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 "smaller" government, free markets, lower taxes, due process of law, 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 & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year] Follow @arra Contact: email@example.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)Home Page
One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Democrats' Job Agenda Revealed
Unemployment has remained at a historic high under President Obama and a Democrat-led Congress. House Republicans have offered real solutions but Democrats have refused to listen. The House Republican Conference put together another helpful graph for you to view the declining level of employment in our country under this wrongly-headed Administration: Download a copy. Tags:Democrat, lost jobs, job agenda, the economy, Republican, solutions,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bachmann Calls for Transparency On Long-Term Debt Challenges
The American people seem to have a better understanding than those running Congress of the fiscal crisis we are facing. Our $13 trillion national debt stands to be dwarfed by future debt levels if Congress does not begin to focus on this serious threat. While this Congress continues to ignore the problem by carrying on its reckless spending spree, Rep. Michele Bachmann says we need to bring some transparency to the long-term spending obligations our government has made. She has a proposal that would provide a full accounting for long-term debt in the budget process, and require the president to consider these obligations when proposing his annual budget request. Rep. Bachmann explains her idea to change the way Washington works in a video message below. She has also posted her idea on AmericaSpeakingOut.com for the American people to debate.
Tags:Michele Bachmann, Us House, MN, Congressman, transparency, national debt, America Speaking OutTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
President Obama is set to let tax rates increase at the end of this year, which will have devastating effects on an economy already on the ropes. Watch this movie trailer spoof to learn more. [Video]
Tags: Obama tax increase, tax cuts, movie parody, movie trailer, trailer parody, video, heritage foundationTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The Republican Party of Arkansas (RPA) extends a warm welcome-back-to-Arkansas to “Boomerang Blanche” Lincoln after her near-convincing election year conversion Friday during the Arkansas Association of Counties (AAC) forum with her challenger John Boozman in Hot Springs.
“Just like a well-thrown boomerang eventually returns, ‘Boomerang Blanche’ Lincoln came back in-line with Arkansans yesterday at the AAC forum with John Boozman,” said RPA Senior Communications Advisor Alice Stewart. “’Boomerang Blanche’ completed her elliptical cycle and finally rejoined Arkansans in support of deficit reduction, government reform, job growth, card check, and even opposition to ObamaCare!”
“On behalf of all the folks you’ve seemed to have forgotten about these last six years, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to ‘Boomerang Blanche,’ and let her know ‘We’ve missed you in Arkansas,’” Stewart said.
Does anyone know what “Boomerang Blanche” stands for? No!
Does “Boomerang Blanche” give common sense explanations? No!
Does “Boomerang Blanche” know how to circle back to Arkansas after a wild six-year ride in the Washington Woods? You bet!
“Boomerang Blanche’s” top out-and-back boomerangs from yesterday’s forum:
OUT(side of Arkansas)
Feb 2010- In an effort to hide the true cost of ObamaCare, Blanche Lincoln voted to gut $528 billion in Medicare funding- that’s $8,980 per Arkansas senior over the next 10 years. (Letter from CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf to Speaker Pelosi- March 20, 2010)
Yesterday- “I’ve focused on and Medicare, and strengthening it.”
OUT(side of Arkansas)
Lincoln’s support for Obama’s $446 billion omnibus bill, ObamaCare, stimulus spending, cash-for-clunkers and other wasteful initiatives has caused the national debt to grow by more than 50% in the last three years- now up to $13 trillion. Lincoln called the $787 billion stimulus bill a “drop in the bucket.”
Yesterday- “I support reducing the deficit.”
OUT(side of Arkansas)
9/14/05- Blanche Lincoln Sponsored the Employee Free Choice Act “Card Check” legislation “A bill to amend the National Labor Relations Act to establish an efficient system to enable employees to form, join, or assist labor organizations, to provide for mandatory injunctions for unfair labor practices during organizing efforts, and for other purposes. . . .”(introduced 4/19/2005) . . . Sen Lincoln, Blanche L. [AR] – 9/14/2005
Yesterday- “There shouldn’t be any doubt that I am against card check.”
OUT(side of Arkansas)
The healthcare package will cost roughly $940 billion over 10 years. (CNNMoney.com 3/25/10)
Yesterday- Healthcare reform “is a deficit neutral bill.”
OUT(side of Arkansas)
Lincoln voted against extending the Bush tax cuts, which enormously impact small businesses (3/23/07). Lincoln voted against extending capital gains and dividends tax relief (3/21/07), voted against death tax reform (CQ Vote #102 3/27/07), and voted against repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax. (3/23/07).
Yesterday: “I’m fighting to extend tax cuts for Arkansas companies.”
OUT(side of Arkansas)
In 2009, Lincoln voted with Obama 95% of the time. (CQ Magazine), and in the current Congress, she’s voted with her party leaders 83.9% of the time. (The Washington Post’s Votes Database, www.washingtonpost.com, Accessed 8/13/10)
Yesterday- “I am an independent voice for Arkansas…I am here to facilitate your needs.”
“Arkansans won’t be fooled by the spin, they know ‘Boomerang Blanche’ is here to facilitate HER needs; they know her rhetoric doesn’t match reality,” Stewart said. “It’s time to bail on the boomerang and support a straight shooter like John Boozman who doesn’t want to bankrupt America.” Tags:Blanche Lincoln, boomerang, Arkansas, Association of Counties, AAC, forum, John Boozman To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Sam Adams MMIV*:Gallup writes today, “Americans of all political persuasions say the economy and jobs are the most important problems facing the country today. These concerns easily outpace all others, thus providing politicians seeking office in this fall’s midterm elections with clear marching orders from their constituents: Fix the economy. . . . In the Aug. 5-8 Gallup poll, 65% of Americans mention some aspect of the economy as the top problem facing the country, down only slightly from the beginning of this year.”
Unfortunately, the Obama administration’s preferred way to boost the economy, their $862 billion stimulus bill, hasn’t lived up to their promises that it would keep unemployment below 8% and would create 3-4 million jobs. But the main response to the failure of their stimulus, financed entirely by deficit spending, has been that Democrats and the White House wanted an even larger stimulus. Vice President Joe Biden told ABC’s Jake Tapper last month, “There’s a lot of people at the time argued it was too small. . . . A lot of people in our administration…even some Republican economists and some Nobel laureates like Paul Krugman, who continues to argue it was too small.” Biden added that if Democrats hadn’t had to find 60 votes for the bill in the Senate, “I think it would have been bigger. I think it would have been bigger. In fact, what we offered was slightly bigger than that.”
However, according to The Wall Street Journal today, economists think the government needs to get out of the way, even as they “offered a bleak picture of tepid growth and high unemployment.” The WSJ reports, “Economists are getting more pessimistic about the strength of the U.S. recovery, but they don’t think policy makers should do anything more to support it, according to the latest Wall Street Journal forecasting survey. The 53 surveyed economists, not all of whom answered every question, offered a bleak picture of tepid growth and high unemployment. On average, they still don’t see the unemployment rate dropping below 9% through at least June 2011. They expect the economy to add just 136,000 jobs a month over the next 12 months, down from a forecast of 157,000 in the July survey. At that rate, job creation will barely keep up with new entrants to the labor force. . . . Despite the continued challenging conditions, 30 out of 48 economists who answered the question said the economy didn’t need any more fiscal or monetary stimulus.”
The poor economic performance of the Obama administration seems to even be frustrating some Democrat members of Congress (despite their support for Obama’s economic policies). The AP reported yesterday, “Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth lashed out at President Barack Obama’s economic team Thursday, saying they show more concern for Wall Street than average Americans in a blunt election-year assessment from an Obama loyalist frustrated by a tepid economic recovery.” Yarmuth said, “I’m not real happy with our economic team in the White House.” According to the AP, “Yarmuth lamented ‘a sense of floundering and indecisiveness’ by Obama’s administration in trying to revitalize the economy from a deep recession causing stubbornly high unemployment. . . . Yarmuth said Obama is surrounded by economic advisers from Wall Street and academia, complaining that the president’s inner circle lacks someone with practical experience from running a small business. ‘When Tim Geithner and Larry Summers talk about the economy, it’s like it doesn’t involve real people,’ he said of the treasury secretary and director of the White House National Economic Council, respectively.”
Is the administration listening, though? Last week, Geithner declared in a New York Times op-ed, “Welcome to the Recovery … [A] review of recent data on the American economy shows that we are on a path back to growth.” Recent economic data seem to disagree with the Treasury Secretary’s assessment. Little wonder, then, that economists and the American public aren’t buying it.
------------ [*Sam Adams MMIV is a pen name for an un-named beltway source.] Tags:recovery summer, the economy, Gallup, Sam AdamsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Young Person's Guide to the United States Constitution
Dude, check it out. That funny guy on PJTV has the 411 on a piece of paper that protects us from cranky old people. Some dudes in wigs wrote it with ink feathers, or something. It was like a really long time ago, but it's, like, people totally forgot about it. Whoa, right? [Video]
Tags:PJTV, tea party, government, conservative, liberal, independent, constitution, tyranny, Andrew KlavinTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
One of the organizations that Mr. Obama disparaged was Americans for Prosperity. Mr. Obama said:
Right now all around this country there are groups with harmless-sounding names like Americans for Prosperity, who are running millions of dollars of ads against Democratic candidates all across the country. And they don't have to say who exactly the Americans for Prosperity are. You don't know if it’s a foreign-controlled corporation. You don't know if it’s a big oil company, or a big bank. You don't know if it’s a [sic] insurance company that wants to see some of the provisions in health reform repealed because it’s good for their bottom line, even if it’s not good for the American people.
A Supreme Court decision allowed this to happen. And we tried to fix it, just by saying disclose what’s going on, and making sure that foreign companies can’t influence our elections. Seemed pretty straightforward. The other side said no.
They don't want you to know who the Americans for Prosperity are, because they're thinking about the next election. But we’ve got to think about future generations. We’ve got to make sure that we’re fighting for reform. We’ve got to make sure that we don't have a corporate takeover of our democracy.
Well Mr. President, I will help you find one supporters. This old veteran and retired professor - turned political activist because of the liberal progressive elitist raid on America - is a proud member of American's For Prosperity (and many other groups). So, Mr. President, why are you vicariously attacking me and people like me by attacking Americans for Prosperity?
Obama, Reid, and Pelosi have motivated tens of thousands of people in Arkansas in 2009 and 2010 to attend rallies and events sponsored by its new Arkansas Americans for Prosperity Chapter. There are no "meetings" but there are all kinds of "meet-ups" for training, rallies and events across the state. We share ideals, investigate and analyze government spending, provide data, rally voters to share their opinions with their elected officials and vote. We encourage people to be active in like minded groups like TEA Parties, American Majority citizen training, taxpayer groups, and more.
Arkansas, a state controlled by 126 years of plantation politics, has been awakened by the Obama administration and the national Democrat agenda. Change is coming in November! This effect is also happening in other states with Americans for Prosperity chapters.
Mr. President, I invite you to join me at the AFP Defending the American Dream Summit in Washington, D.C. on August 27 and 28. If by chance you are too busy to come and listen, then just peek out your White House window on August 28 (8/28) to see millions of people gathering from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington monument to all the surrounding areas to honor America and the principles of our forefathers that most Americans hold dear.
Returning to the President speech, what upset him so much that he negatively endorsed Americas for Prosperity? Obama offers the answer; he wants AFP's membership and donor list. He also wants access to all conservative activist groups' membership and donor lists. Notice how he imputes that there is something wrong when in fact, there is nothing wrong. He then criticizes the Supreme Court for defending the right of people to associate and to express themselves without fear of intimidation by the Federal Government. In AFP, people associate with like minded people in pursuit of Defending the American Dream which includes what the DNC and President Obama dread: LIMITED GOVERNMENT and INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM. These are important ingredients that motivate people to do for themselves, to find creative ways to create and invent things, to solve problems, to provide new jobs, and to expand American exceptionalism.
It is evident from recent national polls that President Obama and the democrat controlled Congress has not focused on the issues that most American consider important. Failed promises combined with government the takeover of the auto and health care industries, bailouts of banks and now teachers unions, strangling of the economy, constant apology and bowing tours, entertainment and vacation trips, and more have moved the American people to speak disapprovingly to their elected officials and to put forward more conservative constitutionally minded candidates to help defend the American dream.
The President, in the speech, also bemoans AFP and other organizations that have the resources to run informational ads, which expose the hypocrisy and the dangers of the present progressive elitist in Washington, D.C.
Last month, Americans for Prosperity infuriated the liberal elitists by fielded RightOnline to rival NetRoots annual activist meeting. This year in Las Vegas, RightOnline attracted more activists than NetRoots. While liberal NetRoots activists were downcast and unhappy with their speakers like VP Joe Biden, Harry Reid and Speaker Pelosi; RightOnline speakers expressed optimism and fervor for citizens to take back our country and to repeal the agenda put in place by the Obama administration. Mr. Obama has indeed awakened the American people.
Thank you Mr. President for "plugging" Americas For Prosperity. Your comments will help rally others to the AFP cause. While Dick Morris, Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, Mike Pence, George Will and dozens of other limited government advocates have this year helped rally people, your words will help us greatly. Thank you Mr. Obama for giving your "Seal of Disapproval" to Americans for Prosperity! They can proudly wear this seal with dignity and honor. Tags:Americans for Prosperity, AFP, Barack Obama, seal of disapproval, limited government, freedom, free enterprise, lower taxes, RightOnline, NetRoots, Defending the American Dream, Arkansas, Bill Smith To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
U.S. Has Been Hit With a Barrage of Negative Economic Data
"The Obama Economic Recovery Continues To Lumber Forward With All The Momentum Of A Blind, Three-Legged Elephant." (Editorial, "The Obama Recovery,"Las Vegas Review-Journal, 8/8/10)
OBAMANOMICS: DEFICIT OF HOPE Jobs
BLS Reported That The U.S. Lost 131,000 Jobs In July.(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov, Accessed 8/6/10)
Because The Private Sector Only Created 71,000 Jobs.ibid
And The Unemployment Rate Remains At 9.5 Percent.ibid
Since The Stimulus Was Passed, The U.S. Has Lost Over 2.5 Million Jobs.ibid
Since The Stimulus Was Passed, 64,000 Government Jobs Have Been Gained; Meanwhile, The Private Sector Has Lost 2.52 Million Jobs.ibid
44.9% Of Those That Are Unemployed, 6.57 Million Workers, Have Been Looking For Work For Over 27 Weeks.ibid
The True Unemployment Rate, Which Includes Those That Are Working Part-Time But Want Full-Time Work, Is 16.5%. This Means 1 In 6 Workers Is Either Unemployed Or Under-Employed.(Bureau Of Labor Statistics, "The Employment Situation - July 2010," BLS.gov, 8/6/10)
Job Openings Fell In June, A "Sign That Hiring Isn't Likely To Pick Up In The Coming Months." "Company job openings fell for the second straight month in June, a sign that hiring isn't likely to pick up in the coming months. The Labor Department says job openings at businesses fell to 2.54 million from 2.6 million in May. Overall openings were unchanged, as government openings ticked up." ("Company Job Openings Drop For 2nd Straight Month," The AP, (8/11/10)
"First-Time Claims For Jobless Benefits Edged Up By 2,000 To A Seasonally Adjusted 484,000, The Labor Department Said Thursday. Analysts Had Expected A Drop. That's The Highest Total Since February.ibid
2nd Quarter GDP Could Be Revised Down From 2.4% To 0.3%. "The U.S. trade deficit widened in June, and the new numbers released this morning indicate that second-quarter growth was even more anemic than the originally reported 2.4% annual rate. Last week, updated figures on inventories indicated that gross-domestic-product growth in the second quarter would be revised lower -- to around 1.7%. Today's data on trade suggest the revised figure may be closer to 1%, or even as low as 0.3%." (Phil Izzo, "Second-Quarter Growth Looking Even Worse," The WSJ's "Real Time Economics," Blog, 8/11/10)
July's Budget Deficit Was Over $165 Billion, The Second Highest Deficit For July In History. "The U.S. government spent itself deeper into the red last month, paying nearly $20 billion in interest on debt and an additional $9.8 billion to help unemployed Americans. . . The $165.04 billion deficit, while a bit smaller than the $169.5 billion shortfall expected by economists polled by Dow Jones Newswires, was the second highest for the month on record. The highest was $180.68 billion in July 2009." (Jeff Bater And Darrell A. Hughes, "Deficit in July Totals $165.04 Billion," The WSJ, 8/11/10)
Foreclosures Are Up Six Percent Compared To July 2009 With Lenders Repossessing Over 92,000 Homes Last Month. "The number of U.S. homes lost to foreclosure surged in July, another sign lenders are moving quicker to take back properties from homeowners behind in payments. Lenders repossessed 92,858 properties last month, up 9 percent from June and an increase of 6 percent from July 2009, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday." (Alex Viega, "Homes Lost To Foreclosure Up 6% From Last Year," The AP, 8/12/10)
Foreclosures Are Now Not Expected To Peak Until 2011. "If you're waiting for relief on the foreclosure front, keep waiting. RealtyTrac says foreclosure notices rose 4% last month, the 17th straight month filings have exceeded 300,000. And RealtyTrac's Rick Sharga tells MarketWatch News Break that foreclosures may not peak until 2011." ("Realtytrac: No Foreclosure Peak Until 2011," MarketWatch , 8/12/10)
AND THE ECONOMY IS NOT EXPECTED TO IMPROVE ANYTIME SOON
The Federal Reserve Said Tuesday That The Economic Recovery Is "More Modest" Than Expected. "The Federal Reserve, facing an economic recovery that it termed 'more modest' than anticipated, said Tuesday it will stop shrinking its huge portfolio of securities by reinvesting the proceeds of maturing mortgages in U.S. Treasury debt." (Sudeep Reddy, "Fed Sees Recovery Slowing," The WSJ, 8/11/10)
The Federal Reserve's Grim Economic Outlook Sent Stocks For A Dive On Wednesday. "Stocks tumbled more than 250 points Wednesday amid light volume as investors continued to lose confidence in the strength of the global economy in the wake of the Federal Reserve's dimmer outlook and a decline in China's domestic economy." (Abby Schultz, "Stocks Head for Worst Close in Month," CNBC, 8/11/10)
The New York Times' Editorial Board: "The Fed's Statement On Tuesday Avoided The Words Deflation And Double Dip Recession. But The Markets Heard Them, Still, Because The Fed's Efforts Alone Are Unlikely To Steer The Nation Clear Of Those Dangers."(Editorial, "When The Fed Speaks," The NYT, 8/11/10)
There Is Fear Among Economists That U.S. "Could End Up With A Permanent Caste Of Long-Term Unemployed." "Some economists fear the U.S. could end up with a permanent caste of long-term unemployed, like those that weigh on government budgets in some European countries. 'It is a very worrisome development," says Steven Davis, an economist at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business. 'It leads over a long period of time to social alienation as well as economic hardship.'" (Mark Whitehouse, "Some Firms Struggle To Hire Despite High Unemployment," The WSJ, 8/9/10
Companies May Find The Right Person To Hire, But Are Holding Off Hiring Until The Future Is More Certain. "Another part of the problem, said Jeff Joerres, chief executive of staffing firm Manpower, could be companies' renewed uncertainty about the economic outlook. 'It's not uncommon for us to get the right person for the job and the companies still drag their feet for a month or more, just to try to get better visibility for the future and to save another month of expense,' he said." (Mark Whitehouse, "Employers Moving Slowly To Fill Jobs," The WSJ, 8/11/10)
A Majority Of Leading Economists Say That It Will Be At Least 2015 Before Unemployment Falls To 5%. "It's going to take us years to dig out of this hole. In an Associated Press survey of leading economists, a majority said it would be at least 2015 before unemployment falls to 5 percent. It's a rare day when a group of economists agrees on anything. We're in deep trouble, and it's looking more and more likely that we're headed toward a dreaded 'double-dip' recession." ("Jobless Still Unheard In Washington," San Francisco Chronicle, 8/10/10)
NOT SURPRISINGLY, AMERICANS HAVE A PESSIMISTIC VIEW OF THE ECONOMY AND OBAMA
68% Of Respondents Say That The Country Is In Worse Shape Or About The Same Since Obama Took Office.ibid
A Plurality Of Respondents, 38%, Say They Are "Not At All Confident" That President Obama Has "The Right Set Of Goals And Policies In Order To Be President."(ibid
And A Plurality, 39%, Say That They Are "Not At All Confident" That President Obama Has "The Right Set Of Goals And Policies To Improve The Economy."ibid
64% Of Respondents Say That In The Next Year The Economy Will Stay About The Same Or Get Worse, Only 34% Believe That It Will Improve.ibid
And 64% Believe That The Economy Has Not Hit Bottom Yet.ibid
Tags:Obamanomics, economy, Barack Obama, BLS, jobs, unemployment, jobless benefits, GDP, deficit, foreclosures, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
On Election Day, Arkansans will have the opportunity to voice their disapproval of the President and Sen. Lincoln’s failed economic policies that have only led to unemployment, higher taxes, and a rising national debt.
Let’s review some of the facts.
Jobs Lost. Since the Obama-Lincoln failed $862 billion stimulus was passed, Arkansas has lost over 12,600 jobs.
Tax Hikes. If President Obama’s tax hikes go into effect, the average middle-income Arkansas family will see their taxes rise by $1,418.
ObamaCare. The individual mandate that is in the Obama-Lincoln government takeover of health care bill will hit nearly 4 million middle class Americans who would have to pay the government-enforced fine. And the President plans to pay for ObamaCare with $570 billion in taxes that will once again hit small businesses and lead to more jobs lost.
President Obama and his sidekick in the Senate, Blanche Lincoln, have pursued a far-left policy course that has proven to be detrimental to Arkansas. The Obama-Lincoln economy has hurt the middle class by killing jobs and raising taxes, while spending and borrowing our nation into insurmountable debt. Let’s turn the tide this fall, and stop President Obama and Senator Lincoln from doing even more damage to Arkansas and our nation as a whole. ----------------- Michael Steele is Chairman, National Republican Committee. He was previously a Fox News political commentator and former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland. Tags:Arkansas, US Senate, Blanche Lincoln, Barack Obama, Michael Steele, RNC, politics,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. - Aug 11, 2010 - Congress Heads Home to Face Dismal Approval Ratings
Yesterday, the House voted 247-161, largely on party lines, to concur in the Senate amendment to H.R. 1586, the $26 billion state bailout bill. The bill was signed into law by President Obama yesterday
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced the Senate will hold a short session at 10 AM tomorrow to consider a unanimous consent request to pass H.R. 6080, a bill with funding for border security measures the House passed yesterday by voice vote. Yes, the Senate previously passed a bill supporting border security, but they got the "cart ahead of the horse" as all revenue spending bill must originate in the House. So their will be a quick unanimous consent vote on H.R. 6080. The Senate will also take up a resolution honoring the late Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK). Most senators who have traveled to their home states will not be returning from recess to vote on these issues.
After hurrying to Washington to approve Democrat leaders’ $26 billion bailout for states and teachers’ unions, House Democrats scattered back to their districts today to explain their votes to their constituents. But as The Wall Street Journal editorializes today, it seems that Democrats had one constituency above all others in mind with their votes yesterday: “Standing with teachers yesterday in the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Obama said, ‘We can't stand by and do nothing while pink slips are given to the men and women who educate our children or keep our communities safe.’ Maintaining the salaries and generous benefit plans for members of teachers unions is indeed a top Democratic priority. That's why $10 billion of the bill's funding is allocated to education, and the money comes with strings that will multiply the benefits for this core Obama constituency. Specifically, the bill stipulates that federal funds must supplement, not replace, state spending on education. Also, in each state, next year's spending on elementary and secondary education as a percentage of total state revenues must be equal to or greater than the previous year's level.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell pointed out last week, “Our friends on the other side are now in the business of paying for states to hire more workers even if they can’t afford it on their own. Why? Because it creates a permanent need for future state bailouts, at a time when we can least afford it.” Indeed, the WSJ editors note both Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Texas Governor Rick Perry expressing frustration at the Democrat bill’s altering of state budgets and forcing more spending.
But that’s not the only thing about this bill Americans should view with a skeptical eye. The WSJ editors write, “Keep in mind that this teacher bailout also amounts to a huge contribution by Democrats to their own election campaigns. The National Right to Work Committee estimates that two of every three teachers belong to unions. The average union dues payment varies, but a reasonable estimate is that between 1% and 1.5% of teacher salaries goes to dues. The National Education Association and other unions will thus get as much as $100 million in additional dues from this bill, much of which will flow immediately to endangered Democratic candidates in competitive House and Senate races this year.”
Sen. McConnell made a similar observation. “[T]his bill is a brazen attempt to funnel more money to the public employee unions before an election at a moment of record deficits and debt, and to set the stage for a massive tax hike before the end of the year. It’s time Democrats in Congress stop funneling billions of dollars to their favored constituencies and asking the American people to pay for it with higher taxes.”
“So,” the WSJ ediors summarize, “in the name of still another ‘stimulus,’ Democrats are rewarding their own political funders, putting the most fiscally responsible states into even greater distress, and postponing the day of reckoning for spendthrift states.”
It’s precisely this kind of behavior that’s resulted in stunningly low approval ratings of the Democrat-run Congress. In a poll today, Gallup finds only 19% approve of the job the Democrat-led Congress is doing, while a whopping 75% disapprove. Gallup notes, “Congress' average approval rating thus far in 2010 is 20% -- down from 30% in 2009, the first year of the 111th Congress. This year's average easily trails the 36% average approval Gallup has recorded for Congress since the measure was established in 1974, and is the lowest seen in any midterm congressional election year since then.”
“The persistently low approval of Congress this year is a strong signal of public discontent with the legislative branch,” Gallup writes. And now Democrats have yet another expensive piece of legislation to defend to their constituents who don’t belong to teachers unions. Tags:US Senate, US House, Washington, low approval ratings, border security funding, bailout, unions, government employees, SEIU,To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Government Waste, Michelle Obama, Michelle Obama Goes to Spain, Lousy T-shirt, Political Cartoons, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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Curtis Coleman, Contributing Author: A couple of weeks ago, a draft memo surfaced from the bowels of the Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) division of the Department of Homeland Security proposing ways to circumvent federal law to allow illegal immigrants to avoid deportation and, in some cases, to even be granted permanent resident status. “We will not comment on notional, pre-decisional memos,” the USCIS responded in a prepared statement. “Nobody should mistake deliberation and exchange of ideas for final decisions.”
The Country’s front line immigration agents seem to disagree that the USCIS proposals were only internal ruminations. According to a statement from members of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, “acting on behalf of approximately 7,000 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and employees from the Office of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO),” the Agency is already circumventing existing law and practicing amnesty by policy.
In their public statement, these federal immigration officers and employees claimed that ICE Director John Morton and Assistant Director Phyllis Coven “have abandoned the Agency’s core mission of enforcing United States Immigration laws and providing for public safety, and have instead directed their attention to campaigning for programs and policies related to amnesty.”
Their statement listed these grievances with the Administration’s policies:
“Senior ICE leadership dedicates more time to campaign for immigration reforms aimed at large scale amnesty legislation, than advising the American people and Federal lawmakers on the severity of the illegal immigration problem.”
“Criminal aliens openly brag to ICE officers that they are taking advantage of the broken immigration system and will be back in the United States within days to commit crimes.”
“While ICE reports internally that more than 90 percent of ICE detainees are first encountered by ICE in jails after they are arrested by local police for criminal charges, ICE senior leadership misrepresents this information publicly in order to portray ICE detainees as being non-criminal in nature to support the Administration’s position on amnesty.”
“The majority of ICE ERO Officers are prohibited from making street arrests or enforcing United States Immigration laws outside of the institutional (jail) setting”, “effectively creating ‘amnesty through policy.’”
“Hundreds of ICE officers nationwide perform no law enforcement duties whatsoever.”
Under new ICE Detention Reforms, “ICE officers will be prevented from searching detainees housed in ICE facilities allowing weapons, drugs, and other contraband into detention centers.”
“ICE has virtually no consistent national policies.
If these grievances are accurate, it’s easy to understand Arizona Governor Jan Brewer’s position that President Obama is not enforcing the nation’s immigration laws nor protecting the citizens of Arizona as is his sworn duty. And these complaints shed a lot of Southwestern sunshine on the federal government’s otherwise inexplicable lawsuit against the Sovereign State of Arizona for its adoption of a state statue that mirrors federal law.
While liberals label as xenophobes  and racists those Americans who demand the nation’s citizens be protected by enforcement of immigration laws, it becomes even clearer that the United States cannot afford to long tolerate an Administration that only selectively enforces the laws of the land to its own political advantage.  It’s easy to know when you’re winning the debate on the issue. The opposition resorts to personal attacks.
-------------------- Curtis Coleman is President of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy, headquartered in North Little Rock, Arkansas. He submitted this article to the ARRA News Service Editor. Coleman is also the Co-founder and former President and Chief Executive Officer of Safe Foods Corporation. He lectures on team building and servant leadership in the Emerging Leaders program at the Center for Management and Executive Development, University of Arkansas Sam M. Walton School of Business. Tags:Amnesty, policy, Obama administration, ICE, illegal aliens, criminals, illegal immigration, Arizona, Jan Brewer, Curtis Coleman, Institute for Constitutional PolicyTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
American's are fed up with Obama's economy of persistently high unemployment, crushing debt, and continued assault on the private marketplace. [Video]
“The American people have seen who is benefiting from Obama’s economy and it isn’t them. Barack Obama’s looming tax hikes on small businesses, job-killing regulations, and big government takeovers have created an economic climate saturated with uncertainty that is keeping employers from hiring. As a result, unemployment remains near 10 percent, nearly one in five Americans cannot find adequate work, and more people are losing their homes. In the meantime, President Obama has insisted upon leaving behind a mountain of debt and record deficits for future generations to pay. If Obama’s economy is all Democrats have to offer, the American people will vote to fire Nancy Pelosi and put this Democratic Congress out of business.” – RNC Chairman Michael Steele Tags:Deficit Of Hope, Barack Obama, economy, failure, unemployment, forclosure, big government, underemployment, debt, bailouts, economic crisis,RNC, Michael SteeleTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Aug 10, 2010 - House Reconvened to Vote on Bill With No Name - Bailing Out Teachers Unions
Update 3:10 pm: House passed the "No Name" State Aid Bill - a $26 billion bailout - 247 to 161. The bill goes to President Obama for signature to be signed into law. The House then immediately adjourned "again" for their August recess.
The House reconvened and passed H.R. 6080, a bill to provide funding for extra border security, by voice vote under suspension of the rules. At 11 AM, the House moved to consideration of the rule for debate on the motion to concur in the Senate amendment to H.R. 1586, the $26 billion state bailout bill. Following an hour of debate on the rule, the House is scheduled to vote on the rule and then begin an hour of debate on the motion to concur. Problem still exist with the bill having no name or Act number. However, the leadership is not concerned with stealing from Peter (you, your children and grandchildren) to bailout teachers union pensions.
Also expected today is debate and a vote on a resolution from Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), head of the Republican Study Committee, which would pledge that the house would not return for a lame duck session following the November election this year. In additon today, Rep. Charlie Rangle (D-NY) went to the floor of the House and carried out a most bizarre monologue about his pending trial before the Ethics committee after the House returns form their regularly scheduled recess.
The Senate has adjourned for its August recess and will reconvene on Monday, September 13th. When the Senate returns, it will consider a circuit court nominee and is then expected to return to Democrats’ small business bill, H.R. 5297. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a cloture vote for Tuesday, Sept. 14th on an amendment to the bill from Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) which would repeal the onerous 1099 reporting requirements from the health care law.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called members of the House of Representatives back to Washington from their districts today to pass what the Democrat leadership considers a priority—a $26 billion bailout for teachers unions and spendthrift state governments. This is, of course, on top of recent spending on bailouts, the massive, unpopular health care bill, unemployment benefits, the $862 billion stimulus bill, and a host of other things, contributing to a record $1.4 trillion deficit and a national debt exceeding $13 trillion.
As Politico explained last week, “Even though party leaders expect that approval will be a slam-dunk, some early responses from rank-and-file Democrats have raised red flags about the optics of returning to a special session to vote on more spending — even if it’s framed as saving teachers’ jobs. The risk for Democrats as they seek to bolster their flagging election prospects is that some of their vulnerable members will feel like they have to walk the plank, yet again, on a politically unpopular economic-stimulus agenda, while reminding voters of their failure to handle routine budget work this year.”
Democrats have been touting the bill as a “jobs bill,” but in an editorial last week, The Washington Post correctly tagged it as, at its core, a bailout for teachers unions. “The crusade for an education jobs bill, led by the Obama administration and Democratic leaders in Congress, has always struck us as more of an election-year favor for teachers unions than an optimal use of public resources. Billed as an effort to stimulate the economy, it's not clearly more effective than alternative uses of the cash. Yes, school budgets are tight across the country, but the teacher layoff ‘crisis’ is exaggerated. In fact, as happens each year, many teachers who got pink slips in the spring have been notified that they'll be hired after all. Many layoffs could have been -- and indeed have been -- avoided by modest union concessions.”
Democrats are also bragging that the bill is paid for, but haven’t spent much time explaining how it’s paid for. Of course, Democrats can’t seem to pay for a bill without raising taxes, so the bill features tax hikes on certain corporations. But in addition, as a New York Times editorial pointed out Saturday, the bill also takes money from food stamp programs: “With some shabby sleight of hand, Congress has begun tapping into the food stamp program for the hungriest Americans to help pay for lawmakers’ higher election-year priorities. The Senate approved two important measures this week — the $26 billion state-aid bill and the $4.5 billion school nutrition program — in part by shaving food stamp funds as a target of least resistance.”
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell boiled down just what this latest bailout bill is all about in a speech last week. “[T]he purpose of this bill is clear. It’s a last-minute effort by Democrats in Washington to funnel more money to the public employee unions before an election and to set the stage for the massive tax hike that the administration plans to spring on America’s small business owners on January 1 of next year. Once again, Democrats are showering money on their favored constituencies and asking the American people to pay for it with higher taxes, more government, and fewer private sector jobs.” Tags:US Senate, US House, Washington, unnamed bill, unnumbered bill, bailout, unions, government employees, SEIU, medicare, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Courage To Lead - Jim Keet - Change Arkansas Needs
Jim Keet is the Republican Candidate for Arkansas governor. He has the courage to lead Arkansas to a brighter future. He will cut taxes, balance the budget, and limit the state government that has grown out of control. [Ad- Video]
Tags:Jim Keet, Courage to Lead, Arkansas, Candidate, Arkansas, Governor, 2010 ElectionTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Aug 9, 2010 - Government Gone Wild - Passing Bills With No Names & No Numbers
Government Passing Bills
With No Names & No Numbers
The Senate has adjourned for its August recess and will reconvene on Monday, September 13th. However, the House which had previously recessed is being called back into session tomorrow by Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the purpose of voting on a $26 billion bailout spending measure to aid the Democrat Party's two core constituencies, labor unions and government workers. The bill is being called the "Education Jobs Fund." They are going to take your money and pay for for other people's pensions and to keep people working in cities and communities that cannot afford to keep them working. the bill doesn't even have a name - so let's call it the SEIU Ripoff bill. As Washington Watch has noted the Senate bill hasn't even assigned the required name or Act number to their bill. It is even referred to as "XXXXXX Act of XXXX." Previously, Pelois required everyone to vote on healthcare bill first so they could ( and we the public could) find out waht was in the bill. Now they are voting on bills with no name or Act numbers. I guess since the democrat leadership deemed a nonexistent budget as existing, they now beleive they can deem anything as done these days.
Washington Watch's comments hit the nail right on the head:
You see, the Constitution requires both Houses of Congress to pass identical bills before they can be sent to the president and signed into law. The Senate has left town for the rest of August, and the House is coming back next week to put its stamp of approval on the bill.
President Obama wants to sign it quickly—the bill is already up on the Whitehouse.gov “pending legislation” page (though posting it there before the bill passes Congress doesn’t count as Sunlight Before Signing). So the House has to approve this bill, with the name “_______Act of______.”
The only other alternative is for the House to change the name and have the Senate come back for another vote. Congress seems always to be hustling to get things done—even when it’s spending billions of taxpayer dollars. This time, they were hustling so fast to get the money moving that they couldn’t take the time to give the bill a proper name.
Whose problem is this? Yours! You voted these folks in!
November is coming. Time to make a major correction in Congress.
When the Senate returns, it will consider a circuit court nominee and will return to Democrats’ small business bill, H.R. 5297. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has scheduled a cloture vote for Tuesday, Sept. 14th on an amendment to the bill from Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE) which would repeal the onerous 1099 reporting requirements from the health care law.
In his weekly address Saturday, President Obama touted the report issued at the end of last week from the Medicare Trustees. He bragged, “According to this report, the steps we took this year to reform the health care system have put Medicare on a sounder financial footing. Reform has actually added at least a dozen years to the solvency of Medicare – the single longest extension in history – while helping to preserve Medicare for generations to come.”
But a must-read Wall Street Journal editorial pointed out yesterday, “One problem: That spin ignores the extraordinary companion analysis by chief Medicare actuary Richard Foster that repudiates this conclusion and is the most damning fiscal indictment to date of the Affordable Care Act. . . . [A]s he notes in his appendix, the law as written bears little if any relation to the real world—and thus, he says, the trustee estimates ‘do not represent a reasonable expectation for actual program operations in either the short range . . . or the long range.’ In an unprecedented move, he directs readers to a separate ‘alternative scenario’ that his office drew up using more realistic assumptions. Mr. Foster shows that the Medicare ‘cuts’ that Democrats wrote into ObamaCare exist only on paper and were written so they could pretend to reduce the deficit and perform the miracles the trustees dutifully outlined. With the exception of cuts in Medicare Advantage, those reductions will never happen in practice.”
Even the AP wrote last week, “[D]espite assertions to the contrary by the Obama administration, the new health care law doesn’t improve Medicare’s solvency by much.” That AP story also noted the administration’s double-counting of their Medicare cuts that was highlighted in an April report from Foster’s office. “An April 22 analysis pointed out that the highly touted gain of 12 years of additional solvency for Medicare from the health overhaul is largely an ‘appearance,’ stemming from how Medicare cuts are handled under federal accounting rules. Savings from those cuts would be used to finance coverage for the uninsured. ‘In practice, the improved (Medicare) financing cannot be simultaneously used to finance other federal outlays (such as the coverage expansions) and to extend the trust fund, despite the appearance of this result from the respective accounting conventions,’ the report said.”
As the WSJ explained yesterday, “[T]his is a strange excuse for celebration. Democrats wrung about a half-trillion dollars from Medicare over the next decade, but then they turned around and plowed these ‘savings’ into their new middle-class health-care entitlement. It’s akin to paying off one credit card with another—while still being deeply in hock on the first.”
Republicans warned throughout the health care debate that the saving Democrats were claiming for their bill was mostly the product of spin and accounting gimmicks, and subsequent news reports and various analysis have shown the GOP was right all along. Taking $500 billion from Medicare, spending it on a new entitlement, and then bragging about how that constitutes “savings” is not the reform Americans were looking for. This bill needs to be repealed and replaced. Tags:US Senate, US House, Washington, unnamed bill, unnumbered bill, bailout, unions, government employees, SEIU, medicare, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
NAME / Source:TEXT Tags:Krista Branch, America, Remember Who We Are, Founding Fathers, military, freedoms, United States, 828, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Restoring Honor Rally, Marcus Littrell, Ted Nugent, August 28, 2010, Washinton DC, Washington Memorial, Lincoln MemorialTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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