Lasted Only For The Spring Semester In 2005. The Pentagon Told The University Over The Summer That It Would Withhold ‘All Possible Funds’ If The Law School Continued to bar recruiters from the main placement office.” (“Potential Court Pick Faced Dilemma At Harvard,” The New York Times, 5/7/10)

“So, After Consulting With Other University Officials, Ms. Kagan Said, She Lifted The Ban.” (“Potential Court Pick Faced Dilemma At Harvard,” The New York Times, 5/7/10)

MILITARY: KAGAN “STONEWALLED” MILITARY RECRUITERS
AIR FORCE JAG RECRUITING CHIEF: “[D]enying Access To The Career Services Office Is Tantamount To Chaining And Locking The Front Door Of The Law School.” “Career Services Offices are the epicenter for all employer hiring activities at a law school. … Without the support of the Career Services Office, we are relegated to wandering the halls in hopes that someone will stop and talk to us.  [D]enying access to the Career Services Office is tantamount to chaining and locking the front door of the law school – as it has the same impact on our recruiting efforts.” (Email From Air Force JAG Recruiting Chief, 1/28/05 (K2DOD – 0001358))

“Harvard Is Playing Games And Won't Give Us An OCI [On-Campus Interviewing] Date; their official window for employer registration has closed.  Their recruiting manager told me today that she's still ‘waiting to hear’ whether they’ll allow us.” (Email From Air Force JAG Recruiting Chief, 1/28/05 (K2DOD – 0001358))

ARMY REPORT TO SENIOR PENTAGON LEADERS: “The Army Was Stonewalled At Harvard. Phone Calls And Emails Went Unanswered And The Standard Response Was – We’re Waiting To Hear From Our Higher Authority.” (Email Forwarding Army Report To Senior Pentagon Leaders, March 2, 2005 (K2DOD – 0001168-69))

HARVARD LAW SCHOOL VETERANS ASSOCIATION: INTERVIEWS ENCOURAGED OFF CAMPUS

HARVARD LAW SCHOOL VETERANS ASSOCIATION: “Interviewers Will Be Strongly Encouraged To Arrange For An Off-Campus Location To Conduct Interviews.” (Harvard Law School Veterans Association, Statement, 2/18/05)

HARVARD LAW SCHOOL VETERANS ASSOCIATION:“ Given Our Tiny Membership, Meager Budget, And Lack Of Any Office Space, We Possess Neither The Time Nor The Resources To Routinely Schedule Campus Rooms Or Advertise Extensively For Outside Organizations, As Is The Norm For Most Recruiting Events. … [Our Effort] Falls Short Of Duplicating The Excellent Assistance Provided By The HLS Office Of Career Services.” (Harvard Law School Veterans Association, Statement, 2/18/05)

Fact Check: The Kind Of  Justice Elena Kagan Would Be??
Kagan Says Committee Should “Look To My Whole Life For Indications” But Her Life Reveals A Long Career As A Political Operative

ELENA KAGAN: “I Think You Can Look To My Whole Life For Indications Of What Kind Of A Judge Or Justice I Would Be.” (Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Confirmation Hearing, 6/29/10)

1980: Worked On Senate Campaign Of Noted Liberal Rep. Elizabeth Hotzman

When Democratic Rep. Holtzman Lost In 1980, Kagan Believed “The World Had Gone Mad, That Liberalism Was Dead.” “She spent a summer working on the Senate race of New York Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman; when Holtzman lost in the 1980 Republican sweep, Kagan cried. As she later wrote, she believed ‘the world had gone mad, that liberalism was dead.’” (“Nomination Is No Surprise To Those Who Know Kagan,” USA Today, 5/11/10)

ELENA KAGAN: “The Defeat” Of Holtzman “By An Ultra-Conservative Machine Politician Just Come From The Town Of Hempstead Was Not A Pleasant Thing To Watch.” “I worked for Liz Holtzman last summer — some 14 hours a day, six days a week. So that night I was at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, attending what I was fairly certain was going to be a celebration. Instead, it was a wake. And let me tell you there is nothing more depressing than drinking vodka and tonics and watching Walter Cronkite with 500 other people whose expectations had differed similarly from reality. I got kind of drunk that night. A lot of people did. Most of us had grown to admire, even to love, Liz or rather, not Liz herself — actually, she was not terribly personable — but her intelligence, her integrity, her ideals. The defeat of those qualities by an ultra-conservative machine politician just come from the town of Hempstead was not a pleasant thing to watch.” (Elena Kagan, “Fear And Loathing In Brooklyn,” The Daily Princetonian, 11/10/80)

Watching Holtzman’s Defeat, Kagan Hoped A “More Leftist Left Will Once Again Come To The Fore”

“In My More Rational Moments, I Can Now Argue That … Perhaps More Leftist Left Will Once Again Come To The Fore.” “In my more rational moments, I can now argue that the next few years will be marked by American disillusionment with conservative programs and solutions, and that a new, revitalized, perhaps more leftist left will once again come to the fore. ” (Emphasis In Original; Elena Kagan, “Fear And Loathing In Brooklyn,” The Daily Princetonian, 11/10/80)

1988: Worked “Conducting Research On The Opposition” For The Dukakis Campaign
“[Elena Kagan’s] Start In Politics Came In 1988, When She Volunteered On Michael Dukakis' Campaign For President. A Self-Described Flunky, She Worked In The Research Department, Defending Dukakis From Political Attacks And Conducting Research On The Opposition.” (“She’s A White House Veteran,” The Los Angeles Times, 5/11/10)

1995-99: Worked “To Score Points Against The Republican Congress” In The Clinton White House

“Government Service: Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, 1997-1999. Associate Counsel to the President, 1995-1996.” (“Elena Kagan - Nominee to be Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court,” Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Accessed 6/23/10)

KAGAN: “During Most Of The Time I Spent In The White House, I Did Not Serve As An Attorney; I Was Instead A Policy Adviser. … It Was Part Of My Job Not To Give Legal Advice, But To Choose When And How To Ask For It.” (Elena Kagan, Remarks At West Point, 10/17/07)

“E-Mails From Elena Kagan's Work As An Aide In The Clinton White House Portray The Supreme Court Nominee As Driven And Opinionated, With A Flair For Political Tactics And Little Tolerance For Flowery Rhetoric. A Review Of The Tens Of Thousands Of Pages Of Her E-Mails Released Friday Also Shows How Kagan Often Had To Place Political Considerations Before Policy Views.” (“Clinton-Era E-Mails Show Kagan’s Political Savvy,” AP, 6/21/10)

During “Her Stint As A Domestic Policy Aide… She Suggested Transforming What Was Supposed To Be A Routine Literacy Event At A Maryland School Into A Chance To Score Points Against The Republican Congress.” (“Clinton-Era E-Mails Show Kagan’s Political Savvy,” AP, 6/21/10)

ELENA KAGAN On Campaign Finance Proposals: “Soft $ Ban – Affects Repubs, Not Dems!” (Elena Kagan, Notes, DPC – Box 006 – Folder 006, KCL – 0003690, Clinton Presidential Library, 2/3/97)

Fact Check: “Unusual - the Banning of Free Speech”
Dem Senator Pushes Kagan To Say Citizens United Decision Was “Unusual”, However Media Noted That “It Isn’t Often” You Hear The Solicitor’s Office Argue The Constitutionality Of Banning “A Book”

SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI):“ So it was the Supreme Court that instead reached out and asked for re-argument and called into question a 100 year old statute that prohibited corporations more generally from spending money on elections. I just want to clarify this. So let me ask you: Wasn’t it highly unusual, if not unprecedented for the court to do this?” (Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, 6/29/10)

It Was Kagan’s Argument That Was Unusual And “Seemed To Shock Some Justices”

“It Isn't Often That A Government Lawyer Stands Before The Supreme Court And Acknowledges That Yes, It Would Be Constitutional To Ban A Book. But That Is What Happened . . ., as Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart defended a campaign-reform law that treated an anti-Hillary Clinton movie in 2008 as an election ad -- an advertisement that could be restricted, even banned, because a corporation paid for it. What if a book contained everything that was in the movie, asked Justice Samuel Alito. After some back and forth, Stewart replied that theoretically, government could prohibit its publication if it used corporate funds. ‘That's pretty incredible,’ said Alito, who noted that most publishing companies happen to be corporations. It was a pivotal moment that clearly upset the court.” (Tony Mauro, “Top Court Reviews ‘Hillary, The Movie,’” USA Today, 3/26/09)

NATIONAL JOURNAL: “What grabbed the justices' attention, however, was a series of admissions by the government's lawyer, Malcolm Stewart. He said that the government construes the First Amendment so narrowly as to allow Congress, if it chooses, to adopt a hypothetical ban on the financing by any corporation -- with the possible exception of media corporations -- even of books, articles, signs, or Internet postings (as well as broadcast, cable, and satellite ads) supporting or opposing federal candidates. That seemed to shock some justices. ‘If we accept your constitutional argument,’ Chief Justice John Roberts said, ‘we're establishing a precedent that you yourself say would extend to banning [a] book’ paid for by a corporation. These concerns may help explain why on June 29 . . . the Court set Citizens United for re-argument on September 9. The order requested new briefs on a big, broad question: whether to overrule ‘either or both’ Austin v. Michigan Chamber of Commerce, a 1990 decision upholding the 1947 ban on independent corporate campaign expenditures, and the part of the 2003 decision in McConnell v. FEC that upheld McCain-Feingold's ban on corporate funding of electioneering ads.” (“Campaign Finance And Corporations,” The National Journal, 7/11/09)

Fact Check: Kagan on Using Foreign Law
Kagan Responds To Question About Using Foreign Law By Saying She’s “In Favor Of Good Ideas Coming From Wherever You Can Get Them”

ELENA KAGAN On Using Foreign Law: “I Guess I’m In Favor Of Good Ideas Coming From Wherever You Can Get Them.” SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY (R-IA): “Should judges ever look to foreign law for ‘good ideas,’ should they get inspiration for their decisions from foreign law?” ELENA KAGAN: “Well, Senator Grassley, I guess I’m in favor of good ideas coming from wherever you can get them.” (Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Confirmation Hearing, 6/29/10)

Fact Check: Kagan Waffles On Personal Politics
Nominee Responds Differently To Senator Sessions Than She Does To Senator Graham When Asked The Same Question About Her Political Views

TO SENATOR GRAHAM: “MY POLITICAL VIEWS ARE GENERALLY PROGRESSIVE”
ELENA KAGAN: “My Political Views Are Generally Progressive.” SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): “Would you consider them -- your political views progressive?” ELENA KAGAN: “My political views are generally progressive.” (Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Confirmation Hearing, 6/29/10)

TO SENATOR SESSIONS: “I’M NOT QUITE SURE HOW I WOULD CHARACTERIZE MY POLITICS”
ELENA KAGAN: “I'm Not Quite Sure How I Would Characterize My Politics.” SEN. JEFF SESSIONS (R-AL): “Greg Craig, the former chief council to President Obama, who's known you for some time, I understand, said of you, "She is largely a progressive in the mold of Obama himself," close quote. Do you agree with that?” ELENA KAGAN: “Well, Senator Sessions, I'm not quite sure how I would characterize my politics.” (Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Confirmation Hearing, 6/29/10)

Fact Check: Kagan's Law Career Vs Political Career
Elena Kagan Touts Her 25-Year Law Career And Dismisses Her 30-Year Political Advocacy

ELENA KAGAN:Some People Have Said Oh, You Know She’s A Political Person. I've Had A 25-Year Career In The Law. Of that 25-year career, four were spent in the Clinton White House. This was a period of time that I am proud of and that I feel as though, you know, I helped to serve the American people for President Clinton, but this is by no means the major part of my legal career.” (Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Confirmation Hearing, 6/29/10)

1980: Worked On Senate Campaign Of Noted Liberal Rep. Elizabeth Hotzman

When Democratic Rep. Holtzman Lost In 1980, Kagan Believed “The World Had Gone Mad, That Liberalism Was Dead.”“ She spent a summer working on the Senate race of New York Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman; when Holtzman lost in the 1980 Republican sweep, Kagan cried. As she later wrote, she believed ‘the world had gone mad, that liberalism was dead.’” (“Nomination Is No Surprise To Those Who Know Kagan,” USA Today, 5/11/10)

ELENA KAGAN: “The Defeat” Of Holtzman “By An Ultra-Conservative Machine Politician Just Come From The Town Of Hempstead Was Not A Pleasant Thing To Watch.” “I worked for Liz Holtzman last summer — some 14 hours a day, six days a week. So that night I was at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, attending what I was fairly certain was going to be a celebration. Instead, it was a wake. And let me tell you there is nothing more depressing than drinking vodka and tonics and watching Walter Cronkite with 500 other people whose expectations had differed similarly from reality. I got kind of drunk that night. A lot of people did. Most of us had grown to admire, even to love, Liz or rather, not Liz herself — actually, she was not terribly personable — but her intelligence, her integrity, her ideals. The defeat of those qualities by an ultra-conservative machine politician just come from the town of Hempstead was not a pleasant thing to watch.” (Elena Kagan, “Fear And Loathing In Brooklyn,” The Daily Princetonian, 11/10/80)

Watching Holtzman’s Defeat, Kagan Hoped A “More Leftist Left Will Once Again Come To The Fore”

“In My More Rational Moments, I Can Now Argue That … Perhaps More Leftist Left Will Once Again Come To The Fore.” “In my more rational moments, I can now argue that the next few years will be marked by American disillusionment with conservative programs and solutions, and that a new, revitalized, perhaps more leftist left will once again come to the fore. ” (Emphasis In Original; Elena Kagan, “Fear And Loathing In Brooklyn,” The Daily Princetonian, 11/10/80)

1988: Worked “Conducting Research On The Opposition” For The Dukakis Campaign
“[Elena Kagan’s] Start In Politics Came In 1988, When She Volunteered On Michael Dukakis' Campaign For President. A Self-Described Flunky, She Worked In The Research Department, Defending Dukakis From Political Attacks And Conducting Research On The Opposition.” (“She’s A White House Veteran,” The Los Angeles Times, 5/11/10)

1995-99: Worked “To Score Points Against The Republican Congress” In The Clinton White House
“Government Service: Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy, 1997-1999. Associate Counsel to the President, 1995-1996.” (“Elena Kagan - Nominee to be Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court,” Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Accessed 6/23/10)

KAGAN: “During Most Of The Time I Spent In The White House, I Did Not Serve As An Attorney; I Was Instead A Policy Adviser. … It Was Part Of My Job Not To Give Legal Advice, But To Choose When And How To Ask For It.” (Elena Kagan, Remarks at West Point, 10/17/07)

“E-Mails from Elena Kagan's work as an aide in the Clinton White House portray the Supreme Court nominee as driven and opinionated, with a Flair for Political Tactics and little tolerance for flowery rhetoric. A review of the Tens of Thousands of pges of her e-mails . . . shows how Kagan often had to place political considerations before policy views.” (“Clinton-Era E-Mails Show Kagan’s Political Savvy,” AP, 6/21/10)

During “Her stint as a Domestic Policy Aide… she suggested transforming what was supposed to be a routine literacy event at a Maryland school into a chance to score points against the Republican Congress.” (“Clinton-Era E-Mails Show Kagan’s Political Savvy,” AP, 6/21/10)

ELENA KAGAN On Campaign Finance Proposals: “Soft $ Ban – Affects Repubs, Not Dems!” (Elena Kagan, Notes, DPC – Box 006 – Folder 006, KCL – 0003690, Clinton Presidential Library, 2/3/97)

“Over The Past Decade” Kagan Has Donated Generously To “Democratic Candidates And Causes”

“Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan Has Given At Least $12,050 Over The Past Decade To Democratic Candidates And Causes — Including To The President Who Nominated Her and a sitting senator who will get to vote on her nomination — according to federal campaign finance records. Kagan maxed out to her boss and appointer, President Barack Obama, with $4,600 in contributions in June of 2008, adding to the $2,000 she gave him when he ran for the U.S. Senate.” (“Elena Kagan Donated To President Obama, John Kerry,” Politico, 5/10/10)

Fact Check: Kagan's Intervention in Medical Views
Kagan Said She Provided President Clinton The “Best Medical Evidence” About Partial Birth Abortion But Documents Reveal That She Provided The President Findings She Helped Fundamentally Change
Kagan Says There Was “No Way” She Could Have Changed A Medical Organization’s “Medical Views” But Clinton Papers Reveal That She Did
Elena Kagan Worked To Re-Write The Findings Of A Medical Group On Partial Birth Abortion, Used Her Adapted Findings To Persuade President Clinton, And Remained Silent When The Adapted Findings Were Used As Medical Evidence In Subsequent Court Hearings

ELENA KAGAN: “We Tried …  To Get [President Clinton] Absolutely The Best Medical Evidence On This Subject Possible.” “President Clinton had strong views on this issue and what he thought was that this procedure should be banned, in all cases except where the procedure was necessary to save the life or to prevent serious health consequences to the woman and those were always his principles. And we tried over the course of the period of time when this statute was being considered, actually twice, to get him absolutely the best medical evidence on this subject possible.” (Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Confirmation Hearing, 6/30/10)

ELENA KAGAN: “Senator Hatch There Was No Way In Which I Would Have Or Could Have Intervened With ACOG, Which Is A Respected Body Of Physicians, To Get It To Change Its Medical Views On The Question.” (Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 6/30/10)

Kagan Said A Draft Statement From American College Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists Saying Partial-Birth Procedure Is Never The Only Option For The Health Of The Woman Is A “Disaster”

ELENA KAGAN: “Todd Stern Just Discovered That The American College Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists (ACOG) Is Thinking About Issuing A Statement (Attached) That Includes The Following Sentence: ‘[A] Select Panel Convened By ACOG Could Identify No Circumstances Under Which [The Partial-Birth] Procedure … Would Be The Only Option To Save The Life Or Preserve The Health Of The Woman.’ This, Of Course, Would Be Disaster – not the less so (in fact, the more so) because ACOG continues to oppose the legislation. … they may try, however, to do something that sounds even stricter. Daschle’s staff hopes that this proposal will provide cover for pro-choice Senators (who can be expected to support it) and that it will refocus the debate from the partial-birth procedure to late-term abortions generally.” (Elena Kagan, Memo For Jack Quinn And Kathy Wallman, RE: Partial-Birth Abortion, KCL – 0090912, Clinton Presidential Library, 12/14/96)

Kagan Notes Show “Suggested Options” For New Language For ACOG
Kagan Notes Show Administration Provided New Language To ACOG Associate Director Of Government Relations: “Suggested Options: This procedure An intact D + X, however, could may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and the a doctor should be allowed to make this determination.” (Clinton Administration To Kathy Bryant (Associate Director Of Government Relations At ACOG), NLWJC – Kagan – DPC – Box 069 – Folder-001, Abortion – Partial Birth ACOG)

Kagan Then Praised ACOG’s Revised Statement On Partial-Birth Abortion After They Adopted The “Suggested Options”
ACOG: “An Intact D & X, However, May Be The Best Or Most Appropriate Procedure In A Particular Circumstance To Save The Life Or Preserve The Health Of The Woman, And Only The Doctor, In Consultation With The Patient, Based Upon The Woman’s Particular Circumstances Can Make This Decision.” (ACOG, Statement On Intact Dilatation And Extraction, 1/12/97)

KAGAN: “Here’s The Final ACOG Statement On Partial-Birth. It Turned Out A Ton Better Than Expected. I’ll Let You Know In Person What Happened.” (Elena Kagan, Notes On Statement, 1/13/97)

Kagan Later Called This Statement “The Most Reliable Opinion” In A Memo To President Clinton
ELENA KAGAN TO PRESIDENT CLINTON: “You have asked whether the so-called partial-birth procedure is ever necessary to save the life of a woman or avert serious harm to her health. Considerable medical uncertainty surrounds this question. ... Perhaps the most reliable opinion is from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynceologists (ACOG), which issued a statement in January addressing the procedure, which it calls intact dilatation and extraction (intact D&X). According to the statement, ‘A select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.’ (Emphasis in original.) The statement then went on: ‘An intact D&X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman's particular circumstances can make this decision.’ In sum, doctors have other options, but those other options may be more risky or otherwise more undesirable from a medical standpoint.” (NLWJC – Kagan – DPC – Box 069 – Folder-001, Abortion – Partial Birth ACOG, 4/10/97)

The U.S. Supreme Court In Stenberg v. Carhart Relied In Part On This ACOG Statement To Hold That Nebraska’s Ban On Partial Birth Abortion Was Unconstitutional
U.S. SUPREME COURT Syllabus: “ACOG Has Also Asserted That D&X Can Be The Most Appropriate Abortion Procedure And Presents A Variety Of Potential Safety Advantages.” “Held: Nebraska’s statute criminalizing the performance of ‘partial birth abortion[s]’ violates the Federal Constitution, as interpreted in Casey and Roe. … (b) The Nebraska statute lacks the requisite exception ‘for the preservation of the … health of the mother.’ Casey, supra, at 879 (joint opinion). … However, the Court cannot read ACOG’s qualification that it could not identify a circumstance where D&X was the ‘only’ life- or health-preserving option as if, according to Nebraska’s argument (8), it denied the potential health-related need for D&X. ACOG has also asserted that D&X can be the most appropriate abortion procedure and presents a variety of potential safety advantages.” (“Stenberg, Attorney General Of Nebraska, Et Al. v. Carhart” Syllabus, U.S. Supreme Court, 6/28/00)

U.S. SUPREME COURT On Nebraska Argument: “And It Points Out (8) That The American College Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists Qualified Its Statement That D & X ‘May Be The Best Or Most Appropriate Procedure,’ by adding that the panel ‘could identify no circumstances under which [the D & X] procedure ... would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.’ App. 600-601. … We find these eight arguments insufficient to demonstrate that Nebraska's law needs no health exception.” (Stenberg v. Carhart , 530 U.S. At 914, 934 (2000))

U.S. SUPREME COURT Final Decision Using ACOG Statement: “We Cannot, However, Read The American College Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists Panel’s Qualification (That It Could Not ‘Identify’ A Circumstance Where D&X Was The ‘Only’ Life- Or Health-Preserving Option) as if, according to Nebraska’s argument (8), it denied the potential health related need for D&X.” (Stenberg v. Carhart,  530 U.S. At 935-36 (2000))

Summary Fact: Kagan's "Vapid & Hollow Charade”
Media Notes Kagan “Repeatedly Declined To Weigh In,” “Deflected Questions,” “Wasn’t Willing To Answer More Questions,” & Was “Lead Actor In The Very Farce” She Called A “Vapid And Hollow Charade”

SEN. ARLEN SPECTER (D-PA): “And Perhaps You Haven't Answered Much Of Anything.” (Judiciary Committee, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 6/30/10)
THE WASHINGTON POST: “Fifteen Years Ago, Elena Kagan Wrote A Law Review Article Calling The Supreme Court Confirmation Process ‘A Vapid And Hollow Charade’ That Takes On ‘An Air Of Vacuity And Farce.’ Instead Of A Quality Discussion, She Wrote, Nominees Offer ‘Repetition Of Platitudes’ And ‘Personal Anecdotes.’ On Tuesday, Fate Cast Kagan As The Lead Actor In The Very Farce She Correctly Described. And, to nobody's surprise, she played the role according to the standard script: with platitudes, personal anecdotes and an air of vacuity.”(Dana Milbank, “The Dodgy Miss Kagan,” The Washington Post, 6/30/10)

POLITICO: “Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan, Who Years Ago Called Such Hearings ‘A Vapid And Hollow Charade,’ Helped Ensure They Were Exactly That This Week. … One was left wondering if the public would not be better served by forcing nominees to appear on ‘Meet the Press,’ ‘Face the Nation’ and ‘This Week’ — or at the very least ‘Larry King Live’ and ‘The View’ — instead of going through the current process. Would we really learn less? Could we possibly learn less?” (“‘Vapid’? ‘Hollow’? Kagan Nailed It,” Politico, 6/30/10)

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: “Republicans And Democrats Alike Expressed Frustration That She Wasn't Willing To Answer More Questions Despite Having Once Written A Book Review Saying Supreme Court Nominees Needed To Do Just That.” (“Leahy Predicts Kagan Approval; Hearings Near End,” AP, 6/30/10)

THE WASHINGTON POST: “During More Than Eight Hours Of Friendly Questions From Democratic Senators And Sharper Grilling By Republicans, Kagan Remained Somewhat Guarded. At Times, She Retreated Into Broad Statements About The Constitution Or Recited Legal Precedent On Polarizing Questions Without Divulging Her Own Views.” (“Kagan Refuses To Criticize Supreme Court, Vows To Be Politically Independent,” The Washington Post, 6/30/10)

THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Elena Kagan Deflected Questions About Her Own Views On Gun Rights And Abortion During Her Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings On Tuesday, instead describing Supreme Court precedents. … Ms. Kagan’s responses, during a long and sometimes tense day of parrying with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, were similar to those of Supreme Court nominees past. But unlike her predecessors, Ms. Kagan wrote a 1995 article calling for judicial nominees to be more forthcoming. On Tuesday, minutes into her testimony, she backpedaled, saying she now believed it would be inappropriate even to answer questions that might “provide some kind of hints” about her views on matters of legal controversy.” (“Kagan Follows Precedent By Offering Few Opinions,” The New York Times, 6/29/10)

USA TODAY: “In Her Second Day Of Questions From The Senate Judiciary Committee, U.S. Solicitor General Kagan Continued Her Cautious Testimony, Relating The Status Of The Law In Many Areas And Shielding Her Personal Views.” (“On Day 3, Kagan Testifies Cautiously,” USA Today, 6/30/10)

THE NEW YORK TIMES: “Ms. Kagan’s Responses, During A Long And Sometimes Tense Day Of Parrying With Members Of The Senate Judiciary Committee, Were Similar To Those Of Supreme Court Nominees Past. But Unlike Her Predecessors, Ms. Kagan Wrote A 1995 Article Calling For Judicial Nominees To Be More Forthcoming. On Tuesday, Minutes Into Her Testimony, She Backpedaled, saying she now believed it would be inappropriate even to answer questions that might ‘provide some kind of hints’ about her views on matters of legal controversy.” (“Kagan Follows Precedent By Offering Few Opinions,” The New York Times, 6/29/10)

WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Kagan Created Some Distance From The Article Saying She Was ‘Wrong’ When She Said That Nominees Should Be Able To Talk About Past Supreme Court Cases And Whether They Agreed With The Holdings. Now, she said, she thinks that would be inappropriate because those precedents could come before the court again.” (“Kagan Backs Away From 1995 Article On Hearings,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/29/10)

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: “Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan Is Distancing Herself From A 15-Year-Old Article In Which She Says Nominees Should Be More Forthcoming About Their Views During Confirmation Hearings.” (“Kagan Declines To Offer Ideological Direction,” AP, 6/29/10)

POLITICO: “Elena Kagan Repeatedly Declined To Weigh In.” “Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse took direct aim at the Roberts Court, saying the conservatives on the court have tried to ‘topple’ precedent they don't like. But Elena Kagan repeatedly declined to weigh in, even on the Citizens United campaign finance case in which she took the losing position. ‘I’m not going to characterize the court or any of the justices on the court,’ Kagan said.” (“Kagan Dodges Critique Of Roberts Court,” Politico, 6/30/10)

ROLL CALL: “That Answer Did Not Satisfy Feingold, A Campaign Finance Reform Advocate Who Continued To Press Kagan On Whether She Takes Note Of The Public Reaction To High Court Rulings.” (“Kagan Shows Feisty Side As Questioning Begins,” Roll Call, 6/30/10)

Tags: Elena Kagan, SCOTUS, nominee, fact check To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama Comments: He Has Nothing Good To Say About America

Bill Smith, Editor, ARRA News Service: The below video was identified of the YouTube accounts that I follow. In the video, Fox News clearly identifies that President Obama has nothing good to say about America both in and outside of the Untied States. Not to be snippy, but the president's comments do cause a a significant number of Americans to wonder why Obama wanted to be President of the United States.

To many people, Obama's continued rhetoric and actions, and the actions of his White house staff, and the prevailing "group think," of his cabinet appointees, causes them reflect on whether Obama would have preferred to be Dictator of the United States. Obama evidences that he enjoys the perks of the office. But also like many who have come into money or into a position they did not "earn," Mr. Obama displays a flamboyant arrogant belligerence of those he resents, those he considers beneath him, and those objecting to his agenda. While many people may pray that their know-it-all, impulsive or rakish children become responsible adults, the American people do not have time to wait for Mr. Obama to improve his behavior after evidencing his behavior and actions for 18 months. Past performance is a great indicator of future  performace.

So, the American people had best establish restraints on President Obama and his administration in the November 2010 elections by electing people of sound character who will stand for responsible but limited government. If this is not done soon, the voices of our elected officials may become muted and obliged to the whims and ways of an out-of-control president be it Barack Obama or the next president that rides a wave of popularity into the White House. Our forefathers feared kings and tyrannical leaders.  They established checks and balances in our Government and a restrictive Constitution to operate within. But these checks and balances only work if an educated citizenry elects competent sound minded people to Congress who do not see it as their responsibility to subjugate their constituents to the Presidency, the Congress or the bureaucratic agencies of the Federal Government.



Tags: Fox News, video, Barack Obama, character, arrogance, the presidency, Federal government, checks and balances, 2010 election, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Obama's Visit Forces Hundreds Into Unpaid Leave

Instead of perpetually campaigning for candidates, against conservatives, and about jobs created via Federal earmarks and special legislation verses the economy, President Obama would do well to either remain in Washington, D.C. except for visits to places like the Southern Border where foreign people and powers are invading America, or the Gulf Coasts States affected by teh BP Oil Spill. And even on these suggested visits, Obama would do well to listen and learn verses pontificating. Below is a video of an ABC news report evidencing the impact of  a recent visit by President Obama to East Columbus, Ohio.  On this visit, the White House staged a scene for Obama to pontificate on a fictitious jobs creation program and to attack Republicans including Ohio's Representatives John Boehner. The Irony is of Obama visit is that it forced a few hundred construction workers to be kept off their jobs for the day -- without pay. As evidenced by the report, these workers were not trilled with Obama's visit and no pay for the day. Note, the report did not address the hundreds of other workers affected by Obama's visit.  These Presidential (and even Vice Presidential) visits to these White House staged locations costs the taxpayers (both nationally and in the states and communities) millions of dollars.

Tags: ABC News, Barack Obama, President Obama, East Columbus, jobs, no paym construction workers To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Friday, July 02, 2010

Limp Economy? Flaccid Philosophy? Diagnosis: Electile Dysfunction

Pajamasmedia: Did you vote for Barack Obama? Feeling embarrassed by the results? Don't be so hard on yourself; DE is more common than you think. Nearly 70 million voters may suffer from DE. Have your talk today with Andrew Klavan and find out what you can do to treat DE. You - and your country - will be glad you did.


Tags: Andrew Klavan, Barack Obama, 2008 election, democrats, D.E., democratic voters, culture, Dysfunction, Electile Dysfunction,
To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

How To Create One Million Jobs - Follow These 5 Easy Steps . . .

The June jobs report offers yet another sobering snapshot of our country's unemployment situation. Many public opinion polls show "jobs and unemployment" as Americans' top concern. Other polls are beginning to find "federal debt" is most worrisome to the public.

It's no wonder why: 15 million people are unemployed and government spending has created a debt close to the size of our entire economy. We know of a way to help halt the growth of debt AND create jobs. Just follow the 5 Easy Steps outlined in the video.


Step 6 (if there was a Step 6): send this post / video to your friends, family and co-workers before government policy bankrupts our country.

Tags: Bankrupting America, unemployment rate, employment, jobs, creating jobs, bureau of labor statistics, White House, Congress, debt, spending, DOL June jobs report, stimulus 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. - July 2, 2010 - Unemployment Rises! Obama Recovery Summer Delayed

The Labor Department announced today that 125,000 jobs were lost in June, in part due to 225,000 temporary census jobs ending, leaving a gain in private sector employment of only 83,000 jobs. The unemployment rate lowered slightly from 9.7% to 9.5%, in part because 652,000 people stopped looking for work. President Obama claimed "we are heading in the right direction" when he addressed the unemployment report in a short speech on the runway tarmac before boarding Air Force One to go to West Virginia for Sen. Richard Byrd's funeral.  Obama added, "Make no mistake, we are headed in the right direction."  He admitted the the increase in available jobs has been slow.  He then proceeded to announce a several government efforts to fund jobs.

Reuters writes today, “Employment fell for the first this year in June as thousands of temporary census jobs ended and private hiring grew less than expected, dealing a blow to President Barack Obama who has identified job creation as a key priority.” Politico reports, “The U.S. economy created a modest 83,000 private sector jobs in June, adding to concern that the economic recovery is tepid at best . . . . The unemployment rate has remained near a politically perilous 10 percent in what increasingly looks like a largely jobless recovery, if it is a recovery at all. The economy is making very limited headway in replacing the nearly 8 million jobs lost since the recession began following the 2008 credit crisis and banking sector meltdown.”

The Heritage Foundation is identifying that a "weak economy and failed policies are keeping Obama's job deficit high."  The identify that  today's DOL estimates "confirms once again that the $862 billion Obama stimulus legislation — as well as all the subsequent budget-busting legislation Congress has enacted under the rubric of “jobs” bills—has failed, as expected.:  Also, "the weak jobs data means the Obama jobs deficit (the difference between current employment and the jobs Obama promised to create by the end of 2010) now stands at almost 7.4 million workers."

Of course, this in just weeks after Vice President Joe Biden announced that the White House is calling this “Recovery Summer,” despite unemployment remaining high and anemic private sector job growth. And this is despite the $862 billion stimulus bill that Obama signed last year, which Democrats said would create 3-4 million jobs and prevent the unemployment rate from exceeding 8%.

Nor have the subsequent economic policies of the Obama administration been much help. In fact, The Washington Post reported last week, “The chairman of the Business Roundtable, an association of top corporate executives that has been President Obama's closest ally in the business community, accused the president and Democratic lawmakers Tuesday of creating an ‘increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation.’ Ivan G. Seidenberg, chief executive of Verizon Communications, said that Democrats in Washington are pursuing tax increases, policy changes and regulatory actions that together threaten to dampen economic growth and ‘harm our ability . . . to grow private-sector jobs in the U.S.’” And even liberal New York Times columnist Bob Herbert wrote Monday that Obama and Democrats “did not focus on jobs, jobs, jobs as their primary mission.” Instead, they have pursued unaffordable job-killing measures like the costly health care bill and wrong-headed proposals like a national energy tax.

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said today, “The two things that are growing fastest in this Democrat economy are the size of the federal government and the crushing burden of the national debt. While Americans are working harder and living with less, Washington is saddling them with even more government and insurmountable debt.  When America truly begins creating lasting private sector jobs that help our economy grow, it will be despite the government, not because of it.”

And House republican Leader John Boehner added today, "How much longer are we going to continue with this disastrous spending spree that is scaring the hell out of the American people and piling debt on our kids and grandkids? Instead of whining and making excuses, President Obama should stop turning his back on small businesses, start listening to the American people, and work with Republicans to put people back to work. Taxpayers have had enough of Obamanomics: they want Washington to get out of their way and out of their pocket. Our economy will ultimately recover, but it will do so because of the hard work and entrepreneurship of the American people. Economists say we need to cut spending now to put people back to work, and Republicans have offered better solutions to do just that."

It looks like the “Obama Recovery Summer” has been delayed!

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, DOL, unemployment, jobs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

We All Know Government Is Too Big - Video: Debunking Obama's Keynesian Spending Binge

Dan Mitchell Video: Government spending can promote economic growth if money is used for core "public goods" such as rule of law and property rights. But the burden of government spending in the United States and other industrialized nations is far higher than needed to finance such activities. Citing scholarly studies, this CF&P Foundation video examines the Rahn Curve, which graphically illustrates the negative impact of excessive government spending.


Tags: Big Government, Debt, Deficit, Economics, Fiscal Policy, Government Spending, Higher Taxes, Laffer Curve, Rahn Curve, Spending, Taxation, Dan Mitchell To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Democrats Load Troop Funding With Pork-Barrel Spending

Since May, House Democrats have been trying to pass $84.2 billion supplemental spending bill.  The ostensible purpose of the legislation was to “support our troops, conduct the war in Afghanistan, continue to drawdown troops in Iraq, and provide non-military assistance and build up State Department operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.”  However, the vast majority of the funding in the bill—61 percent—was earmarked for non-defense programs, new bailouts and pet projects to benefit Democrat allies.  Facing political pressure for excessive spending, Democrats are planning to consider a “scaled down” version of the bill this week on the floor.  Unfortunately, the revamped legislation would still spend approximately $72 billion of which almost half is unrelated to American troops fighting overseas.

The Democrats’ new proposal has all the same flaws of their first attempt.  The bill will contain roughly $72.5 billion in discretionary and mandatory spending.  Of that, $35.4 billion or 48 percent is totally unrelated to ongoing wars and an additional $4.5 billion of the war funding will go to the State Department rather than the Department of Defense (DoD).  The bill also contains approximately $12 billion in rescissions from defense, “stimulus,” and other funding to offset a portion of the spending.  Despite a modest reduction in non-defense spending and the inclusion of some rescissions, deep flaws with the bill remain unchanged.  Democrats are still using this must-pass legislation to subvert PAYGO, pass more wasteful spending and increase the deficit.

Unprecedented non-defense spending: House Democrats’ new proposal includes $72 billion, comprised of the $33 billion DoD requested for war operations, $4.5 billion for State and Foreign Assistance (which House Democrats categorize as “war” spending), and roughly $34.8 billion in unrelated spending.  Funding for DoD war operations accounts for less than half of the total spending in the bill.  In addition, the House bill also exceeds the spending levels in the Senate-passed supplemental bill as well as the president’s total request, both of which contained billions in non-defense spending.  The House legislation is $8.3 billion more than the president’s $63.5 billion request and $13 billion more than the $58.8 billion Senate-passed bill (Senate amendments to H.R. 4899).

Billions in non-defense Spending without offsets: On February 4, 2010, when Democrats increased the national debt limit by $1.9 trillion and enacted statutory pay-as-you-go (PAYGO), the Majority pledged the end of deficit spending and a new era of fiscal responsibility.  Nevertheless, the $35 billion in non-defense spending in this bill will be only partially offset for the purposes of PAYGO.  According to the Democrat leadership, the legislation will include “close to $12 billion in rescissions” to offset about one third of the non-defense spending, or about 16 percent of the total bill.  Rescissions in the bill include roughly $1.6 billion in stimulus funding, $3.5 billion in defense funding and a myriad of other offsets from numerous accounts.  Miscellaneous rescissions include $2 billion from the Department of Health and Human Services for flu readiness, $2 billion in highway contract authority, and $602 million in rural broadband funding from the stimulus.

During debate on statutory PAYGO, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “the luxury of just heaping bills with projects or whatever, or in terms of new entitlements especially in terms of PAYGO, that day is over unless it is paid for.”  Unfortunately, the Democrats are doing exactly the opposite of what they told the public just four months ago.

Non-defense spending lowlights: FY 2010 supplemental contains $35 billion in giveaways for special interests, bankrupt government programs and pet projects that have nothing to do with wars abroad.  The following is a summary of some the “emergency” spending:
  • $10 billion for an Education Jobs Fund to temporarily bail out states facing budget shortfalls.
  • $5.1 billion for the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund to pay for lingering costs of past disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Ike, and Gustav, and the Midwest floods of 2008.
  • $4.95 billion to temporarily bail out the federal Pell Grant program which recently received billions in new funding when the government took over private college lending.
  • $180 million to support $18 billion in federally guaranteed loans for clean energy.
  • $538 million in new spending to deter waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare.
  • $100 million to increase Community Development Block Grants in areas that have experienced flooding.  
  • $50 million to improve the Port of Guam.  
  • $31.5 million to support $1 billion in federally guaranteed USDA loans.
  • $18 million to respond to disasters in the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
  • $18 million for “emergency forest restoration.”
  • $15 million for a highway safety study.
  • $13 million for a new Capitol Police radio system.
  • $10 million for emergency drought relief.
  • $2 million to “investigate the causes of the recent financial crisis.”
Unrelated provisions on war supplementals: Democrats have established a troubling record of using critical funding for U.S. troops in harm’s way as a vehicle to enact controversial policy changes and pass huge amounts of unrelated spending.  In October 2009 the House passed H.R. 2647, the Defense Authorization Act for FY 2010.  The bill included completely unrelated and controversial hate crimes provisions that could result in any pastor, preacher, priest, rabbi or imam who gives a sermon being convicted of federal crime.  In another example of unrelated policy jammed into a war spending bill, the FY 2009 war funding supplemental appropriations bill (H.R. 2346) included $108 billion in new loan authority for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which the president had unilaterally promised to the international community.  That funding will be used to bail out profligate nations in Europe.  Perhaps most egregiously, the FY 2011 defense authorization bill (H.R. 5136) repealed the law regarding homosexuality in the military and the corresponding policy known as “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.”  The provision, which has passed the House but not the Senate, would unequivocally end the military’s policy without approval from those serving in our military or the findings of a Pentagon study.

In keeping with this pattern, Democrats have again included controversial and completely unrelated legislation into this war funding supplemental.  Most egregiously, the bill includes the Public Safety Employer-Employee Cooperation Act, a contentious piece of legislation which requires state and local governments to collectively bargain with all law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency personnel.  In addition, the legislation includes a provision that would require the FBI to releases its High-Value Detainee Interrogation procedures to Congress within 30 days of enactment.  The legislation even increases the Federal Housing Administration’s (FHA) loan commitment authority to insure a greater number of home and hospital mortgages with taxpayer money.  These provisions have nothing to do with funding for members of the Armed Services fighting overseas and should be debated on their own merit, not tucked into a must pass troop funding bill.

More wasteful “jobs” Spending: The supplemental contains $10 billion in so-called “teacher jobs” spending.  This money would be used to bail out states with shortfalls in their education budget.  The funding was not initially requested by the Obama Administration and is on top of $53.6 billion that was provided to states through the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund in order to fill education gaps in the Democrats’ “stimulus” bill.  According to the Department of Education, the “one-time appropriation” in the stimulus bill was meant as “a historic infusion of funds that is expected to be temporary.”  Since the Department is clearly aware that the stabilization funding was a one-time program, why are House Democrats insisting on borrowing $10 billion more to pay for a state bailout?

While Democrats may argue that the increased government spending will result in the creation jobs, the facts prove otherwise.  Since last year more than a trillion dollars has been spent by Democrats on so-called “jobs” legislation that has done little to lower unemployment or curb the effects of the recession.  As it has been widely reported, the Obama Administration said in late January, 2009, that if the $1 trillion stimulus bill was passed unemployment would not surpass 8 percent.  However, unemployment has hovered near 10 percent since the stimulus was passed and the recent drop in the unemployment rate—from 9.9 percent to 9.7 percent—was due only to 410,000 new government jobs.  Even the country’s economic growth rate has disappointingly slowed from 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009 to the 3 percent in the first quarter of 2010.  Such growth rates are entirely insufficient to put the 15 million unemployed Americans back to work.  In short, government spending has done nothing to improve our nation’s economic station and done much to impair of fiscal stability.

Conclusion: The U.S. stands at a fiscal crossroad.  Our country’s national debt sits at $13.05 trillion or 98.5 percent of our $13.2 trillion gross domestic product.  As Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke said to the House Budget Committee on June 9, 2010, “the federal budget appears to be on an unsustainable path.”  Yet Democrats continue to spend without any conscious.  The president took office, Democrats have spent an astounding $4.3 trillion and added $1.8 trillion to the deficit.  Around the world debt-ridden countries are providing a stark example of the consequences of unrestrained spending.  Nations such as Greece, Hungary, Spain and Italy now face sovereign debt crises that have threatened their stability and very independence and have resulted in social upheaval.  In spite of this glaring evidence, Democrats are now using the FY 2010 war funding supplemental to add billions of dollars to the country’s balance sheet.  [Public Source]

Tags: military Funding, War funding, troop funding, Democrats, US House, Pork, earmarks 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. - July 1, 2010 - Half the Year Gone - Increased National Debt, Federal Spending & Unemployment

While US House Democrats will not present a proposed budget for 2011, they are working on a War Supplemental Defense bill.  But like we all know, we need to be careful with liars, cheats, gamblers, and of course the Democrat lead Congress.   We will present details on the proposed supplemental bill  in another article.  But as a warm up to bad news, the Democrats  have earmarked 61% of the money for  non-defense spending despite the purpose of bill being war funding.  They are seeking to buy votes on the back of  funding for our military fighting in harms way.  Supposedly, Democrats are planning to try to scale down the bill this week but they will still have it loaded with pork slipped through under one of Congress' biggest Congressional political lies: "it is for the military."  Which ranks right up there with "It is for the children." Wouldn't surprise me if the Democrats actually cut actual funding to the military to keep their pork.

House Republicans came out in force against the Democrats' financial reform bill which will kill jobs, fund permanent bailouts and place the economy more at risky. Here are just a few of their comments:
Rep John Boozman (AR): This legislation is misguided and will only lead to more bailouts and corruption in the financial sector. The government should restore market discipline with the kind of free market solutions that create jobs and protect taxpayers.

Rep. Judy Biggert (IL): I thought its purpose was to rein in Wall Street and end the abuses that precipitated the most massive financial melt-down and economic downturn since the Great Depression. Its purpose is to make Wall Street pay for the abuses – not Main Street.

Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (GA): ...liberals spent 2,000 pages expanding the reach of the federal government, codifying bailouts, restricting access to capital, and protecting Wall Street over Main Street. Liberals refusal to end bailouts and reform these mortgage giants refutes any claims that this bill is about ‘reform.’

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO): The government has a poor record of managing hard-earned taxpayer dollars, which is why I could not support a bill that actually gives the government even more control of people’s money and continues the reckless meddling of government in our free market system.

Rep. Roy Blunt (MO): This bill is another heavy-handed government intrusion which will cost jobs at the very time we should be working to create jobs,

Rep. Scott Garrett (NJ): The American people are delivering a strong message to those of us in Washington willing to listen. They want less failed government overreach into their lives and into our economy and they want more opportunities to work and provide for their families, without pushing our country into greater debt. Unfortunately, this bill fails on all accounts.

Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY): While we are all committed to increasing transparency on Wall Street and preventing another financial meltdown, the last thing we should be doing in the midst of an economic recession is furthering government interference in the free market.

Rep. Mike Pence (IN): We're used to creative titles around here. . . . [D]uring a time of extraordinary economic duress, millions of Americans unemployed, and failed economic policies, it is darkly ironic that a bill that will do anything but restore financial stability is named for that purpose. . . . The American people are not looking at Washington, D.C. and clamoring for more spending, more taxes, and more bailouts. They're . . . saying, ‘When are you going to focus on creating jobs? When are you going to set partisan differences aside, power grabs and big government agendas aside to do something to put Americans back to work? Under the guise of financial reform, Democrats are pushing yet another bill that will kill jobs, raise taxes and make bailouts permanent. . . . [and] will kill jobs by restricting access to credit. It will kill jobs by raising taxes on those that would provide loans and opportunities to small business owners and family farmers. And it makes the bad ideas of the Wall Street bailout permanent.
The Senate is in recess until July 12. Today the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) is lying in repose in the Senate chambers. At 4 PM today, the Senate Judiciary Committee will resume hearings on the nomination of Elena Kagan of Massachusetts to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Today’s session will feature the testimony of outside witnesses.

Senate Democrats failed for a fourth time to get the 60 votes needed for cloture on their debt-extending “tax extenders bill,” H.R. 4213. This version would have added $35 billion to the national debt. Republicans have repeatedly offered to extend expiring tax credits and unemployment benefits without deficit spending, but Democrats have objected or voted it down every time. Last night, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell offered a two month extension of unemployment benefits paid for with a stimulus offset that 57 Democrats voted for last month. But, Democrats objected.

Also yesterday the Senate confirmed 99-0General David Petraeus as commanding general in Afghanistan. May the good Lord be with him and those under his command.

The Hill reported yesterday, “The national debt will reach 62 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by the end of this year, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said Wednesday. The budget office said the debt will reach its highest percentage of GDP since the end of World War II. The jump is driven by lower tax revenues and higher federal spending in the recent recession.”

And today, The Washington Post adds, “‘Growth in spending on health-care programs remains the central fiscal challenge,’ CBO Director Douglas W. Elmendorf said in a presentation to [President] Obama's bipartisan deficit commission. ‘In CBO's judgment, the health-care legislation enacted earlier this year made a dent in the problem, but did not substantially diminish that challenge.’”

The United States simply cannot continue on this unsustainable fiscal path. Even President Obama seems to have figured out that this is a serious problem. The Wall Street Journal notes, “Obama said Wednesday that the rising national debt is a ‘real and legitimate concern’ and that the U.S. must reorder its priorities to gain control over federal spending.” And according to the WSJ, “At a town hall meeting, he said that the combination of the economic stimulus measure and bailouts for banks and auto companies added up to ‘serious money’ and had contributed to a sense that federal spending is out of control.”

Of course there wasn’t much acknowledgment that it’s the policies of the Obama administration that have put the country in this situation. The stimulus bill alone cost $862 billion, and the cost exceeds $1 trillion, when interest payments are factored in. The unpopular health care bill, which will actually increase health care expenditures contrary to Obama’s claims, may cost as much as $2.6 trillion in the first 10 years. Meanwhile, the president’s budget would see the country’s debt double in 5 years and triple in 10.

Some Democrats appear to be realizing that this path is unsustainable. The WSJ writes, “Democrats on a blue-ribbon deficit-reduction panel suggested spending cuts would likely have to outweigh tax increases if the nation is to seriously tackle its ballooning financial obligations.”

Unfortunately, Senate Democrats don’t appear to be among those interested in doing something about the record levels of spending and debt. For the fourth time, Senate Democrats offered a version of a bill to extend unemployment benefits and expired tax credits that would add tens of billions of dollars to the debt. The latest iteration featured $35 billion in deficit spending. But each time the Democrats offer a new version, they refuse to try the one thing that could get the bill the 60 votes needed to pass: paying for the bill.

As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said last night, “We’ve offered ways of paying for these programs, and we’ve been eager to approve them. But we can’t support job-killing taxes and adding tens of billions to the already unsustainable national debt. So the only reason the unemployment extension hasn’t passed is because Democrats simply refuse to pass a bill that doesn’t add to the debt. That’s it. That’s the only difference between what they’ve offered and what we’ve offered.” If President Obama and Democrats on his fiscal commission now claim to understand that the problem is spending money we don’t have, how is it that Senate Democrats still haven’t gotten the message? Americans are being crushed under a $13 trillion mountain of debt and Democrats in Congress still don’t get it.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, SCOTUS nominee, Elena Kagan, national debt, debt, military, War Supplemental Defense bill, earmarks, waste, financial reform bill, lost jobs, killing jobs, restricting access to credit, jobs, unemployment, raising taxes, farmers, small business To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Giant Killer Takes On Arkansas Lottery Director for Refusing To Conduct Audit

Dr. Bill Smith (Ozark Guru): With the pending change in Lt Governor in Arkansas, the present Lottery Director has a vested interest. It was the current and outgoing Lt. Governor Bill Halter who rose to power in Arkansas after being funded by out-of-state gambling and pornography interests. Then as Lt. Governor, Halter submitted a proposed lottery bill to the Arkansas legislature which was rebuffed by even his fellow democrats.

Underwritten by gambling interests, Halter then opted to force the issue in a manner not done in the past. As an Arkansas constitutional officer, he introduced a Constitutional Amendment to establish a State run lottery using the deception that the lottery would fund scholarships. He never mentioned the cost of running the Lottery, the personal loss to many people, or the potential corruption experienced with lotteries in other states. The out-of-state sources funded Halter's efforts to collect signatures to get the amendment on the ballot and then to pay the advertising costs to promote the lottery amendment. In the long run, these backers were themselves gambling on Halter being around longer in Arkansas politics.

However, Halter, a liberal's liberal elitist wanted to be Governor of Arkansas. But he found himself rebuffed in the state and his chances declining to run for governor. He also noticed an announced challenge by an Republican conservative who was not afraid of his large war chest. So, Halter "rolled the dice" and decided to run for U.S. Senate against the incumbent Democratic senator whose star is falling. But even with enormous funding from Halter's previous dubious financial supporters and unions, Halter was defeated for his own party's nomination.

Reflecting back to the "announced challenger."  Long before Halter's decision to run for US Senate, Halter appeared safe with no one opposing challenger to re-election as Lt. Governor. However, a lone conservative literally asked God to give him the strength of "David" as a "Giant killer" to bring down the most liberal incumbent in Little Rock. This "David" set his sights on Bill Halter when no one else would oppose Halter.  This "David" who was willing to take on the Giants was Mark Darr a jovial Christian "Mad" pizza business owner. He had a trusting spirit, a TEA Party heart and the gumption to be bold. Mark Darr boldly announced that he would run against Lt. Gov. Bill Halter in 2010. He then started traveling the state sharing his call for greater government transparency and accountability in government.

While leading members of his own party, questioned taking on Halter. As detailed previously, Halter opted not to run again as Lt. Governor. After Halter's decision, another Republican candidate did opt to run against Mark Darr for Lt. Governor instead of for one of the other unopposed seats. But by then enough people had noted this new Giant killer, and Mark Darr won the GOP primary. It has been very clear as Mark Darr has crossed the state that he is willing to stand boldly for good government and to work with the elected Governor on seeking to expand jobs in the private sector.

Now, Mark Darr has responded to the Arkansas State Lottery Director Ernie Passailaigue's refusal to conduct an audit to show that Arkansas revenue is being spent as it is supposed to be. Makes one wonder what Mr. Passailaigue is seeking to hide. By the way, Passailaigue's annual salary is $324,000. Passailaigue's is the third highest paid lottery director nationally.  His two VPs, Ernestine Middleton Middleton and David Barden, each will earn $225,000 a year and worked for Passailaigue at the South Carolina lottery. The lottery security chief, Lance Huey gets $115,644 a year; IT gaming director Mike Smith at $150,000; Mary VanLeer as IT infrastructure director, Julie Baldridge as Exec. Assist., Bridgette Frazier as Staff attorney and Bishop Woosley Procurement Director each gets $105,000; and the sales director Robert Stebbins $92,518.  Which totals $1,552,162 before benefits and or the cost of facilities, material costs, operational costs, advertising, office and communication costs, etc.

By comparison, the Arkansas Governor gets a $80,848 salary (yes he get to live in the mansion) which is less than 25% of what the Lottery Director makes and the Governor makes less than all of the key Lottery staff. And the Arkansas Lottery Director does not want an audit! Are you concerned with what Mr. Passailaigue is seeking to hide? Well Mark Darr is concerned!

Consider that Passailaigue's prime elected Little Rock supporter, Lt. Gov. Bill Halter, is on the way out of office in six short months. Passailaigue's refusal directly contradicts the intent of the legislature, the conservative values of Arkansans and the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery website which clearly states "The Lottery will be operated with integrity and dignity in a manner that provides entertainment to the public, maximizes revenue and accounts to the public and General Assembly through regular reports and audits."

Mark Darr responded to the Lottery Directors unwillingness to provide transparency: "As Lieutenant Governor I will have a direct working relationship with the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery staff and I pledge to the citizens of Arkansas that I will fight passionately to ensure accountability and transparency. When I entered the Lieutenant Governor’s race I committed myself to fighting for these very values, which are desperately lacking in our state government. To this day I maintain that commitment because the future and prosperity of our great state is at stake."

Mark Darr could have stopped right there with that one statement. But because he places Arkansas first, he challenged his Democrat opponent for Lt Governor to join him "in fighting for the citizens of Arkansas as they deserve better than this." Arkansas voters would do very well to elect as Lt. Governor this "Giant killer" who will take on wasteful government spending and the lack of transparency and accountability.  And with his experience, Mark Darr will be a natural at supporting job creation and defending small business in Arkansas.
-----------------
About Mark: Mark Darr is a lifelong resident of Arkansas and is a graduate of Mansfield High School in Mansfield and Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia. Mark is an experienced businessman er who knows what it means to creat jobs and sign the front of a paycheck. He is a licensed insurance agent and is the owner of MAD Pizza Company in Rogers. Mark and his wife Kim and two children live in Springdale Arkansas where they are active members of First Baptist Church of Springdale.  For more information, visit Mark Darr For Lt. Governor, or call him at 501-291-DARR. Follow Mark Darr on FaceBook and Twitter

Tags: Bill Halter, Mark Darr, Lieutenant Governor, Lottery audit, transparency, accountability, Arkansas, Ernie Passailaigue, Lottery Director 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 29, 2010 - Kagan's Contradictory Answers

The Senate today quickly considered and approved the nomination of General David Petraeus to command American forces in Afghanistan. They then resumed consideration of H.R. 5297, the Small Business Lending Fund Act.

Last night, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid filed cloture yet again on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to HR 4213, the so-called “tax extenders bill.” Unfortunately, just like all the previous Democrat offerings, this version once again adds to the debt, to the tune of $35 billion. Republicans have repeatedly offered to extend expiring tax credits and unemployment benefits without deficit spending, but Democrats have objected or voted it down every time.

Also yesterday, the Senate voted 66-33 to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to the small business bill, H.R. 5297.

At 9 AM, the Senate Judiciary Committee resumed hearings on the nomination of Elena Kagan of Massachusetts to be Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Today’s session will complete the first round of questions from senators and will begin the second round. If senators don’t use all their time, those who want it could get a third round of questions today.

During the first round of questioning of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan yesterday, she seemed to contradict several things she’d previously said. In fact, whole approach to her hearing yesterday went counter to her prior criticisms of Supreme Court confirmation hearings. As The New York Times writes today, “Ms. Kagan wrote a 1995 article calling for judicial nominees to be more forthcoming. On Tuesday, minutes into her testimony, she backpedaled, saying she now believed it would be inappropriate even to answer questions that might ‘provide some kind of hints’ about her views on matters of legal controversy.”  In 1995, Kagan complained, “Subsequent [Supreme Court] hearings have presented to the public a vapid and hollow charade, in which repetition of platitudes has replaced discussion of viewpoints and personal anecdotes have supplanted legal analysis.” But as the NYT noted, “Elena Kagan deflected questions about her own views on gun rights and abortion during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings on Tuesday, instead describing Supreme Court precedents.”

But more troubling are her contradictions about her record. When Kagan was asked about her time in the Clinton administration, she described her job as, “I worked for President Bill Clinton and we tried to implement his policy views and objectives.” Yet notes she made on a memo in 1996 show that she called Clinton’s opposition to elective partial-birth abortion “a problem,” and worked to change his position.

Kagan’s well-documented and controversial actions denying full access for military recruiters to Harvard Law School, despite a law requiring such access, during her time as dean also came up yesterday. Kagan said, “[T]he military at all times during my deanship had full and good access.” But the day after an appeals court declared the law unconstitutional, The New York Times said, “Ms. Kagan — and several other law school deans — barred military recruiters from their campuses.” Kagan only relented when the Pentagon threatened to withhold “all possible funds” from the school if the ban continued. Meanwhile, the Army told Pentagon leaders it was “stonewalled at Harvard,” and the Air Force’s JAG recruiting chief wrote at the time, “[D]enying access to the Career Services Office is tantamount to chaining and locking the front door of the law school – as it has the same impact on our recruiting efforts.”

Kagan also seemed to have trouble deciding how to describe her personal politics. When Ranking Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) asked Kagan if she agreed with former White House Counsel Greg Craig’s description of her as “largely a progressive in the mold of Obama himself,” Kagan responded, “I’m not quite sure how I would characterize my politics.” But later in the day, when Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked her, “Would you consider them -- your political views progressive?,” Kagan finally acknowledged, “My political views are generally progressive.” As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday, “[T]he question before us, though, is whether Ms. Kagan’s political views would be more or less constrained by the Constitution she swears to uphold once she reaches her goal.”

Elena Kagan needs to better explain some aspects of her record, including how she’ll set aside her years of political advocacy, and her troubling arguments in the Citizens United case.

Tags: Washington, D.C., US Senate, US House, US Congress, SCOTUS nominee, Elena Kagan, General David Petraeus To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!


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