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Friday, January 07, 2011
Today in Washington, D.C. - Jan 7, 2011 - Will Dems Become "The Party Of No" On The Reforms Americans Voted For?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has put the Senate in recess until January 24th in order to hold open the first legislative day while Democrats attempt to negotiate among themselves support for partisan changes some want to make to filibuster rules. Democrats claim that rules can be changed with a simple majority vote on the first legislative day, even though Senate rules require a 2/3rds vote to change them. Reid knows the rules in the Senate continuous body with each senator having six year terms and with 2/3 of the Senate remaining as incumbents with only 1/3 of the Senate seats up for election every two years.
Whereas all the seats for the US House are up for election at the same time every two years and the House body begins anew every two years.
Today the new House Republican majority is holding votes on a rule setting up debate and votes next week on a simple bill to repeal President Obama’s unpopular health care law. Republicans heard loud and clear the message from the voters that the health care takeover Democrats jammed through Congress needs to be repealed and replaced. H.R. 2, the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” was introduced on Jan 5th.
Though Democrats have attempted to claim the law is popular, poll after poll shows the public continues to disapprove of it, and a plurality supports repealing it altogether, as a new Gallup poll shows today. Forty-six percent of respondents say they would want their representative in Congress to vote “yes” to repeal the health care law. That includes 78% of Republicans, a plurality of independents (43%), and nearly a quarter of Democrats.
Yet Democrats in Congress are stubbornly protecting their massive expansion of government control and regulation over health care. As Kimberley Strassel explains in her Wall Street Journal column today, in the new Congress, Senate Democrats are about to wear the mantle of “The Party of No” that they previously tried so hard to stick to Republicans. Strassel writes, “This week’s news is the incoming House GOP majority and its sweeping reform plans. Next week’s news (and the news for most weeks thereafter) will likely be the many ways [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid [D-NV] goes about killing those reforms. Day after day, week after week, the House will be sending to the Senate bipartisan bills to cut spending, to make smart fixes to ObamaCare, and to rein in the federal government. And day after day, week after week, Mr. Reid will likely be cementing his party’s reputation for blocking, obstructing and deterring nearly every one of them.”
Strassel elaborates, “Democrats were unable to tar Republicans as the ‘Party of No’ for a simple reason: The American public wanted the GOP to halt the Obama agenda. As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell famously noted, ‘It depends on what you are saying ‘no’ to.’ In this case, Mr. Reid—the public face of his party—will be saying no to exactly the reforms Americans voted for in the midterms.”
At a news conference yesterday, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell emphasized this point. “We anticipate that the House of Representatives are going to pass a lot of legislation that virtually all of my Members are going to be enthusiastic about.” He wondered aloud if Senate Democrats “are going to be more interested in cooperating with us in trying to advance an agenda that’s going to come out of the House of Representatives that we think is going to be largely favored by the American people?”
It’s clear that Americans sent a message that Congress needs to focus on creating jobs, reining in spending and debt, and stop growing the size of government. Repealing and replacing the Democrats’ unpopular health care law is a good first step on all of those goals. Tags:Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, rules, Repeal the Bill, government health care, Obamacare, jobsTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Warren's cartoon focuses on the reading of the Constitution on the House floor yesterday. Indeed, it is about time at least half of Congress officially read the Constitution. However, comments were heard from Democrats questioning doing so. They voiced opinions like "this is just putting on a show" and "the Supreme Courts decide if they are following the Constitution in Congress." Makes a lot of American citizens / voters wonder where these legislators hearts and heads were when they took their Oath of Office the day before. Do they think the Oath as required by the U.S. Constitution was put their for show and is some good old boy meaningless pledge? It is time for Senators to read the Constitution on the floor of the Senate. Tags:US House, US Constitution, Read the Constitution, Congress, Congress Reads the Constitution, Constitution, Political Cartoons, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Reality Check: Repealing Obamacare Would Not Increase the Deficit
Asked about the CBO estimates and how repealing the health-care law would fulfill GOP pledges to cut the nation's debt, Boehner was dismissive. "Well, I do not believe that repealing the job-killing health-care law will increase the deficit," he replied. "CBO is entitled to their opinion, but they're locked within constraints of the 1974 Budget Act."
Pressed on why Republicans are exempting the repeal legislation from his own requirement to "offset" increases to the deficit, Boehner said: "Well, if you believe that repealing Obamacare is going to raise the deficit, then you would have to have some way to offset that spending. But I don't think anybody in this town believes that repealing Obamacare is going to increase the deficit." [The Washington Post]
Reality Check: Repealing Obamacare Would Not Increase the Deficit
by Kathryn Nix, The Heritage Foundation: As the new Congress settles in, the House of Representatives prepares to vote on January 12 on a measure to repeal Obamacare. Proponents of the health care law claim that repeal would increase the federal deficit and that a vote to kill Obamacare without offsetting the “cost” is hypocritical.
This couldn’t be more wrong. For starters, Obamacare will not reduce the deficit. Though the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the health law would create $124 billion in savings, the CBO is required to make unlikely assumptions and disregard budget gimmicks included in the legislation. Taking this into account causes the cost of Obamacare to skyrocket.
First, Obamacare does not include the “doc fix” to prevent an automatic cut to physicians’ reimbursement rates under Medicare. Earlier versions of reform included a fix, which made those proposals tip heavily into the red. Congress recently passed a one-year fix and will continue to prevent the cuts in the future, but it will still not solve the ongoing problem. Nevertheless, pretending it will not happen won’t reduce the deficit.
Obamacare also includes billions in double-counted savings. Over the next decade, Obamacare includes $529 billion in cuts to Medicare and $70 billion in revenue from the new CLASS program. CBO’s score assumes that these savings and revenues will offset the cost of new programs in the legislation. But Medicare savings are also pledged to extend the program’s solvency. Revenue from CLASS, a new long-term care insurance program, is the result of premiums collected to pay out benefits in outlying years and will not pay for new programs, either. Claiming that these dollars will pay for Obamacare is akin to trying to make a mortgage payment and buy a Macbook with the same paycheck: In the real world, you can spend money only once.
Obamacare also creates a new subsidy program for low- and middle-income Americans to purchase insurance. CBO predicts that 19 million Americans will benefit from this generous new entitlement program. But this doesn’t take into account Obamacare’s huge incentives for employers to drop their insurance programs and allow employees to instead purchase taxpayer-subsidized coverage. Former CBO director Doug Holtz-Eakin points out that businesses, especially those with mostly low-income employees, could drop their health plan, raise wages to make up for the lost benefit, pay the Obamacare employer penalty for not offering insurance, and still come out ahead. These incentives, combined with the various new insurance rules that will increase premiums on employer plans, will cause the cost of the subsidy program to greatly exceed initial projections.
Finally, repealing Obamacare does not need to be offset under pay-as-you-go rules (PAYGO). To the contrary, repeal is in keeping with the spirit of PAYGO, which exists for the purpose of long-term deficit reduction. Moreover, PAYGO only requires deficit neutrality over a 10-year budget window, so a program could create savings in one decade but run trillions in deficits the next and still meet PAYGO requirements.
This fact was not lost on the 111th Congress—the costliest provisions do not go into effect until 2014, so the CBO 10-year score includes only six years of spending. Experts agree that the CLASS program alone will be bankrupt by its second decade of existence, emphasizing the importance of considering a policy beyond one decade. Heritage budget expert Brian Riedl writes, “Nonsensically, repealing CLASS would violate the ‘pay as you go’ law against expanding budget deficits. This is because ‘pay-go’ focuses only on the 10-year $70 billion ‘cost’ of repeal and ignores the trillions of dollars that would be saved thereafter.” The same applies to Obamacare in its entirety.
PAYGO merely “provides lawmakers with a convenient talking point and taxpayers with a false sense of security on budget reform,” as Riedl puts it. If Congress is really serious about reducing long-term deficits, the best path forward is to set aside PAYGO in favor of real budget process reform. In the meantime, repealing Obamacare is a good first step toward reducing the federal deficit. Tags:CBO, federal deficit, Obamacare, PAYGO, repeal, Heritage Foundation, John Boehner, repealing healthcare, deficitTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Government by Regulations Instead of Laws and Treaties
by Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum: Republicans are assuming that Cap-and-trade (a.k.a. Cap-and-tax) is dead because Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid lacks the votes to bring up the House-passed bill and because this issue proved a loser in the 2010 House races. Like the famous Mark Twain saying, its death may be exaggerated.
The Senate's environmentalism expert, Jim Inhofe (R-OK), warns us that the Obama Administration is trying to implement Cap-and-trade anyway by bureaucratic regulations. Directives issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are coming down the pike to increase energy costs and kill jobs.
Last May, the EPA issued what it called a tailoring rule to govern new power plants, oil refineries and factories that yearly emit 100,000 tons or more of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, or sulfur hexafluoride. Inhofe reports that this tailoring rule will further reduce our manufacturing base and especially hurt the poor and elderly.
Inhofe predicts that the EPA standards planned for commercial and industrial boilers will cost 798,000 jobs. He also warns about the harmful effects on jobs caused by new rules on ozone emissions.
Since Obama moved into the White House, the EPA has proposed or finalized 29 major regulations and 172 major policy rules. The EPA is, for the first time, simultaneously toughening the regulations on all six major traditional pollutants such as ozone and sulfur dioxide.
Before Climategate exposed the politics behind the "science" of global warming, a 5-4 Supreme Court ordered the EPA to consider regulating emissions based on that unsubstantiated and now largely discredited theory.
Despite a long record of supporting Obama stimulus and spending legislation, the expected chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), says "we are not going to allow this administration to regulate what they have been unable to legislate."
Opposition to EPA's new rules is remarkably bipartisan. Seventeen Democrats signed a letter to EPA Director Lisa Jackson opposing the new rules.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) was elected after running a TV ad showing himself firing a rifle to put a bullet through a copy of the cap-and-trade bill, and he promised to fight EPA attempts to curb greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants. He may have a difficult task because EPA Director Jackson is plotting to force mass retirements of the coal plants that provide half of U.S. electricity. Tags:Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum, Cap-and-Trade, Cap-and-tax, EPA, EPA rules, Obama administration, regulations, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by Jennifer Mesko, CitizenLink: The U.S. House of Representatives launched the 112th session of Congress today with a recitation of the U.S. Constitution. It was the first time the document has been read in its entirety on the House floor.
“This historic and symbolic reading is long overdue and shows that the new majority in the House truly is dedicated to our Constitution and the principles for which it stands,” said Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., who proposed the idea.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said the reading of the Constitution “demonstrates a renewed commitment to following our nation’s charter text.”
“That guiding document is founded upon the transcendent truth that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are rights endowed by our Creator. It defines the roles, duties and limits of federal governance. As such, the Constitution ensures that if followed with integrity and diligence, our Republic and the ordered liberty we enjoy within it will remain strong and vibrant.”
Not everyone, however, was pleased with the reading.
“They are reading it like a sacred text,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., told The Washington Post. He called the “ritualistic reading” on the floor “total nonsense” and “propaganda” intended to claim the document for Republicans.
And the controversy over the Constitution didn’t end there.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia is being criticized for accepting an invitation from Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., to speak to Congress about the Constitution on Jan. 24.
The meeting “suggests an alliance between the conservative members of the court and the conservative members of Congress,” Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, told the Los Angeles Times. He said Scalia had shown “exceedingly poor judgment.”
Ezra Klein, a liberal blogger for The Washington Post, went so far as to call the founding document “impossible to understand because it’s over 100 years old.”
Edward Whelan, president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a former clerk to Scalia, disputed the criticism.
“(Is it) improper for any justice ever to speak to any group of members of Congress who might be perceived as sharing the same general political disposition?” he asked.
“My guess is that, schedule permitting, Scalia would be happy to speak on the same topic to any similar group of members of Congress who invited him,” Whelan told the Times.
Even the editorial board at the Los Angeles Times came to Scalia’s defense.
“We find it hard to share the outrage,” they wrote. “We disagree with many of Scalia’s views. … Still, he is a learned and provocative legal thinker. If Congress is going to conduct an adult education course on the Supreme Court, his views belong in the curriculum.” Tags:US House, Constitution, CitizenLinkTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Jan 6, 2011 - Constitution Read in Congress & Budgets Reduced
Yesterday, the 112th Congress was sworn into office. The House gavel was handed by Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca) to Rep. John Boehner of Ohio ending her regime and beginning a new era in conservative leadership! It’s time we control less, spend less and accomplish more. The impact was felt across the nation. Percentage wise one state experienced a major change. - Arkansas was provided with the largest number of Republican representation in Washington since before Reconstruction! Three new Republican Congressmen and a returning Democrat all voted against Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House.
Senate is in recess until January 24th. Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) put the Senate in recess for two and a half weeks in order to hold open the first legislative day while Democrats attempt to negotiate among themselves support for partisan changes some want to make to filibuster rules. Democrats claim that rules can be changed with a simple majority vote on the first legislative day, even though Senate rules require a 2/3rds vote to change them.
The US House today read the US Constitution from the floor. The House then voted 410-13 to approve the Republican initiated H. Res. 22 to immediately reduce all House budgets including committees by five percent. Freshman Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) said, “I am proud to cast the first of many votes to reduce the size and cost of government. We were given the mission of getting our fiscal house in order by the American people in November. Today’s vote to cut our own budget is a small but important step toward fulfilling that mission, and a recognition that cuts must start with us.
As the new House Republican majority moves to respond to the message of the American people to repeal and replace President Obama’s massive, unpopular health care law, Americans are once again being reminded of the many broken promises from Democrats about that law. According to the Los Angeles Times, “Another big California health insurer has stunned individual policyholders with huge rate increases — this time it's Blue Shield of California seeking cumulative hikes of as much as 59% for tens of thousands of customers March 1. . . . San Francisco-based Blue Shield said the increases were the result of fast-rising healthcare costs and other expenses resulting from new healthcare laws.”
Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) today joined Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and several House committee chairmen in releasing a report entitled ObamaCare: A Budget-Busting, Job-Killing Health Care Law. The report provides a compelling case for taking immediate action to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with reforms that will lower costs and protect jobs. Boehner released the following statement:
“The evidence is clear: by raising taxes, imposing new mandates, and increasing uncertainty for employers and entrepreneurs, ObamaCare is already destroying jobs in this country. And it will continue to destroy jobs unless we do something about it. The report released today shows how the health care law is making it harder to end the job-killing spending binge that threatens our children’s future. When you look at it dollar by dollar, the numbers just don’t add up. This report presents a very sobering picture, and every lawmaker and taxpayer – no matter where you stand on this critical issue – should take a look at it.
“With nearly 10 percent unemployment and massive debt, the American people want us to focus on cutting spending and growing our economy. That’s why tomorrow the House will take the first steps towards repealing this job-killing health care law and replacing it with reforms that will bring down costs and protect jobs.”
NOTE: Joining Boehner and Cantor on the report are Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Ways & Means; Rep. John Kline (R-MN), Chairman of the Committee on Education & the Workforce; Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the Committee on the Budget; and Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), Chairman of the Committee on Energy & Commerce.
Alone, this report shows yet another of the unfortunate consequences of Democrats’ fatally flawed bill. But it’s worth recalling what Democrats said about their health care bill as they were advocating for its passage. In March of last year, President Obama said that if the Democrats’ bill passed, “No longer would [insurance companies] be able to arbitrarily and massively raise premiums like Anthem Blue Cross recently tried to do in California -- up to 39 percent increases in one year in the individual market. Those practices would end.” Speaking on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said, “With this new law, American families and businesses can have hope that their premiums will not rise as fast as they have been in the past. The days of 39 percent premium increases, as we have seen in California, will be over once this law is fully implemented.” And Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius went even further last February, claiming, “What will happen with health reform, premiums will go down between 14 percent and 20 percent just by passing the bills.”
Yet just the opposite has happened. Last September, The Wall Street Journal reported, “Health insurers … have asked for premium increases of between 1% and 9% to pay for extra benefits required under the [Democrat health care] law.” In state after state, insurance companies and state insurance regulators have warned of premium increases coming thanks in part to the Democrats’ health care bill.
Politico reports today that House Republicans are beginning the process to repeal and replace this flawed bill. “Republicans reopened their battle against President Barack Obama’s health care law, using the first committee meeting of the new Congress Thursday to eviscerate the overhaul as a ‘job killer’ and a ‘malignant tumor.’ . . . The Rules Committee meeting marked the starting round in the GOP’s bid to repeal the law, a central pillar of the party’s governing manifesto.”
As Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told Politico, “The American people were unambiguous in their call for lower health care costs and smaller government. . . . Yet instead of taking commonsense steps to lower costs, Democrats in Washington jammed through a massive government expansion that their own experts acknowledge will increase health costs. We need to repeal this massive bill and replace it with commonsense, step-by-step reforms that actually lower costs and encourage job growth. The House will take the first step in that process next week, and I hope the Senate will soon follow suit with a vote of its own.” Tags:Washington, D.C., US House, US Senate, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, US Constitution, budget cuts, repeal of health care, Obamacare To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
by William Warren: Today’s cartoon comments on how our soaring National Debt (now topping $14 trillion) and rising unemployment is torturing the nation.
Tags:Government Debt, Government Spending, National Debt, Political Cartoons, Unemployment, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Today in Washington, D.C. - Jan 5, 2011 - New Session of Congress Begins - Democrat Senators Promoting Plans For "Power Grab"
The Senate and The House for the 112th Congress will convene at noon today. There will be a live quorum calls at that time, followed by the ceremonial swearing in those elected. Many Senators are already sworn in as have been House members.
The new Congress that includes the 63 new House Republicans and 13 new Senate Republicans who were elected in November and will be sworn in today. Of special note is that the US House will now controlled by Republicans and the new Speaker of the House is John Boehner (R-OH). The new Republican House Leadership team has also been established.
Boehner to have the
U.S. Constitution read aloud
Tomorrow a very special event will happen in the US House. The US Constitution will be read in its entirety on the floor of the US House. It will be interesting to note who attends and who does not attend this reading.
Today, after the process of of officially electing the Speaker of the House, House Republicans will introduce its rules for the operation of the US House. However, the rules in the US Senate are on-going as only one-third of the Senate changes every two years.
Unfortunately, the Democrats who were so roundly repudiated by the American people seem determined to continue the behaviors that got them in trouble in the first place. Today, several Democrat senators are planning on introducing partisan changes to the Senate rules “aimed at empowering the majority at the expense of the minority,” as Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell describes the proposals in an op-ed for The Washington Post today.
Speaking at The Heritage Foundation yesterday, Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander elaborated on the nature of what some Democrats are proposing: “When [S]ome have threatened to try to change the rules so it would be easier to do with every piece of legislation what they did with the health care bill: ram it through on a partisan vote, with little debate, amendment, or committee consideration, and without listening to minority voices. The brazenness of this proposed action is that Democrats are proposing to use the very tactics that in the past almost every Democratic leader has denounced, including President Obama and Vice President Biden, who has said that it is ‘a naked power grab’ and destructive of the Senate as a protector of minority rights.”
In his op-ed, Republican Leader McConnell notes that when Republicans took power in the Senate in 1995, their first vote was against a proposal by Democrat Sen. Tom Harkin to change the filibuster rules. McConnell writes, “Though it was clearly in the Republican majority’s short-term interest to support the measure, every one of us voted against it, as did then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. and senior members of the Democratic leadership in the Senate, including the majority leader and the president pro tempore.” Indeed, the proposal was voted down 79-19.
In opposing the Harkin proposal, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) said, “The full-scale elimination of one of the most sacred rules of the Senate--the filibuster--will not result in a more efficient Senate. In fact, it has the potential to result in the tyranny of the majority.”
McConnell explains what Reid got right back then. “What every Republican senator, and many Democratic senators, realized at the time was that any attempt by a sitting majority to grasp at power would come back to haunt us. Even worse, any rule change aimed at making it easier for one party to force legislation through the Senate with only a slim partisan majority would undermine the Senate’s unique role as a moderating influence and put a permanent end to bipartisanship.”
Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska seems to understand this as well. He told the Omaha World-Herald today, “The last thing we need to do is start changing rules, with 51 votes and simple majority, and make the Senate a smaller version of the House.”
McConnell also points out that these changes could backfire on Democrats, writing, “A change in the rules by a bare majority aimed at benefiting Democrats today could just as easily be used to benefit Republicans tomorrow. . . . And have those pushing for these changes forgotten how their party used the rules of the Senate to block legislation when Republicans were in the majority? Given the ease with which majorities can shift these days, Democrats might want to be careful what they wish for.”
Even The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus gets this. In her column today, she writes, “[T]he precedent of fiddling with the rules at the start of each Congress introduces the opportunity for more mischief the next time around. . . . If Democrats succeed in establishing that the rules are open for change by majority vote, what happens if Republicans win a Senate majority in 2012? Democrats have 23 seats to defend that year compared with 10 for Republicans. Anyone want to bet the mortgage money on the outcome?”
McConnell concludes his piece by offering some advice for Democrats. “For two years, Democrats in Congress have hoped their large majorities would make it easy for them to pass extremely partisan legislation. Now that they’ve lost an election, they’ve decided to change the rules rather than change their behavior. They should resist the impulse. Democrats should reflect on what they have done to alienate voters, not double down on the approach that got them here. They should recall the lesson of Jan. 5, 1995, when Republicans responded to their own new majority by recognizing that it wasn’t permanent.” Tags:Washington, D.C., US House, Us Senate, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, Nancy PelosiTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Update: 1:15 pm Mike Ross (D-AR) and 18 other Democrats voted present and thus did not vote for Nancy Pelosi. This acknowledges that the voice of the people is at least being acknowledged by these individuals.
Today, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is prancing around the Capitol holding meetings with visitor acting like nothing new has happened. But thankfully for America, Pelosi is no longer Speaker of the House and in the line of succession for the presidency. Today, she is replaced by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). Enjoy the photos!
People over at Impeach Nancy Pelosion FaceBook are celebrating. But they remain concerned that the "Speaker of Lies" is still in the US House and is the Democrat's Minority Leader.
Unfortuantely, democrats like self-proclaimed Blue Dogs like Rep. Mike Ross (R-AR) yielded and agreed for her to be their leader. Ross is referenced because he was the only Democrats to survive the 2010 Elections for US offices from Arkansas. Ross claims to be the spokesman for "conservative democrats" - an oxymoron - in the House of Representatives. Most of Arkansas recognized the need for change and elected three Republicans to the House and a Republican to the US Senate. Tags:Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, US House, Arkansas, Mike RossTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Bill Smith, Editor: Fred Lucas covers the present competition to replace Michael Steele as RNC Chairman in the below article. But first a few comments as an activist working in the trenches supporting the conservative cause and candidates during the last year. In summary, I did not find Steele making our job easier. He had too many personal distractions and while lucid before the cameras and continuously seeking money, he failed to share a strong message with the public or with new media activists. I was pleased to have had him contribute two articles for the ARRA News Service. But on the whole little information of worth reached us from Chairman Steele.
Fortunately, across our nation most State Republican Chairpersons took their job very seriously. They, the county committees, the candidates, independent groups and organizations, Tea Parties, and new media activists advanced the message far more than the RNC lead by Michael Steele.
Efforts by various PACs, independent and Republican, did well in sharing information and keeping people informed as to why people should give and be involved. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) leadership and staffs did far better than in years past and worked closely with grassroots political activists. And these efforts paid off with good relevant articles on candidates and issues.
TEA Parties and national organizations like Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, and many more did wonders in addressing issues and used the new media to help get their message out to the public. People like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Mike Pence, Herman Cain, and Jim DeMint added consistent conservative voices and clear messaging. Radio and television personalities added to the mix.
Synergism occurred! And, the Republicans had great results in the 2011 elections because informed motivated voters elected more Republicans.
But this synergism was not due to the leadership of Michael Steele or the RNC. He maybe trying to take credit for the Republican victories but that argument is very shallow. The RNC staff cannot be blamed because they are constrained by the parameters of their leadership. The RNC under Steele's leadership was encumbered by Steele's personal issues and his efforts to raise funds for his own debts. The RNC provided boring emails / letters with little new information. While raising money is indeed important for Republicans at the national level, the RNC was not the motivating force behind the 2010 election success. In fact, if raising money was the only criteria to be considered, Mr. Steele would be let go by most fund raising organizations.
To win elections in a presidential year, the RNC will need to offer a more dynamic outreach to both financial contributors and to new media activists. There is a lot of competition out there looking for money. And we now know that the RNC is starting 2011 with a sizable debt. Until this debt is covered, no money will be available for messaging or candidates. Whether the RNC realizes it or not, they the new media voices far more than we would even need them.
At the 2010 Southern Leadership Conference (SRLC), almost every speaker of any note made their way too the new media room. Politicians dropped by. They were aware of the voice of the new media. However, Mr. Steele avoided the new media activist. We were only a few yards from the RNC restricted special guest lounge. We were reporting at no cost to the RNC or SRLC on events and promoting the conference. The SLRC support team / contractors working with the new media did very well. But where was Mr. Steele?
He was not interested in us or our efforts. This was a mistake on his part and a wasted opportunity to seek our assistance. Some of the new media activists had readerships close to a quarter million readers. Together, the new media activists were reaching several million each day. Our stories feeds were pulled by other sites, blogs and the "lame street" media. Why did Chairman Steele avoid us? Maybe it was because we would have asked him some very difficult questions. Which brings us to the following article:
By Fred Lucas: (CNSNews.com) – Michael Steele spent Monday afternoon doing what he has done for much of the past two years: fending off criticism about his job as chairman of the Republican National Committee.
“My record stands for itself,” Steele said during a debate against four other contenders for the RNC chairmanship at the National Press Club. “We won. I was asked to win elections. I was asked to raise money, $192 million over the last two years. We won. The fact that we’re here right now celebrating that win, I think says a lot about the record.”
During Steele’s term as chairman, the GOP has captured control of the House, several state houses, and captured big victories in off-year elections in 2009. But his tenure has been mired by gaffes, debt and fundraising problems. This makes his reelection by the 168-member Republican National Committee – a vote that takes place on Jan. 14 – challenging.
[View video] His opponents in the debate, which was sponsored by the Daily Caller, Americans for Tax Reform, and the Susan B. Anthony List, were former Michigan GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis, former RNC Deputy Chairwoman Maria Cino, former Wisconsin GOP Chairman Reince Priebus and former Missouri GOP Chairwoman Ann Wagner. While his opponents did not attack Steele by name, they talked about the current condition of the national party infrastructure.
“It’s time for some tough love for the Republican National Committee,” Wagner said. “How can an organization that has lost its credibility, is $20 million in debt, is steeped in mismanagement, distraction, and drama actually lead us into the next election cycle in 2012? I think it’s time for real change and a change of course in the Republican National Committee.”
Anuzis touted his management skills and fundraising experience in Michigan. He said in the dark years of 2006 and 2008, he was able to raise $29 million for the party in a blue state. “What I bring to the table is a set of unique skills that basically covers the entire spectrum of all we need for the next chairman,” Anuzis said. “I think we need somebody who will make the trains run on time. I have the political skills.”
One of the questions in the debate concerned what issue would disqualify someone from being a Republican. Most of the RNC chairman candidates said a Republican must meet the three legs of the stool of social, fiscal, and national defense conservatism. Steele affirmed that conservative principles are important, but he cautioned against a litmus test.
“I see the job of the chairman, as the standard bearer, is to one, uphold that platform, yes,” Steele said. “But to recognize everyone who comes into this party will have some problem with this platform, and it’s your responsibility and opportunity to work with them and help them want to be active and want to assume leadership. “We have to come to understand the importance of these principles and what they mean. But we cannot be a party that sits back with a litmus test that excludes,” he added.
Priebus took a somewhat firmer stance. “We are about to walk off of a fiscal cliff, and I think that the RNC chairman ought to take a chance and promote that conservative platform every time that he or she has an opportunity to do it,” Priebus said. “If we don’t have a chairman who understands that being a Republican means something, that if you’re pro-abortion, pro-stimulus, pro-GM bailout, pro-AIG, then guess what, you might not be a Republican.”
Cino, who stressed her experience at the national level, said she would not need on-the-job training. She also said that Republicans have to get in touch with the grassroots that brought them to victory in 2010. “When we lose our way on spending and taxes, when we lose our way on the deficit, we lose elections,” Cino said. “We lose voters at the ballot box. If we’ve learned anything from our friends the Tea Party, it is that we need to stay focused and we need to stay on message: cutting taxes, cutting government and reducing the deficit, it wins elections. It won in ’94. It won in 2010.”
Most of the candidates agreed on general policy matters. During a lightning round, they unanimously favored closed Republican primaries at the state level, the de-funding of Planned Parenthood, and each believed that 2008 vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin could win a general election.
Each candidate was asked to name his favorite book. Steele – struggling to maintain his leadership role despite the major victories in November – said “‘War and Peace.’ It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” The phrase, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” is the first sentence in Charles Dickens’ novel “A Tale of Two Cities,” published in 1859. “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy was published in 1869.
Tags:RNC, Republican national Committee, Chairman, candidates, competition, Michael SteeleTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
“Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Has Notified Customers That It Will Drop Its Medicare Advantage Health Insurance Program At The End Of The Year, Forcing 22,000 Senior Citizens In Massachusetts, New Hampshire, And Maine To Seek Alternative Supplemental Coverage. The decision by Wellesley-based Harvard Pilgrim, the state’s second-largest health insurer, was prompted by a freeze in federal reimbursements and a new requirement that insurers offering the kind of product sold by Harvard Pilgrim — a Medicare Advantage private fee for service plan — form a contracted network of doctors who agree to participate for a negotiated amount of money.” (“Harvard Pilgrim Cancels Medicare Advantage Plan,” The Boston Globe, 9/28/10)
Lynn Bowman, Vice President Of Customer Service At Harvard Pilgrim’s Office In Quincy: “We Know That Cuts In Medicare Are Being Used To Fund National Health Care Reform."Ibid
“Higher Than Anticipated” Medical Bills, “Unaffordable” Premiums
“At The Same Time, Since The Plans Opened For Business In The Late Summer And Early Fall, The Medical Bills So Far Are, In At Least A Few States, Much Higher Than Anticipated, Raising The Question Of Whether $5 Billion That Congress Has Devoted To The Program Could Run Out Even If Relatively Few People Join.”Ibid
“State-Level Directors Of The Plans Agree, In Part. But In Interviews, They Also Said That The Insurance Premiums Are Unaffordable For Some Who Need The Coverage - and that some would-be customers are skittish about the plans' stability as federal lawsuits and congressional Republicans are trying to overturn the entire law.” Ibid
“Increased Health Insurance Premiums As A Result Of Higher Costs Associated With The Health Care Reform Law”
“Caterpillar Inc. Employees Will Face Increased Health Insurance Premiums As A Result Of Higher Costs Associated With The Health Care Reform Law Adopted Earlier This Year. For some employees, premiums for family coverage will increase by $41 a month, beginning Jan. 1. Even employee-only coverage will increase $5 a month, said a memo to management and salaried personnel that went out Thursday.” (“Caterpillar Raising Health Care Premiums,” Peoria Journal Star, 10/28/10)
“Aerospace Giant Boeing Is Joining The List Of Companies That Say The New Health Care Law Could Have A Potential Downside For Their Workers. In A Letter Mailed To Employees Late Last Week, The Company Cited The Overhaul As Part Of The Reason It Is Asking Some 90,000 Nonunion Workers To Pay Significantly More For Their Health Plan Next Year. A copy of the letter was obtained Monday by The Associated Press.” (“Citing Health Care Law, Boeing Pares Employee Plan,” AP, 10/18/10)
Forced Changes To Health Care Insurance Plans
“The Principal Financial Group Announced On Thursday That It Planned To Stop Selling Health Insurance, Another Sign Of Upheaval Emerging Among Insurers As The New Federal Health Law Starts To Take Effect. The Company, Based In Iowa, Provides Coverage To About 840,000 People Who Receive Their Insurance Through An Employer.”(“Insurer Cuts Health Plans As New Law Takes Hold,” The New York Times, 10/1/10)
“At The Principal Financial Group, The Company’s Decision Reflected Its Assessment Of Its Ability To Compete In The Environment Created By The New Law. ‘Now scale really matters,’ said Daniel J. Houston, a senior executive at Principal, which is headquartered in Des Moines. ‘We don’t have a significant concentration in any one market.'” Ibid
Tags:Obamacare, government health care, higher costs, seniors, retireesTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Hillary Clinton's Chamberlain Moment With Hugo Chavez
Hillary Clinton Smiles at El Dictator Chavez
President Barack Obama enjoyed his last day of vacation in Hawaii knowing that he had used once again his Secretary of State to send greetings to another dictator. Hillary Clinton made headlines on January 3rd when she met with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez and was looked like she was experiencing a Neville Chamberlain deer in the headlights moment with Adolf Hitler.
Some may argue Chavez is not a dictator but in fact Venezuela lacking in a free press granted President Hugo Chavez broad powers Friday to enact laws by decree for 18 months, undermining the clout of a new congress that takes office this month with a bigger opposition bloc. Should be enough time for him to "eliminate" any opposition to his "policies." Chavez had previously cracked down on "freedom of the press." Chavez also has been supporting Nicaragua, a communist dictatorship who illegally invaded and took an island belonging to Costa Rica. Chavez has already given president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega, almost $1 billion in aid.
As ALG president Bill Wilson called it "Obama’s Appeasement to the South" and said, [the event was a] "photo-op coup for the Venezuela dictator that recently expelled U.S. envoy Larry [Palmer] for allegedly being 'disrespectful'. In reality, Palmer was voicing U.S. concerns that Columbian drug cartels are being financed by Venezuela. Now, Clinton has been reduced to meeting with the despot and either objecting to his despotism — in a respectful way, of course — or worse, not at all. . . .
Weakness invites aggression, and it is clear that the ineptitude of the Obama Administration has not gone unheeded in the region. In the last week of the year, Chavez expelled U.S. envoy Palmer for his comments about Venezuela’s proxy war against U.S. ally Columbia. Columbia, like Costa Rica, is in danger from these insurgent forces seeking to topple freedom in the region.
Venezuela has unsurprisingly refused to condemn the Nicaraguan invasion of Costa Rica in the Organization of American States, and itself has a horrendous record of suppressing opposition in its country. Chavez has made himself dictator-for-life and has eliminated privately-run press organizations.
And Barack Obama has done nothing, and his stooge, Valenzuela, since being appointed to his post continues to project a weak U.S. posture in the region. That won’t be changing any time soon, and certainly not in time to save nations like Nicaragua from once again falling into the grips of an authoritarian regime.
Freedom will not long endure in the Americas without U.S. leadership, and under the Obama Administration, Central and South America are becoming less free." [Full Story] Tags: Costa Rica, Daniel Ortega, Foreign Policy, Hillary Clinton, Hugo Chavez, Neville Chamberlain, Larry Palmer, Nicaragua, Obama Administration, Obama's Foreign Policy, State DepartmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Tags:Congress, Global Warming, House Republicans, Obama, ObamaCare, Political Cartoons, Statue of Liberty, William WarrenTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Time of Grave Danger For The Republic of the United States - Symptom: Democrats Advance Proposal Power Grab To Abuse The Minority Party
The New York Times reports today, “A band of Senate Democrats signaled on Monday that it would press forward when Congress convenes this week with a proposal to curtail filibusters and other methods of slowing the chamber’s work . . . . Senator Tom Udall, Democrat of New Mexico, said that he intended to call for new limits on filibusters that would require senators to be on the floor if they seek to derail legislation. He and other Democrats, frustrated at Republicans’ ability to tie up the Senate, want to make it harder to erect other procedural obstacles as well.”
However, according to Politico, Democrats are divided on a tactic that would harm the institution of the Senate and could severely backfire on them. “Democrats who have been complaining for two years about Republican obstruction are struggling to unite behind a single filibuster reform plan – and several are expressing reservations that they could set a dangerous precedent if Republicans return to the Senate majority after the 2012 elections. Republican leaders — who have been largely quiet in the debate so far — are planning to step up their attacks and portray any proposed changes in Senate rules as a power grab by Democrats. ‘I think people need to understand that no one is naïve here, and that we have a very evenly divided Senate now and I don’t think any of us think that it’s beyond the possible that the Democrats can be in the minority in a couple of years,’ Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told POLITICO Monday. . . . The problem for Democrats is that there have been several different approaches proposed, and the party hasn’t settled on one unified filibuster reform plan.”
Certainly, more reasoned Democrats have recognized in the past that the filibuster protects the rights of the minority in the Senate. However, the remaining ranks of Democrats include radical progressives. As far back as 1995, many Senate Democrats did voted against changing cloture rules. At the time, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) [who appeared more benign a decade ago] said, “The full-scale elimination of one of the most sacred rules of the Senate--the filibuster--will not result in a more efficient Senate. In fact, it has the potential to result in the tyranny of the majority.” Reid added, “I view the use of the filibuster as a shield, rather than a sword. invoked to protect rights, not to suppress them.” A decade later, even then-Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) said, “What [the American people] do not expect is for one party, be it Republican or Democrat, to change the rules in the middle of the game so they can make all the decisions while the other party is told to sit down and keep quiet.” Appearing on MSNBC just a year ago, now retiring, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) was more direct: “I totally oppose the idea of changing filibuster rules. . . .That’s foolish, in my view.”
The NYT notes, “Republicans, who forced more than 90 votes to cut off filibusters in the last two years, said they had little choice since Democrats on many occasions refused them any opportunity to propose changes to legislation. [Senate Republican Conference Chairman Lamar] Alexander and others have warned Democrats to brace for a backlash should they act unilaterally. In a speech prepared for a Tuesday appearance at the Heritage Foundation, Mr. Alexander reiterated his position that Democrats would be making a mistake. ‘Voters who turned out in November are going to be pretty disappointed when they learn the first thing Democrats want to do is cut off the right of the people they elected to make their voices heard on the floor of the U.S. Senate,’ he said in his planned remarks.”
Today, in an opt ed in the Washington Post, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell discusses a significant historical poit of when the Republicans were in the majority in 15 years ago and stood in opposing taking action which would abuse the Democrats: "Sen. Tom Harkin had proposed changing Senate rules so that it would take only 51 votes to shut down debate instead of the traditional 60. Though it was clearly in the Republican majority's short-term interest to support the measure, every one of us voted against it, as did then-Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. and senior members of the current Democratic leadership in the Senate, including the majority leader and the president pro tempore.
What every Republican senator, and many Democratic senators, realized at the time was that any attempt by a sitting majority to grasp at power would come back to haunt us. Even worse, any rule change aimed at making it easier for one party to force legislation through the Senate with only a slim partisan majority would undermine the Senate's unique role as a moderating influence and put a permanent end to bipartisanship. . . .
First, a change in the rules by a bare majority aimed at benefiting Democrats today could just as easily be used to benefit Republicans tomorrow. Do Democrats really want to create a situation where, two or four or six years from now, they are suddenly powerless to prevent Republicans from overturning legislation they themselves worked so hard to enact?"
The People of America have spoken and it was against the gross power grabs from the American people being taken by the Democrat lead Big Government. If more Senators had been up for re-election, control of the Senate most likely would be in the hand of Republicans as is the House of Representatives. Have the Democrats learned. Well Sen. Reid having been reelected has nothing but arrogance for the American people in general. Now that the numbers of Republicans have increased in the Senate to the point of stopping legislation and forcing a debate on issues, Reid and his henchmen are attempting to change the Senate rules. Reid doesn't care about when the Democrats may be the minority party. He has sold his soul.
Over time, it seems more apparent that if it was within his power, Harry Reid would support making President Obama a supreme commander -- a Caesar -- with absolute dictatorial control over America. Upon what basis is this assertion. Well consider the following.
Se, Reid has already practiced a policy of blocking Republicans from bringing amendments to bills if Reid believed those amendments would be passed in opposition to Reid's desired outcome. He also has repeatedly supported bills being written by select Democrats behind Closed doors verses going through committees. He has forced major progressive bills to the floor and called for voting on these bills without allowing Senators time to read the bills or to offer amendments. In addition, while Sen. Reid stopped President Bush from making recess appointments, he allowed his beloved progressive supporter and fund raiser Barrack Obama to make recess appointments which were objectionable to a majority of Americans.
These actions by Reid infuriated the American public which eventually took their wrath out on other Democrats up for re-election in 2010. Then after the American people voted overwhelmingly to send a message to the left, Reid threw caution to the wind and rammed through as much liberal legislation a possible in a Lame Duck session and allowed President Obama free reign to again make left leaning recess appoints knowing that these would have be apposed in the new session of Congress.
For those who would say that making President Obama a supreme commander -- a Caesar could never happen, I suggest that you read history and looking at what is happening in other countries. It will be critical for the American public not to be lulled to sleep or to be distracted by their own situations. It is critical that the American people again stand strong in opposing the progressive agenda. Rick Santorum rightly said today in a talk with new media activists, "The major battlefield is not Washington, D.C. The battleground is the hearts and mind of the American Public."
This is a time of grave danger for the Republic. Progressives will continue to seek more power even buying more and more people (enslaving them) though expanding government programs. The grassroots must remain alert, active and encourage elected conservatives to continue to stand in actions and deeds. Tags:US Senate, democrat power grab, proposed rule change being floatedTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
By Bobby Eberle, The Loft: A new year has begun. I already see more people at the gym and more running on the side of the road. The question is, can they keep it up? Can they follow through on their goals for the new year? I feel the same way about the newly elected Congress. With the November elections behind, what lies ahead is the potential for a new, conservative agenda. Can we get it? Will Republicans follow through? Here is my wish list for 2011:
Ok, so what’s first? For me, there are several items that kind of all roll into one, but since you can’t go inside my brain, I’ll have to start somewhere. I think adherence to the Constitution is a great place to begin.
In a statement released today, incoming House Speaker John Boehner mentioned that he heard from people across his district who wanted “a Congress that abides by the Constitution.” Simple concept right? After all, the Constitution represents the rules for running this country. If we don’t follow the rules, what’s the point? So much of my other wish list could be made possible if Congress would just follow the Constitution.
To start off the new Congress, Republicans will put the Constitution front and center. The Washington Post reports that the GOP will do something that has never been done in the history of the Congress… they will read the Constitution aloud. Then, they will “require that every new bill contain a statement by the lawmaker who wrote it citing the constitutional authority to enact the proposed legislation.”
Next, we need real cuts in spending. I don’t want to hear anything about “slowing the growth” of this program or that program or the government in general. If you’re getting fat more slowly, guess what? You’re still getting fat. I want this government to get in shape. Smaller and less expensive… that’s the key. Cut programs, eliminate departments, send power back to the people of this country.
There’s no better place to start than to defund Obama’s massive and unconstitutional health care law. Americans didn’t want it, states and companies will not be able to afford it, and taxes will have to go sky high to pay for it. Oh, did I mention it’s unconstitutional? Oh right, I did. Of course, the law will likely not be completely repealed. Even if a repeal were passed in the House and Senate, Obama would just veto it. But, I’m looking for conservatives in Congress to do everything they can to dismantle it. On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) noted on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that members of Congress will “try to defund the Obama care bill and start over.”
Taxes definitely need to be on the wish list. I know we just had a big battle to keep the status quo, but what did that gain us? Absolutely nothing. Some taxes are actually coming back. And the current tax rates are only set for another two years, leading to yet another political battle. Taxes are too high. Corporate taxes are the second highest in the entire world. Is it any wonder that America is in a financial funk and falling behind? When you put more emphasis on growing government rather than growing the private sector, bad things will happen!
Next, we have to do something about our Southern border. I know I risk being labeled a “racist” because I left out all the Canadians who are invading this country, but one thing at a time. The Southern border is a disaster. Drug cartels are becoming bolder. The federal government is still ignoring it’s own immigration laws, and liberals like Harry Reid and Barack Obama still want to give us an amnesty bill in some form or fashion. Enough is enough! We need troops on the border. If Mexican gangs step into U.S. soil, they and their entire operations need to be destroyed… wiped out… eliminated. Yes, it sounds tough, but again, we are talking about American territory. It is up to the federal government to protect it. It’s kind of hard for Americans to pursue happiness if they are afraid to go outside, because they might get killed.
And to close things off, there’s no better way to start the new year than with new leadership. We are getting some new leaders in the U.S. House, and it’s time for new leadership at the Republican National Committee. We don’t need stories to continue to linger about financial mismanagement, arrogance, or cronyism. We need an organization that can raise money and spend it appropriately. That’s its job.
As pointed out in the Washington Times, “the unreleased official budget of the RNC reveals that the Republican Party’s national governing body and premier fundraising apparatus begins the 2011-12 presidential election cycle more than $20 million in the hole.” That is insane.
Federal Election Commission records show a dismal picture for the next chairman. As of Dec. 29, the RNC had $15,013,443.70 in debts and loans — $12 million more than the deepest RNC financial hole in at least 14 years.
That $15 million in IOUs compares with the zero indebtedness in the comparable period before the 2007-08 presidential cycle, the insignificant $1,446 before the 2003-04 period, the $3 million going into the 1999-2000 cycle and the $2.5 million at the comparable point before the 1995-96 presidential election period.
The election is slated for January 14. It will be good to get someone new in place so that the RNC can begin the work of bringing back their major donors. This will be a tall task for any chairman, but there is no doubt that major donors have bailed out on Steele.
Ok, what did I miss? I believe this is a good start, but there is so much more that needs to be done. As long as these new conservatives stay conservative, I’ll be happy. Tags:Bobby Eberle, The Loft, GOPUSA, 2011 ,wish list, New Year, abide by the Constitution, cut federal spending, repeal Obamacare, defund Federal healthcare bill, stop remaining tax increases, Border Control, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
ALGNewsNetwork: As John Boehner becomes the next Speaker of the House for the 112th Congress on Wednesday, we thought it fitting to look back at some of the best moments of John Boehner from the 111th Congress.
Tags:John Boehner, Congress, Speaker of the House, Boehner Speeches, Cap and Trade, Stimulus, Taxes, House Republicans, GOP, ObamaCare, Health Care, Government Spending, governmentTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
The below Video should be viewed by every AMERICAN who has and is still, considering the "ISM" we are being sold by the present administration and some in academia. The video was was produced in 1948 and its message is still relative today.
Tags:1948 video, cartoon video, Freedom, Make Mine Freedom, big government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Preparing for the 112 Congress: Will Democrats Finally Listen To The Message From The American People?
Update 1/3/11 5:15 PM - Washington Post: House Republicans set Jan. 12 as the day to pass a repeal of President Obama’s health-care law.
The Senate and House for the 112th Congress convenes on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011. House Majority Leader-Elect Eric Cantor has introduced the 2011 Congressional Calendar for the House of Representatives. "This year's calendar is the result of substantial input gained by the Republican Transition Team from members of both the House Republican Conference and the House Democratic Caucus, and from many outside reformers. In total, it contains 123 days and 32 weeks of session. Please note that days in session are shaded dark."
As the 112th Congress begins this week, the key question is whether President Obama and the Democrat majority in the Senate will listen to the clear message sent by the American people in November.
Sen.-elect Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) explains in this week’s vidoe Republican Address, “For Republicans, the start of the 112th Congress on Wednesday will mark the opening of a new chapter for our country and our Party. We’re keenly aware that the American people are relying on us to change business as usual in Washington – and we’re well-positioned to do just that. In the House, 87 new Republican members are set to make John Boehner the next Speaker – putting Republicans in charge of the chamber. And in the Senate, 13 new Republican senators will give us greater say in the Democrat-controlled Senate. . . . The American people sent us to Congress with clear instructions: make government smaller, not bigger. And stop spending money we don’t have on programs that aren’t working. It’s now our responsibility to carry out the will of the people.”
Both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times note Republicans in the House beginning work to carry out the voters’ mandate. The WSJ writes, “The Republican majority that takes over the House this week plans an ambitious drive to slash government spending by tens of billions of dollars in the next few months, a strategy that ensures that the capital soon will be consumed by intense debate over how and where to reduce the size of government. . . . Republicans in the House say they plan to move on to offer a far more sweeping package of ‘recissions,’ or elimination of spending previously approved, that will aim to bring domestic spending back to where it was before Mr. Obama became president.”
The Journal also notes, “In another early move, Republicans are requiring the reading of the U.S. Constitution on Thursday—a nod to the tea-party activists who were so important to GOP victories in the fall and the movement's complaints that Congress has reached beyond its constitutional powers under the Obama administration.”
And they NYT reports, “Soon after the 112th Congress convenes Wednesday, Republicans in the House plan to make good on a campaign promise that helped vault many new members to victory: voting to repeal President Obama’s health care overhaul.”
As Sen.-elect Ayotte says, “Americans across the country have been taking time to declare their ‘new year’s resolutions.’ It’s an opportunity to clarify goals and make productive plans for the future. Republicans headed to Washington are participating in a similar exercise. As we prepare to start the hard work of governing, we’re doubling our commitment to the principles on which we were elected.”
While Republicans will be responding to the voice of the people in the US House, we are left with the question, what is going to happen in the US Senate still lead by Sen Harry Reid (D-NV). Will Senate Democrats finally acknowledge the message of voters on Election Day? Will they support Republican efforts to reduce spending? Will any Democrats join with Republicans to repeal and replace the unpopular health care law liberal leaders jammed through Congress last year?
Will Democrats Finally Listen To The Message From The American People? Tags:Washington, D.C., 112 Congress, US Senate, US House, democrats, republicans, House calendarTo share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
An Insightful Discourse - GayCons: Defusing the Bomb
Bill Smith, Editor: The following article addresses the subject of "gays" and the conservative movement which is alleged as a ticking time bomb which liberals would like to exploit. I agree with the conclusion of the author in regard to the political arena: "Social Conservatives shouldn’t use politics to promote heterosexuality any more than GOProud should use politics to promote homosexuality. It should be a private matter settled outside of the halls of government."
As a social conservative, I do not support the homosexual lifestyle as a societal norm or that special rights should be granted to those choosing this lifestyle. However, I also find no basis upon which to force my beliefs politically on another person or to demand that another person agree with me as liberals and progressives do. As a social conservative, I pursue a more libertarian republican path leaving others alone within the confines of their personal lives as long as they are not abusing or hurting others.
The contributors to the ARRA News Service will continue to share, write or promote positions on social issues. But, we do not expect laws to be passed demanding that everyone march lockstep in agreement with our positions. While we will express warnings about societal deterioration, I believe in redemption and restoration through the Lord Jesus Christ as the only answer to our sins. And, as a conservative, I will share my views but obviously no one has to adhere to my viewpoints.
I believe that the great American experiment was blessed by God and has allowed for maximum freedom and minimum government interference in our lives. There is significant evidence that our forefathers as a whole followed in general Christian principles and beliefs. However, they were, as we are, not perfect people. Primary problems arise people promote government's restrictions of individual freedom. Based on history, totalitarian and "ism" forms of government take away the freedoms of the people regardless of their beliefs. These forms of governments or supporters of these forms of government pit people against each other seeking to beat them into submission.Those that do not conform are eventually outcast, incarcerated or eliminated.
Conservatives should be able to unite politically under the umbrella of fiscal conservatism and limited government. While some of us may be social conservatives, national defense conservatives, or "whatever" all conservatives should by now understand that expanding government regardless of the "alleged just cause" leads eventually to tyranny and loss of liberty first for someone and then for everyone. And, being fiscally irresponsible leads to "enslavement" and will lead to the eventual downfall of the Republic (a topic for another day). Conservatives must ignore the efforts of the left to divide us and to weaken our efforts as conservatives to restore our Republic.
by RightHandMan, Sentury Journal: Conservatism encompasses many things, and morality is one of them. Conservatives proudly subscribe to John Adams’ quote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” The Constitution requires moral people because liberty is dangerous when supplied to the immoral. Conservatism, a lover of liberty and constitutionalism, absolutely requires moral foundations in order to survive. When the moral fabric of a people erodes they begin to place responsibility on governments to control the behavior of men.
The left in this nation has long subscribed to the fallacy of individuals and the superiority of a centralized few. When misdeeds are carried out by citizens the left runs to government and liberty fades. The outcome is a regulated whole. When the regulators’ morals drift, the nation is forced to comply accordingly. If the few in charge are amoral then a completely dependent people are segregated from that which is good.
It concerns me when I see bloggers buy into the left’s lie that conservatism doesn’t accept individuals for who they are. Over the past week much has been made of certain social conservative groups protesting CPAC due to the inclusion of GOProud, a gay conservative organization. Words like “civil war” and “crossroads” have been used to describe the rift. I’m not buying it.
Let me start out by saying that I am the strictest of Social Conservatives. I challenge anyone to search my blog to find anything contrary to that statement. I know, however, that conservatism in its truest nature is accepting of a broad range of individuals rather than patronizing them for power as the left does. At the same time, I do not support or approve of homosexual behavior. Until now, I have never made that statement on a political blog – and there’s a reason.
Many people of the Christian faith have a problem with my political stance in regards to homosexuality. I was against DADT and I was against the “marriage amendment” for the simple reason that they contradict conservative political principles. Many social conservatives have fled to the federal government due to what is viewed by many as a moral decline. The glitch in this campaign is that government can neither stop nor thwart homosexuality. Further, by creating such an amendment to the Constitution, we will have given in to the notion that Government, not G-d or man, is the ultimate authority to marriage, relationships, and personal contracts. The truth is that government shouldn’t be able to define marriage or have any standing in the matter – it should be between people and their religious beliefs. Centralizing our moral authority, or worse, giving them the keys to defining what is moral, is the reaction of liberals, not conservatives.
That said, not all who have come to the defense of GOProud have done so in the purist form. Most tout the left’s mantra of the “hate filled right” and speak of equality in tones that could be mistaken for Gloria Allred. Somewhere in all of this the rights of the social conservatives were forgotten. In a fairly recent debate over homosexual marriage I found myself in the corner of supporting gay marriage (I support the lack of government inclusion in the process as mentioned above, not the act itself). When I gave my view, never before heard by this left leaning crowd, I became their hero; but I was soon an island. I found myself disgusted with the hypocrisy with regard to acceptance and respect. Anyone from the right who prefaced their view with a strong Christian foundation was mocked and ridiculed as if such a base were invalid or infantile.
The same can be said of some who have spoken against the groups pulling from CPAC in protest. Is their Christian-based argument not valid? If their view, according to principles rooted deeper than political alignment, defines homosexuals as people akin to participants of incest or bestiality, would you expect less than a protest? Would you support the speech of a strict conservative at CPAC who also happens to have 15 wives in Utah?
I think that we must all tread lighter than we currently are. I would be willing to bet that if we could reanimate Thomas Jefferson to speak at CPAC there would be countless numbers from every social conservative group out there. I’m sure most would overlook the affections he shared with the married Maria Cosway or the rumored relationship with Sally Hemings in hopes that he would set his “separation of church and state” statement straight.
In fact, I don’t remember the social protests in response to Newt Gingrich’s participation last year. Newt did, in fact, cheat on his wife and then marry his adulterous lover. Is that less egregious than being gay? Granted, Newt isn’t defending his affair, but then nobody is trying to write legislation to refute the legitimacy of his third marriage. I also do not recall hearing such moral outrage in some of the top blogs that adhere to “rule #5” – that is, posting pictures of barely clothed women for boosts in site traffic.
The fact is that our social behavior and political positions aren’t always going to align. Ideally we should separate that which is behavioral and that which is political. My personal relationships and responsibilities take on a far different approach than that of my political ideology. Any gay friend of mine would certainly know where I stand in regards to sin and homosexuality; but never would they find me shirking my religious and moral obligations to a system of government. Ironically, groups like GOProud wouldn’t likely exist if it weren’t prompted to in response to such forces.
My advice is that we defuse this explosive situation by taking the politics out of it. Social Conservatives shouldn’t use politics to promote heterosexuality any more than GOProud should use politics to promote homosexuality. It should be a private matter settled outside of the halls of government. I assure you that if we continue to parade in this storm under this political umbrella, the umbrella will become a lightening rod and we will all burn.
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