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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics
is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato
Saturday, January 01, 2011
Should Old Acquaintance Be Forgot! And Interviewing William Warren
Bill Smith, Editor: As an intro to the following New Year Cartoon by my most favored conservative cartoonists who creates conservative messages / cartoons from his office at American's for Limited Government (ALG), please note that others have noted William Warren's talent. Warren produces three original political cartoons for the free-market based nonprofit ALG each week.
As an active but "unpaid" or should I say "self-funded" conservative new media activist, I am thankful for Warren's cartoons and the other works of ALG which are made available without cost for use by new media conservative bloggers in our publications. I also appreciate ALG allowing the ARRA News Service to partner with them on several projects and for being listed on NetRight Daily.
Warren’s cartoons have won him many awards over the years, but most recently, five of his cartoons are featured in the Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year, 2011 Edition. Warren’s talents mixed with his passion for news and politics makes cartooning an easy fit for him.
Below the cartoon is a series of interview questions and answers by cartoonist William Warren. Although I would never wish to be skewered by Warren in one of his cartoons, I would be very proud to have my mug portrayed by him (privately of course over my computer). Please share his work with your friends and those still enamored by liberalism. by William Warren: Happy New Years!
Q. What made you want to be a political cartoonist? How did your passion evolve and what got it started? A. I have always loved drawing. When I discovered Calvin and Hobbes at age six, I began to draw my own comic strips with my own characters and adventures and such. When I was in high school, however, I developed a profound love for politics and current events. When I realized I could fuse my passion for art and politics in the form of political cartoons, it was a no-brainer.
Q. What makes a funny political cartoon? A. First of all, not all political cartoons have to be funny. Some of the best can be downright depressing. However, a funny (and successful) cartoon must be rooted in truth. If it's a lie, no one will find it amusing. Secondly, it has to put a clever spin on an issue and twist that issue to the point of absurdity. And it has to be delivered well (which is where art, caricature, composition, and style come into play).
Q. Is it any different being a conservative cartoonist as opposed to a liberal one? Why is the conservative worldview funnier? A. In principle, there is no difference. The job is essential the same: skewer those that need to be skewered, stimulate thought, and maybe cause a few laughs and controversy along the way. I think conservatives have more fun though, because, unlike liberals who default towards anger and criticism most of the time, conservatives are generally more optimistic, appreciative, and an overall happier lot (if I do say so myself).
Q. How do you choose the targets or subject of your cartoons on a daily basis? How do you keep your ideas fresh? A. You have to be constantly reading the news and keeping up with what's happening in the world. Also, you have to know where you stand on the issues. As someone with strong convictions and an addictive love for the news, these aren't too hard for me. Other than that, I pick topics that are relevant and, most importantly, interesting to me. If I'm not interested in the subject at hand, chances are the cartoon will be mediocre at best.
Q. How has your style shifted in the past three years? We note that your Obama has departed from a more realistic version. Now he looks as skinny as a rail! A. The art and style is constantly evolving. A few key elements have stayed the same, but I try to keep the art fresh and let it develop on its own. For instance, I'm more restrained with the cross-hatching than I was a few years ago. And yes, my Obama has changed a lot...he looks different every year. I used to make him look more realistic, but now he's become a more surreal, alien-like caricature of the man. He's become skinny (almost an empty suit), shorter, and his face has become something of an upside-down carrot with two ears, big eyebrows, and a massive grin. I think my depiction of Obama hinges on how good of job he's doing. You get the point.
Q. How long does it take to produce a toon? A. The idea phase can take hours and even days. That is the hardest part...choosing a topic and coming up with the idea. Once that is down, however, the art can take anywhere from 2.5 hours to 4 hours from sketch phase to the final product.
Q. Is it just penciling, inking, and Photoshop for color? What other techniques have you used? Briefly explain the process you go through for our readers. A. I start with a pencil sketch and then use a light box to trace the sketch with good ink pens onto a good drawing paper. I then use a variety of drawing pens and sharpies to do the black line art. I used to use a crow-quill dipping pen for this, but traded them in for the less messy drawing pens. When I am satisfied with the art, I scan it in and use Photoshop for coloring and various effects.
Q. Will the new structure of power in Washington shift the way you approach your cartoons? A. Yeah, it definitely will. As a conservative, it is easy and second nature to skewer Pelosi, Reid, and Obama. However, everyone needs to be held accountable in Washington, including the Republicans. Although I may not like attacking a politician with whom I generally agree, if he or she messes up and deserves a good whacking, I won't hold back.
Q. This year you have five toons in the Best Editorial Cartoons of the Year. Out of all the toons to pick from what made you choose these five? A. I chose these five because a) I thought they were funny, b) they covered a broad range of topics, and c) I think they're some of my more successful cartoons of the last year.
Q. So, of the five, you’ve got Obama driving the nation off a cliff, Obama with his fire hose to kill the recovery, Obama desperate to win the midterms, and Obama’s spending monument—a big ditch. Why don’t you tell us what you really think about Obama? Has he been too radical as suggested by your toons? A. You don't want to know what I really think about Obama. Just kidding. Obama has been the best gift I could ever have gotten as a conservative cartoonist. He is always doing crazy, radical, or downright goofy things (ex: bowing to foreign leaders) that provide me with an endless supply of material to work with. It has never been easier or more fun or more important than it is now.
Q. Are you looking forward to the 2012 race? Do presidential candidates provide for more opportunities for humor? A. Sure am! It's always fun to welcome a new batch of faces into the scene. I love caricatures, so election season is always my favorite. Now that I think about it, I don't think I've ever caricatured Gingrich...I bet he'd be fun to draw.
Q. 2009 and 2010 have seen the reemergence of limited government issues as embodied by the tea party movement. How important has the movement been? Will its broader message continue to appeal to a majority of Americans? Is there still time to save the nation from a descent into European-style statism? A. Although it’s been painted with a broad, spiteful brush by the media, the Tea Party movement has been a fascinating thing to watch unfold. It encapsulates so much of the American spirit and what has made this country so exceptional. And its message is certainly appealing to the American people (the majority of whom do not like the Big Government agenda of this administration) and I definitely think there is time to “save the nation.” We just have to make sure that our newly elected leaders stay true to their word and fight for the things the American people elected them to fight for.
Q. What kind of advice would you offer to anyone who wants to become a cartoonist? A. Read the news and know where you stand on the issues. Form your beliefs and know why you believe them. Be able to defend yourself and defend your work. Then draw, draw, and draw. Study others' examples but make an effort to distinguish yourself. And then draw some more
The rich are always going to say that, you know, just give us more money and we’ll go out and spend more and then it will all trickle down to the rest of you. But that has not worked the last 10 years, and I hope the American public is catching on.
Technically, what Mr. Buffett said may be true but only because he is looking at the wrong thing. I’m sorry that this supposed capitalist and businessman has never learned that spending money is not what creates wealth. To create wealth, one must save, invest, and produce items that had not existed before or items that do exist but of higher quality or at a lower cost.
Instead of encouraging spending, as the current and past Presidents have done, we should be encouraging investment. That means lower taxes on investments (capital gain, interest, and dividends) and, to offset that loss of revenue, either lower government spending (my preference) or higher taxes on spending. Until 1913, with a few rare exceptions (Civil War), all federal taxes were collected on spending while income, both earned and from investments, were non-taxable. During that time, the United States economy grew like nothing the world had ever seen before. Since the income tax has replaced tariffs as the primary source of government revenue, the United States has saved and invested less money and the economy has grown more slowly.
Mr. Buffett argues that we’ve tried trickle-down economics and it has failed. We have also tried trickle-up economics (in the late 1960s) and it too failed. Let’s try something that has succeeded: consumption taxes instead of income taxes. Tags:Michael E. Newton, The Path to Tyranny, Berkshire Hathaway, Capital gain, Economic, Fair tax, FairTax, Giving Pledge, Investment, Tax, Tax cut, This Week (ABC TV series), Trickle-down economics, United States, Warren Buffett, WealthTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Top Ten Reasons America Won’t Miss the 111th Congress
Mike Brownfield, Morning Bell, The Heritage Foundation: The 111th Congress is officially over, and according to Gallup, it’s also officially the worst Congress in the history of polling. Yet despite its 13% approval rating there are those who are hailing the 111th Congress for its myriad legislative “accomplishments.” Not surprisingly, many of those touting those “accomplishments” are the very members of Congress who voted for the legislation in the first place. Starting at the top with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), you find a woman who is not at all ashamed of the legislation she has passed, despite the disastrous poll numbers. Pelosi says she is “very, very proud of the work that was accomplished by this Congress.”
The American people, though, think differently, and they have already issued their verdict on the 111th Congress by way of an earthshaking election in November. If you take a look at some of Congress’ big-ticket “accomplishments,” you might understand where they’re coming from. Here’s a look at 10 major pieces of legislation coming out of Congress the last two years and why Americans might not be so pleased:
Obamacare: Billed as the panacea for America’s health care woes, The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, better known as “Obamacare,” is a 2,700-page behemoth that “portends a massive transfer of power, dollars and decision making to the federal government,” says Heritage’s Nina Owcharenko. Heritage also finds that under the law, workers and families will face increased costs, seniors will lose access to care, and American taxpayers will take the hit for a trillion dollars in new federal spending. (3/2010)
The Failed Stimulus (a.k.a., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act): President Obama promised that his stimulus would save or create 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010. The result? America saw a bunch of orange and green “ARRA” signs sprout up like dandelions all over America, touting the slogan “Putting America to Work,” but here we are in December 2010 with a 9.8 percent unemployment rate, a national debt of $2.9 trillion, and 7.3 million jobs shy of President Obama’s promise. Some stimulus! (2/2009)
The 9,000-Earmark Omnibus Bill: Never mind the $1.4 trillion budget deficit facing America in 2009. Congress went ahead and passed an omnibus spending bill containing 9,287 pork project earmarks costing $13 billion. Included in the earmarks were a $200,000 tattoo removal program in Mission Hills, Calif., and more than a million dollars to combat Mormon Crickets in Utah. (3/2009)
The Government Union Bailout: As if one massive bailout weren’t enough, President Obama and the 111th Congress delivered another $26.1 billion bailout in the summer of 2010. The beneficiaries? Government unions and big-spending states that wouldn’t know a balanced budget if it smacked them in the face. The bill was supposed to “save” jobs, but the reality is that most jobs were never in jeopardy. (8/2010)
Wall Street Reform? Think Again: While President Obama touted the Dodd-Frank bill of 2010 as a reform of Wall Street and America’s financial rules, the resulting law is a boon for lawyers and lobbyists, thanks to its creation of 243 new formal rule-makings by 11 different federal agencies. What’s more, the bill “does nothing to stop future government bailouts,” makes a TARP-like bailout system permanent, and does nothing to reform two of the biggest culprits behind the financial crisis: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (7/2010)
Cash for Clunkers: Stuck with an old car or truck? Under this plan, the U.S. government would have paid you $3,500 to $4,500 to trade it in for a new, more fuel efficient vehicle. Though the program boosted sales for the two months it was in place, a study showed the clunker program was a clinker. It didn’t bring new buyers into the market; it merely accelerated purchases. The cost to the taxpayers? $3 billion. (According to an Edmunds analysis, it came to $24,000 per car.) (6/2009)
New START: President Obama sold this nuclear arms treaty between the United States and Russia as an effort to reduce nuclear weapons. Conservatives, though, criticized it for being “useless in limiting proliferation, detrimental to missile defense, and counter to the purpose of defense treaties — defending and protecting America from her enemies.” (12/2010)
Cap-and-Trade: The Waxman-Markey climate bill that passed the House was intended to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions with the goal of curbing global warming. Were it enacted (which it wasn’t), the plan would have increased gas prices by 58%, and average household electric rates would increase by 90% by 2035. (Passed House in 6/2009; stalled in Senate)
Americans should expect better results from the 112th Congress, that is, if the newly-elected representatives heed their electoral mandate: less spending, lower taxes and limited government. But Americans should also be aware that even if Congress stays in line, President Obama can still pursue a big government agenda with more regulations from unelected bureaucrats. As the president said when the Democrats lost the House and failed to enact cap-and-trade, “I’m going to be looking for other means to address this problem.” America, look out. Tags:111th Congress, budget, Congress, deficit, Nancy Pelosi, Obamacare, spendingTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Curtis Coleman, Contributing Author: Over the past several decades, the U.S. Congress has become increasing derelict in its responsibility to create the nation’s laws, abdicating its legislative responsibility to executive-branch agencies where unelected bureaucrats have and are creating laws by regulation, circumventing the Constitutional mandate for elected representatives of the people to create laws by legislation. No single phrase more succinctly captured this perilous capitulation of responsibility than Nancy Pelosi’s infamous “we have to pass it to see what’s in it.”
Not only must this Congressional dereliction be stopped, it has created a critical need for increased Congressional oversight of the bureaucracies to which its irresponsibility has given birth. As The New York Times recently reported, “Federal rule makers, long the neglected stepchildren of Washington bureaucrats, suddenly find themselves at the center of power as they scramble to work out details of hundreds of sweeping financial and health care regulations that will ultimately affect most Americans.”
Here are three bills which have been or will be introduced in the U.S. Senate (and correspondingly in the House) which can augment an important and effective first set of tools for overseeing and limiting the regulatory overreach of the federal government’s proliferating agencies and burgeoning bureaucracies.
THE ENUMERATED POWERS ACT
On June 22, 2009 Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) along with 17 co-sponsors introduced the Enumerated Powers Act (S. 1319). This bill will require that each Act of Congress contain a concise explanation of the specific constitutional authority relied upon for the enactment of each portion of that Act. The failure to comply with this section shall give rise to a point of order in either House of Congress.
THE REINS ACT
On September 22, 2010 Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina), chairman of the Senate Steering Committee, was joined by 12 other Senators to introduce the REINS (Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny) Act. According to a news release from Sen. DeMint’s office, “This legislation is intended to restore accountability to the process by which federal agencies finalize major regulations by requiring congressional approval for major regulatory actions.” Congressman Geoff Davis (R-Kentucky) has already introduced similar legislation in the U.S. House, (H.R. 3765).
The REINS Act would require that every new major rule proposed by federal agencies be approved via joint resolution passed by both bodies in Congress and signed by the President before they can take effect. A “major rule” is any rule that the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) finds may result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; a major increase in costs or prices for consumers; or significant adverse effects on the economy.
THE 10TH AMENDMENT REGULATORY REFORM ACT
Over the weekend of December 24th, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi) told The Hill that he will be introducing the 10th Amendment Regulatory Reform Act , which mirrors a bill (H.R. 4946) previously introduced by Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) in the House.
“Wicker’s legislation is designed in response to the new healthcare legislation and the federal regulations that are tied with it,” reported The Hill. “Wicker said the new [healthcare] bill would create 159 ‘boards, commissions, bureaus, programs and offices of the federal government which could be reviewed and challenged on an expedited basis with this legislation.’
“With the legislation, state officials could challenge the constitutionality of proposed regulations and that agency would then have 15 days to certify that they are not violating the 10th Amendment. It would also speed up the court process on regulations challenged by states.”
These three bills represent critical “must pass” legislation on the road to the restoration of the federal government to principles of the Constitution. They also constitute compelling opportunities for American patriots to be proactive instead of reactive, to be for positive change instead of only against destructive attacks on the fabric of the Republic.
--------------- Curtis Coleman is the President of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy and contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:10th Amendment Regulatory Reform Act, Enumerated Powers Act, REINS Act, Constitutional Crisis, Curtis Coleman, Institute for Constitutional Policy To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil - The Brass Monkeys
Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely, US Army (Ret): A very good friend from England sent me an e-mail over the holidays depicting the situation in jolly ole England in regards to the Brits’ submissiveness to the Muslim onslaught. He likened the British leadership - even down to the local “bobbies” - as the Brass Monkeys. Most of our political leaders and appointees are also best represented as the three brass monkeys: “See no evil, Hear no evil, and Speak no evil.” As an example, take the lame duck session of Congress that we just endured. We knew which way most of the Progressive Democrats would vote and they did as we expected. Senator Mitch McConnell gave a half-hearted gesture to fight the Democrats and to his credit the massive Omnibus Bill was voted down. Then all the other lame ducks jammed through legislation passed and most signed into to law by Obama. My question is - Where was the real fight from the Republicans even though many voted against much of the legislation? Where were the filibusters and the battle? Where was the real fight?
The RINOS (Republicans/Conservatives/Constitutionals in Name Only) are still alive and well in Washington and we know who you are. Many of you will make the list to be voted out of office in the next go-around. How could twelve Republicans vote for the START Treaty in a Lame Duck Congress?
Congress, you are continuing down the path of destroying America. Please realize that we do not need you in our lives as much as you think we do. You are “sucking the oxygen” out of America and its people with all this legislation. Enough is Enough!
We need term limits on elected officials more now than ever before. We need resignations of all those that are corrupt and inept. Judge for yourselves! My request would be to Senators and Congressmen; stay in your States that you represent nine out of twelve months of the year and spend no more than three months out of the year doing the people’s business in Washington. Make use of the electronic age. Three months out of the year will provide you sufficient time to legislate and vote on measures and issues with this thought in mind. “You will be a greater asset to the State that you represent and to the country to stay away from the addiction of Washington and the belief that you need to support a bloated Federal government (and out of control earmarks) as a lifeblood to your elected office.
You see, we do not need you other than to represent us, the People, and abide by and protect the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I would further suggest in the 2011 Congress that your first order of business is start eliminating and downsizing government organizations and budgets by a minimum of 25 percent. As well, start eliminating Federal Legislation that violates our Constitution and the “Sovereignty” of our States and Local authorities. Go to work to reduce government and spending NOW! Disallow and avoid all lobbyists and special interests groups. You work only for the People, all the people and no one else! Senators, start acting like the defenders of your sovereign states, not the national slate. Let’s get the 17th Amendment overturned.
This is a National Call to Action that begins now, the first week of January, 2011. The Declaration of Independence states:
“To secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their Safety and Happiness.”
We will not permit the current leaders in the White House and Halls of Congress to continue in their efforts to lead us down the road of Progressive Socialism and destruction of the Republic. The Patriotic Revolution that I forecasted well over a year ago is happening now.
We Constitutionalists face a battle that is unknown to our generations so we must be aggressive in our collective efforts to continue to change the tide. The Fate of the country is now in our hands and the plea from the majority of our citizens is to enforce the Constitution, severely limit the Federal Government and it’s out of control spending. There is a growing list of documented violations of the Constitution and their Oath of Office by current elected and appointed government officials. We cannot wait two more years…it must be NOW!
Lincoln issued this warning in his inaugural address, “Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one. This is a most valuable and sacred right – a right which we hope and believe is to liberate the world.”
We are a representative republic, not a democracy; and “rising up” means other than revolution by use of arms. The people must “rise up” (Stand Up) from the grass roots across this great country as we think of the greater good for this and future generations. We are limited in the peaceful transfer of power…resignation, elections, and impeachment. That is why the Patriotic Revolution must take place to ensure survival of the Union.
The oath is simple and reads:
“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”
Sadly, we have seen them violate their oath. Fraud, lying, and corruption are rampant and some have engaged in treasonous activities, and they effectively thumb their noses at us and have sold you to the highest bidder.
The Articles of Confederation were replaced with the Constitution, which granted the federal government enough authority to cultivate, promote and secure the Blessings of Liberty. The balance of authority and individual liberty was understood. Power was confined to that which was enumerated in the Constitution with a certain and meaningful intent for check and balances.
Our Senators and Congressmen continue to seek and stay in office as a career. Power, money and benefits beyond the reach of most Americans are the basis now for many politicians and revolving door appointees staying in office. They must be termed out. With incumbency comes power. The party in the majority assigns power, so a long-term sitting representative can expect such power. A representative expected to stay in office in the 3rd Congress for approximately two years now expects 12 years, or 6 terms - so much for a “citizen government.” But this can be changed through grass roots organization and discourse. We must make it a local imperative and movement….of the People…by the People… and For the People.
One of my favorite poems reflects our destiny. "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul." From the poem Invictus by English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) that was penned in 1875. Yes, America, WE are the Masters of our Fate and the Captains of our Soul.” You are watching while Washington burns and self-destructs before our very eyes but now you are starting to awaken. The majority of the country and its citizens are seeing the light of our inept and incompetent leadership In Washington! The battle is on and we shall not retreat.
“We, the People” have had enough. Enough is Enough!
The Obama White House and identifiable Members of Congress are now on a progressive socialist and treasonous death march and are bankrupting the country beyond expectations. We have watched them violate their sacred oath of office. “We, the People” cannot solely depend on the results of the elections. It is now that many of these public servants (and you know who they are) must put the people and country interests above self-interest by resigning and stepping down immediately. A civil uprising is still not out of the question as “pain” grips the country more each day. Hopefully, our future will reflect the citizens changed the tide in a peaceful way. This means raising your voice now to your neighbors, family, co-workers, and friends in 20121. Be the Captains of your Souls.
I hope and pray for another George Washington to appear within the year and lead us.
Paul E. Vallely, Major General (USA/Ret.) is an author, military strategist and Chairman of Stand Up America and Save Our Democracy Projects. He is also a Contributing Editor to Family Security Matters. Tags:Paul E. Valley, brass monkeys, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Adam Bitely: The establishment in Washington, D.C. rose up from the murky swamp to renew their call for expanded, out-of-control government spendingvia the New York Times editorial page on Christmas. In their typical fashion, they call for more “stimulus” to fix state budgets that refuse to cut even the slightest amount of spending.
Too many people will lose government services if spending is cut, the New York Times and the D.C. establishment argue. How quickly they forget that this was the exact formula that Obama tried and failed miserably in 2009. Not to mention that it was government’s out of control spending that created the whole mess in the first place.
At some point in the late 90’s, politicians on all levels began to operate under an assumption that the prosperity would never end. Spending shot through the ceiling, and the services offered from the government expanded along with it. But now that the bills are coming due and the money has been spent, the very people that caused the mess are begging to be the ones to fix it.
This cannot be allowed.
They argue that all they need to do is have Washington, D.C. send ever more “stimulus” down to the states in order to balance the budgets that they didn’t deal with last year due to congressional handouts. Don’t cut spending, they say, because so many poor people would be affected.
But what will happen the following year when the budgets are again running a deficit? The federal government cannot simply send fresh “stimulus” to cover state government spending malfeasance year after year.
To do what the establishment wants, and what the New York Times suggests, is to kick the can down the street yet again. With so many states on the verge of bankruptcy, simply giving them yet another year to figure out how to get their spending habits under control will not solve anything. State legislatures have already had a considerable amount of time to figure this out, and seem to have sat on their hands instead, waiting on monetary gifts from Washington. They should making immediate cuts, and prove that they have kicked the spending habit that voters have been trying to cure.
Here we are heading in to 2011, the world is still in economic chaos, and the establishment still believes that state and local government bailouts under the guise of “stimulus” spending is the way out of our problems. It has been attempted, and it has failed.
AFSCME and other public employee unions went “all in” for the Democrats in 2010, and they expect the membership dues that they receive to be politically protected. Believe it or not, AFSCME, was not only the largest union political contributor in the 2010 election, but the largest overall contributor.
And now this special interest is demanding to be paid.
The “stimulus” arguments in favor of allowing state and local governments to avoid necessary budget cuts are nothing more than political cover for the age-old corrupt practice of sending taxpayer money to your friends.
Let’s be clear, government spending must be cut on all levels. The spending is unsustainable, and the bills are coming due. Adding more to the national debt just to balance state budgets for a year is the last thing we need if we ever want to climb out of the economic pit that government overspending has put us in to.
It is time for Congress to do what is right for our nation, and stand up to the public employee unions who only care about their own treasuries. With an almost $14 trillion national debt, failure is not an option. Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily Tags:AFSCME, Bailouts, Big Labor, Congress, Financial Crisis, Government Spending, National Debt, New York Times, Political Establishment, Public Employee Unions, Stimulus, TARP, Union BailoutsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by William Warren: My latest cartoon pokes fun at Obama reading a book on Reagan while speculating what Reagan might be reading at the same time.
Tags:Obama Christmas Cartoon, Obama Reads Reagan, Obama's Vacation Reading, Political Cartoons, Ronald Reagan, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Obama / Berwick Slip Death Panels Back in Health Care
Supported by Dr. Death: Donald Berwick
Elections have consequences and one may be the early demise of the elderly in coming years through the potential "nazification" of the American health care system. It is truly amazing how conservatives will oppose President Obama's agenda and yet will bow down and vote for the confirmation, or at least not stand in the way of the confirmation other than "small talk." Senators, especially Republicans, often say the nominations of the president should be supported because he was elected by the people. Senator's seem to forget their responsibility to their constituents and have to be reminded by the grassroots that we are not happy with their pandering of presidential appointments.
However, in the case of Donald Berwick, the Republicans rightly blocked confirmation to head Medicare and Medicaid and lead implementation of ObamaCare. The reason was that Berwick was definitely not pro-life and was an advocate of "death panels."
But Barack Obama wanted Berwick in place to and appointed him using a recess appointment without his being confirmed. Berwick's appointment officially ends with the new Congress and Congress should defund his position unless Berwick is removed!
With the compromise movement to remove the alleged "death panels" from ObamaCare (the Federal Health Care law), Obama stepped up the process via interim appointee Donald Berwick to covertly slip into
government medicare regulations the advocacy of death options via non treatment. These procedures go into effect on January 1, 2011. Taking advantage of the vulnerability of patients when they are in need of care is inhuman and immoral.
Fox News reported,"A new health regulation issued this month offers elderly Medicare health insurance recipients voluntary end-of-life planning – the practice that former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin likened to “death panels” during the debate over Obamacare. Democrats had dropped from the monumental health care overhaul, but the Obama administration has written it back in.
As NewsMax reports, "During the stormy debate over his healthcare plan, President Barack Obama promised his program would not "pull the plug on grandma," and Congress dropped plans for death panels and "end of life" counseling that would encourage aged patients from partaking in costly medical procedures."
The New York Times reports that on December 3rd, "the Obama administration seemingly flouted the will of Congress by issuing a new Medicare regulation detailing "voluntary advance care planning" that is to be included during patients' annual checkups. The regulation aimed at the aged 'may include advance directives to forgo aggressive life-sustaining treatment.'"
House Speaker-Elect John Boehner said during the healthcare debate: “This provision may start us down a treacherous path toward government-encouraged euthanasia.”
Specifically, the measure was known as Section 1233 of the bill the House passed in November 2009. It was not included in the final legislation, however. It allowed Medicare to pay for consultations about advance care planning every five years. In contrast, the new rule allows annual discussions as part of wellness visits.
Elizabeth D. Wickham, executive director of LifeTree, a pro-life Christian educational ministry, told the Times that she is concerned that end-of-life counseling would encourage patients to forgo or curtail care, thus hastening death.
“The infamous Section 1233 is still alive and kicking,” Wickham said. “Patients will lose the ability to control treatments at the end of life.”
The rule was issued by Dr. Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the Times. He is a longtime advocate for rationing medical procedures for the elderly.
As NewsMax reminded us that "During the heated healthcare debate, supporters of the Obama plan vigorously denied that rationing for seniors would take place and scoffed at "death panel" critics such as Palin."
Well, the scoffing was also deceptive, Obama's appointment of Berwick was deceptive and the method of changing of the Medicare regulation by an interim appointee was deceptive.
Congress must act to stop this regulation provision and to make sure that "Doctor Death" Donald Berwick is removed (Not approved by the new Senate) and prevented from carrying out his plans for the eventual short term plan of preventing or reducing medical care for the elderly, and based on his outspoken positions, his long term plan for the eventual euthanization of the elderly.
The Senate cannot risk President Obama making recess appointments and must take action to prevent them from occurring. Tags:death panels, medicare, Barack Obama, Donald Berwick, government regulation, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Video by Frank McCaffrey: Nancy Pelosi has done damage to America in her leadership role. As her time at the top winds down, Americans For Limited Government's Don Todd is letting her know that she's a Bozo.
Of course most Americans outside her congressional district know she is a Bozo! In her district, Bozo's are an accepted standard! Thank the Lord, She will not be Speaker of the House ( and second in in the line of succession to be President in the event of a tragedy) in the next 2 years. But, a warning - she plans on returning. So, the rest of America's voters must make sure that democrats in their congressional districts are not elected in 2012. In the past, democrats elected to the House have voted for "The Bozo!" and will continue to do so.
Tags:Bozo, Government, Don Todd, Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, US House, Congress, Economy, Unemployment, Gas, Price of Gas, Real Estate, Housing PricesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Rasmussen Reports: The current session of Congress finally closed its doors this past week with voters remaining largely as critical of it as they have been for months. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 13% of Likely U.S. Voters rate Congress’ performance as good or excellent, consistent with surveys for much of the last two years. Fifty-three percent (53%) say it’s been doing a poor job.
Late last month, before the lame duck session voted to extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans, Congress received good or excellent marks from only 11% of all voters and a grade of poor from 60%. The latest poor finding is the lowest Congress has received since October 2009. [See Full Report] Tags:Congress, rating, poll, Rasmussen ReportsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Pryor Votes to the Left of Lincoln in the 111th Congress
Votes to Confirm Activist Judge
Curtis Coleman, Contributing Author: If Senator Mark Pryor’s voting record in the 111th Congress is any indication, Sen. Pryor is in the right (or more accurately, the left) party. Sen. Pryor voted 91% of the time with his liberal Dems in the current Congress, according to The Washington Post’sU. S. Congress Votes Database. That puts him to the left of Senator Blanche Lincoln, who voted with her party only 84% of the time. The 111th Congress was arguably one of the most liberal Congresses in the history of the Republic.
Sen. Pryor’s votes this week on President Obama’s START Treaty, ratified on Wednesday by a 71-26 vote, are indicative of the Senator’s overall voting propensity. The START Treaty is an arms control treaty with Russia that limits the nuclear weapons each country can have in their arsenals. Conservatives in Congress are concerned about flaws in the treaty which grant the Russians more numerous opportunities to pressure for restrictions to American missile defense capabilities, and further erosion of our sovereign right to self-defense.
Dec. 21: Pryor voted for the motion to invoke cloture (end debate and force a vote) on the START Treaty.
Dec. 21: Pryor voted against the Wicker Amendment which would have required future negotiations under the Treaty that affected the United States’ rights or obligations be submitted to the Senate for its advice and consent. The amendment was rejected on a 34-59 vote.
Dec. 21: Pryor voted against Kyle Amendment No. 4860 which would have required the President to certify that he had negotiated a legally binding side agreement with the Russian Federation that the Federation would not deploy a significant number of nuclear-armed sea-launched cruise missiles during the duration of the New START Treaty. The amendment was rejected on a 31-62 vote.
Dec. 21: Pryor voted against Kyle Amendment No. 4893 which would have provided that ratification of the Treaty was subject to the United States and the Russian Federation reaching an agreement regarding access and monitoring. The amendment was rejected on a 30-63 vote.
Dec. 22: Pryor voted for ratification of the Treaty. Fifty-six (56) Democrats and 13 Republicans voted for ratification. Twenty-six (26) Republicans voted against ratification.
Pryor Votes for Confirmation of Activist Judge Earlier on Dec 21, Senator Pryor voted for the confirmation of animal-rights activist Judge Benita Pearson to the United State District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Pearson is a member of several animal-rights groups, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), an organization that advocates giving animals the same rights as humans.
In the waning days of the 111th Congress, Sen. Pryor also voted for repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in spite of the recommendations of leaders of the military to the contrary, and for the Food Safety Modernization Act, a massive and expensive expansion of the regulatory powers of the FDA. The billion dollar cost of this steroid shot for this already bloated and inefficient bureaucracy will be paid by new fees and fines charged to food processors. In other words, brace yourself for food to cost you more.
Will Arkansans forget or forgive Sen. Pryor’s left-of-Lincoln voting record as he tacts to the right over the next four years? Time will tell.
--------------- Curtis Coleman is the President of The Curtis Coleman Institute for Constitutional Policy and contributing author to the ARRA News Service. Tags:animal rights, Benita Pearson, Mark Pryor, START Treaty | Category: Arkansas, Food Safety, Government and Business, National SecurityTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Stopping the Descent Into Full-blown Socialist Madness
By Howard Rich: At long last there are finally signs that the American Republic’s breakneck descent into full-blown socialist madness — which was fast approaching terminal velocity prior to November’s elections – could be leveling out.
Does this mean our newly-elected leaders can pull America out of its precipitous fiscal nose dive before it’s too late? That remains to be seen — but last week’s lame duck developments in our nation’s capital do offer a small measure of hope.
Backed by an aggressive push from the Tea Party movement, a handful of fiscally conservative U.S. Senators staged a successful revolt against a $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill. This 1,924-page monstrosity contained more than 6,700 earmarks — or pork barrel spending items inserted by lawmakers.
Supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, this massive spending bill represented everything that America’s voters overwhelmingly rejected last month. Not only was its price tag irresponsibly reckless, but the back-slapping breadth of its unnecessary add-ons and the sheer arrogance associated with its presumed passage was the very definition of “business as usual” in Congress.
Like dozens of omnibus bills before it, this lavish spending legislation was an unholy amalgamation of unnecessary special interest-driven pork. It was also something that everyone was going to vote for — because everyone had something in it.
Fortunately, the same network of limited government advocates that helped mobilize a taxpayer revolution at the polls last month joined together to rally voters once again. And these voters – leveraging the power of talk radio, the internet and good old fashioned shoe leather in the halls of Congress — made their voices heard.
“The resulting protests convinced GOPers –even the big spenders from the Appropriations Committee — that they could no longer play the old game of swapping earmarks for campaign cash,” wrote Daniel J. Mitchell, a senior fellow at The Cato Institute. “This is a remarkable development and a huge victory for the Tea Party movement.”
U.S. Senate leader Harry Reid was forced to withdraw this massive spending bill without a vote — choosing instead to offer up a continuing resolution that funds the federal government at existing levels.
Obviously reducing these exorbitant “existing levels” of spending is what the next Congress must focus on when it convenes in January. And accompanying that budgetary effort must be a push for comprehensive tax relief — not just a temporary extension of previous tax cuts. Having witnessed the costly failure of government-driven “stimuli,” the next Congress must make a conscious decision to abandon this Keynesian approach and invest in the American taxpayer for a change.
In other words, limited government advocates should not be content with a pair of “do no harm” quick fixes on taxes and spending — because “do no harm” legislation is not what the situation calls for.
What is required? Immediate cuts — and a steady, sustained reduction in the size and scope of the federal government.
On the first count, politicians could shave a trillion dollars off of the next federal budget by simply limiting spending to its pre-recession levels. Assuming you believe that government should have never been growing at a time when Americans’ income levels were shrinking, then these cuts should not be particularly controversial.
And remember — even before Washington politicians decided to add $4 trillion to the national debt over the last three years, the federal government was already expanding far beyond the ability of taxpayers to sustain its growth. In fact, in the six years leading up to the recession the federal deficit was growing by an average of more than $520 billion each year.
Correcting this unsustainable expansion is not “austerity,” it is simply reducing rampant excess.
It has been said that mindless growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Now that America has been “fiscally diagnosed,” let’s hope a new crop of leaders has the courage to pursue a cure – not merely treat the symptoms of the disease.
Howard Rich is chairman of Americans for Limited Government. Tags:2010 Elections, Austerity, Big Government, Congress, Earmarks, Government Spending, Harry Reid, House Republicans, Howard Rich, Tea Party MovementTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
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